You already know the saying that goes: “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. Another thing you know, is that you aren’t going to reach your goal immediately. But you get frustrated, seeing no progress. You wish that things would just speed up and get to where you want it to be. You want to start pulling out your hair, screaming at the top of your lungs to “just get on with it already!” Well, I feel like this many times. I have my goals in place, I know what I have to do to achieve them, but I just cannot see any progress, and I feel like maybe I should give up. I start doubting myself and feel like maybe this just isn’t meant to be. That’s when I know I need to stop and remind myself that anything worth achieving takes time and patience. I ask myself again, is this goal worth achieving? 9 out of 10 times the answer is a resounding YES, and then I get right back into it and have a new-found motivation.
We have all been there, setting a new goal for ourselves. You have a firm resolution that this time, you will achieve your goal. You’re excited, enthusiastic and ready to take on all challenges that come your way. It doesn’t matter what the goal is, whether its small or big, you know that you are ready for it.
When you know you want something, it’s pretty easy to come up with a goal to reach it. You imagine the possibilities and joy you will experience when you reach your target. You’re so hyped up, that you even set up a strategy to implement, knowing that it’s already yours. Your heart and your mind is set, and you dive right into your first step.
Then reality sets in. Your goal looks like an illusion. It seems so far away. Unattainable. Impossible. Just not meant to be.
Slow and steady
What do you do when you get to that stage? How quickly after you have set your goal do you reach that stage? Sometimes, it might be after your first obstacle, or sometimes you might be really into your routine of working on your goal, but then later you realize that you have put in all this work yet you simply don’t see any progress. It is at these times, when I am reminded of an old African proverb: The only way to eat an elephant, is to eat it one piece at a time.
Here’s what I do when I feel that I have hit a dead end. I usually break down my goal into smaller objectives. It’s like playing a computer game, usually you have a mission which contributes to the larger story, but within that mission you have smaller objectives and these objectives help you to move along in the mission. With each small objective, it makes it easier to accomplish. Accomplishing these small objectives brings quite a positive motivation to get the next one done. Also, through doing smaller tasks, allows me to constantly see progress in achieving my goals instead of just trying to get to one big objective.
Taking things slow and steady helps you to focus and emerge yourself in the process of achieving your goal, instead of rushing through it and overlooking important details.
Understand your why
It is important to remind yourself why you undertook this journey in the first place. What is that over arching reason why you decided that you no longer want to be dependent on one income? What is the reason that you want to become financially independent? Is it because you would like to leave a legacy of wealth and prosperity for your children? Perhaps you would like to provide for your parents in their old age? Or are you simply fed up of being broke all the time. No matter the reason, you need to have the resolve necessary to dedicate the time and effort to acquiring new skills and working long hours.
“My boss makes a dollar, while I make a dime that’s why I poop on the company’s time.”
This saying is a common saying among unhappy employees and it often shows their mindset. When someone is working for a dime they feel that it is not valuable enough for their time. Can you relate to this? Do you feel that your time and energy are undervalued? Then what if you were earning dollars?
As the owner of your own business you will find yourself working a lot harder to earn your dimes (initially), but after putting in enough time and energy your dimes start to bloom into dollars. So don’t poop your time away.
Rather, rethink deadlines so that they can fit realistically in your schedule. Do not over sell and under deliver, because then you are doing yourself no favors. Rather, come up with creative solutions for new challenges. You should constantly ask why has there not been progress. Is it because you aren’t putting in enough effort or perhaps you need to re-evaluate your workflow? Are you working harder or smarter?
Growing a seed takes time and patience
I mentioned several times, the importance of patience in your journey, and I will say it again: You need to trust the process, and you need to believe in your ability to achieve what you have dreamed.
In this journey you need to have patience on two counts. The first being patient with your results, as it may take a few years to really take off. What you are doing is investing in yourself, and in your own personal business, or any other goal. That is so important!
The second point is that you need to be patient with yourself.
I understand that starting your own venture, can be daunting and the option to quit is always there, but consider the impact of not quitting. When undertaking a new challenge you are presented with numerous opportunities for growth. By keeping this in mind and thinking about what you have learned just by starting, will you realise the value in what you have done.
What could you achieve if you hung in there? Where could you be in 3 – 5 years time?
Do not rush yourself, and do not rush the process. You need to rather focus on being consistent, because it is consistency that breeds success.
Reach for your dream
“It can be done. The goal is already mine.” Just keep telling yourself this, and pretty soon you will see the results unfold right before your eyes.
I am the type of person that needs to see results in order to know that I am getting somewhere when it comes to my goals. Even the smallest of change or progress I see, I get ecstatic, because I know my goals are slowly but surely being met. For example, with my arts and crafts business, the very first thing I “officially” sold in my business was a R20 (That’s the equivalent of $1.30) card. I was over the moon! That was a HUGE step for me at the time. I was so proud that I made my first sale, as tiny as it was. It was a great feeling, and it got me motivated enough to continue pushing towards my goal of running my own business. Even now, I still get excited when selling a card, because I know my time and patience is paying off. It may seem insignificant, but I am sure that you will agree that when you see your own results in reaching for your dream, something small and insignificant may make a world of difference.
There are still times when I feel frustrated, demotivated and uncertain about the progress of my goals (especially when it comes to my online and offline businesses). Sometimes weeks and months will go by where it just seems to be stagnant and that nothing is moving forward. But then I remind myself to be patient, and not to expect things to change overnight. The journey towards achieving my goals is worth the time, patience and work I put in. And so it should be for every goal. If it isn’t, then perhaps it’s something that you don’t really want after all.
Now is the time
You had the initial goal for a reason. What was it? Why did it come at the time it did? Because now is the time. Go for it. but remember don’t rush it, it will come with time. Work on your patience. You got this girl! (or guy 😉 )