Have you ever set big goals for yourself, and then found yourself unable to get started on pursuing them? Sometimes even though we are excited to pursue our goals, we can get stuck in the proverbial mud. Why is getting started the hardest step? More importantly, what do we do about it?
For the last two years, I have been building my startup and our first product Bella Scena. Bella Scena helps you spin your plates, all in one place without losing your mind! She is a to-do list, an integrated calendar, and a meeting planning application.
Building a tech startup involves a lot of moving pieces. Let’s face it, most of our businesses have a lot of moving pieces. At various stages of this build process, I have also found myself in the position of getting stuck. I had this huge goal of launching a software product but would get stuck and unable to move forward sometimes.
The race to build any company always takes longer than we think it will. It doesn’t matter if it is a product or service company. Throughout that journey, getting stuck at different points is also really common. Here are three things I do to keep moving forward:
- Embrace my inner rebel. I’ve always felt like that classic underdog. I’ve worked in technology for the last 20 years. I didn’t grow up programming or building computers. I discovered technology while I was pursuing my undergraduate degree. I always felt like I was trying to play catch up- like I was behind everyone else. Have you ever felt that way? When we change careers or pursue new opportunities, it can be really easy to feel like we are so much further behind everyone else. When we don’t know the whole process we need to follow, sometimes not starting feels like the easiest answer. We don’t know if we can do something perfectly. There is uncertainty on the other side of starting. So we don’t even begin.
I embrace that inner voice that recognizes what it really wants. That inner rebel is the one that will reach out to that contact I wouldn’t normally ask for something. Or set up that meeting to keep something moving.
- Build-in regular perspective checks. I set up coffee meetings or lunches with individuals with different experiences and backgrounds. I find that outside perspective provides me insights I may never have considered if left to my own devices. Having individuals around you ask not only how it is going, and then allow you to get into lots of details about specific challenges. For me, this is a variety of entrepreneurs and businesspeople. Fellow business owners will ask you a different set of questions, often very strategic questions. It becomes an opportunity for you to clarify and articulate your thoughts. New questions may help you refine the idea or provide you new insights into your challenges. It can also help you determine what your priorities are in order to proceed and move forward.
- Remind myself I am running my own race. Isn’t it easy to compare ourselves to others? It’s easy to compare our start with others around us that are so much further on the journey. We need to each run our own race.
As a practical matter, how do I do this? I keep track of what I am working on along the way in Bella. Then as the weeks and months go by, I have a chance to reflect on what I have been working on and see the positive steps forward I am taking.
Most importantly, I remind myself it’s okay to be a turtle and just keep turtling along on your race.
Next time you find yourself stuck and unable to move forward, try harnessing your inner rebel, building in perspective checks, and reminding yourself that it’s okay to run your race. You’ll be moving forward again in no time!
Amber is a regular author and speaker on a variety of technology topics.