If I’m being honest with myself, I’ve put off important tasks too many times. The main reason is that the important tasks are often the difficult ones. And even worse than being difficult, these tasks don’t provide any immediate gratification or rewards when completed. The finish lines seem too far away.
The path to success in life and business looks a lot like climbing a mountain. You can see where you want to go (minus a few hidden detours, obviously). There’s a clearly defined direction, but if you don’t put one foot in front of the other and invest the effort it takes, the top of the mountain isn’t going to move closer to you.
Too many entrepreneurs and business owners want some magical moving sidewalk that whisks them to the top of the mountain. I’m here to break the bad news to you: You only get to ride magical moving sidewalks in airports behind people who clearly don’t know to stand on the right.
Do you want to make more money?
You have to sell and promote your product or service. Money trees, alas, do not exist. Passive income is insanely hard to get. Following a blueprint, cheat sheet, or plan created by someone successful may get you only one step or two up your mountain (because, remember, everyone’s mountain of success is different).
Do you want to write a book?
Great. You have to sit in the chair and type every word on every page. You could hire a ghostwriter to write the book for you. But that’s really just like having a sherpa who carries all your REI gear. You still have to move your own feet up the mountain.
Do you want to leave your 9-5 job to chase a big idea or dream?
Guess what, the savings you want to build up and all the planning you have to do won’t happen out of thin air. You have to put in the extra time outside the 9-5 hours to have a shot at going out on your own. (Related article ahoy)
Do you want to build a community or email list?
Just buying an online course about building your list isn’t going to do the work for you. All the fancy mountain-climbing gear in the world STILL doesn’t put your feet in front of each other on the journey to the top of the mountain.
I could go on and on. The point is, you have to make the time to have success or achieve a big goal.
You’d be shocked at how much time you can get back if you completely stopped doing these things for a few weeks:
- Checking social media sites
- Refreshing your email inbox hoping opportunities fall in your lap
- Reading article after article on the Internet
- Staring into your phone and all its apps like a zombie
- Sitting on the couch watching hours of TV
- Going out with friends
I’m not saying you have to remove every enjoyable thing from your life to have success and make your way up the mountain. However, the bad habits that soak up all your free hours are the exact things that are making your climb up the mountain that much more difficult.
If you’re being honest with yourself, do you actually want whatever dream or goal you’re chasing? Because if really want it, you’re willing to make sacrifices for it.
Why You’re Not Making The Time Already
If making time hasn’t happened naturally for you already, that should tell you something.
You may have gotten yourself into a routine of wasting time without even realizing you’re doing it. Check that list above one more time and be real with yourself this time. How many of those things do you do every day, while simultaneously telling yourself there’s no time to work on your business?
Goals misaligned with values
If the desire to work on your goals isn’t ever present in your life, it may be that the goals you have (make a million dollars, be on the cover of Entrepreneur, whatever) don’t line up with the actual lifestyle you want to live. And that’s okay, as long as you own it and make a move toward goals that actually DO line up with your values. Here’s how to find out what those are.
The internet has this nasty habit of making us think we need to know more, more, more before we ever get started. We read list after list of What Successful Entrepreneurs Do without ever actually doing any of it. Do you know what successful entrepreneurs do? They shut off those lists and get to work.
Fear of success
For some of us, achieving our goals is even scarier than NOT achieving them. Success would mean acknowledging for yourself that you actually are capable of achieving what you want, and that opens some pretty broad opportunities in terms of what ELSE you can accomplish. You may not even know if you’re afraid of success until it looks you in the face and you willfully turn it down.
Poor models or motivators
Finding success requires surrounding yourself with people who understand and support your goals in whatever ways they can. Do you have these people in your life, or are all your friends and connections living in a different world and opposing your dreams? It’s hard to shut out your friends to make time for your business, I get that. But you’re shutting out yourself if you spend all your time with people who can’t help you get where you want to be in life.
Here are some tips and resources on how to make more time:
- Use time blocking on your calendar and make lots of to-do lists (more here)
- Get an accountability partner (more here)
- Use an app like imgoing.to for virtual accountability
- Use an app like RescueTime to block your bad habit sites
- Write your big goal on a piece of paper and post it where you can see it every day
Success comes with sacrifices. Success doesn’t come just because you dream and hope it will happen.
Will you make the time it requires to climb the mountain of success? And will you enjoy the climb along the way?