How to Overcome Procrastination When Starting a Business

When you have so many ideas to pursue, it’s difficult to figure out which one is THE BEST one. The answer is who cares! It doesn’t matter. Just do something!

A client said to me recently: “One big problem is that I don’t seem to be able to follow through consistently. I drift from one idea to the next and find it hard to focus on one tactic.” It is a problem. Sometimes you get stuck, you can’t move forward and you don’t know what to do about it. Everyone gets into a state of inertia from time to time. Myself included.

Many, many years ago I used to listen to motivational speakers on audio tapes hours at a time. You know the ones: Dennis Wheatly, Zig Ziglar, Jim Rohn, Tony Robbins, etc.

What is social entrepreneurship 300x300 How to Overcome Procrastination When Starting a Business

How to Overcome Procrastination When Starting a Business


Well anyway, after I finished listening to these tapes I felt great. I was pumped. I had a million ideas running around in my head and I felt like I could beat anything. Then nothing would happen. I got discouraged and wondered if I was ever going to be able to start my own business.

One of the tapes I used to listen to a lot was by Nick Carter, then vice-president of Nightingale-Conant. His tape (Vol 3, Executive Treasury of Humor, Tape #5 “Throw Out What Doesn’t Work”) was the only one out of hundreds that I listened to that really made any sense to me and got me to move on my ‘procrastination’ problem.

He’s an incredibly talented speaker. In one section of the tape he made a statement that has run through my mind at east once a week for the last 15 years. On the tape he said, “Some people are great at coming up with ideas, but they don’t have the guts to try. You know it’s like, they’re walking on eggs, carefully, hoping to make it safely into death.”

“Walking on eggs, hoping to make it safely into death.” I can’t fully communicate to you the enourmous power he put into that statement. You’ll have to get the tape and hear it for yourself. It’s worth it, believe me. But wow! What an image.

To me it meant, “What am I being so careful about? Life is a game to be played, not watched from the sidelines. Who cares if you make a mistake? Everyone makes mistakes. You were only given one life to live so don’t blow it because you were afraid to try! ”

There are two things I have to constantly monitor myself for: 1) Having TOO many ideas and getting stuck because I can’t choose a course of action; and 2) Being afraid to try something. These may not apply to you at all, but they were very important to me at the time to help me start focusing on what I really wanted, a business of my own. And it worked.

When you have so many ideas to pursue, it’s difficult to figure out which one is the best one. The answer is who cares! it doesn’t matter, just do something! Do one today…do one tomorrow…test them all until you find the one that works best for you. You don’t need a complicated ‘system’ to start ‘focusing’ and getting results in your new business. Here’s exactly what I do (and it’s ALL that I do) every day to fight the evil one, procrastination.

#1. Use a To Do List everyday and update it every day. List your ‘to-do’s by priority. Check off the one’s you accomplish today and transfer the one’s you didn’t complete to tomorrow’s To -Do List. Keep doing that for 30 days and you’ll see how much more focused you become.

#2. Before creating your list, ask yourself this question, “What exactly do I have to do today to make $X (fill in the EXACT amount you want to make today. $50, $100, $500, whatever the amount) Try to shoot for 20%-50% over what you made on your best day ever. You may not make it, but consciously asking yourself this question brings a powerful agent to your assistance, your creativity. And a surprising number of times the ‘answer’ becomes apparent. It also has a tremendous power to focus your energies.

That’s all you need to do. Choose to do something today, no matter how small it might be. Whatever it is, it’s one step closer to your goal. Then do something tomorrow that will take you one step closer, and the day after that, and the day after that. All the little things you do will add up and you will have battled procrastination and won.

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