You've seen it happen so often it's become a tired clich--the business owner who sees a better path forward only to procrastinate implementing the needed solution with the ready excuse, "Now is just not the right time."
This is the business owner who says, "David, I know I need to do things different, and I can even see the 'different' that I need to do, but now just isn't the right time. Latter... After I finish this one project... After I make this one hire... After [you fill in the blank]..."
The search for the "right" time is a false promise. It's the illusion of the "perfect" time, which when you reduce this excuse to its essence, reveals itself to be an excuse from having to risk change.
Successful entrepreneurs start now, with whatever they have at hand, and make things happen. They recognize that change requires them to suffer the temporary discomfort and doubt that always accompany new behaviors. In fact, the most successful entrepreneurs have reconditioned themselves to associate this feeling of stepping into new and different with the tingle of anticipation and growth.
My friend Steve left his comfortable job as an engineer at Intel to start his first company at age 43. Over the past 12 years he's gone on to become a millionaire many times over. More importantly, Steve has found ways to consistently get his linear, process-oriented, engineering mind to come to grips with life as an entrepreneur. In fact, here is a saying that he shared with me that has really impacted my approach to business and life, "Considerations, fears, and roadblocks are normal and will be overcome."
From here forward when you start to feel that tingle of discomfort or--gulp--fear, recognize that this is not a sign of danger, but rather the promise of growth, both for you and for your business.
There is no right time. There will always be another obstacle, project, step to do. And you'll always feel the pull of the ready reason for waiting "until".
Here are 5 of my favorite ways of dealing with this weight of "later" and to get yourself into productive action now:
- Get yourself to show up and just get started. Once upon a time I was a serious athlete training to play in the Olympics. When I wasn't living at the Olympic Training Center I knew that I needed to keep up my scheduled workouts. But some days I just didn't feel like it. I learned that one way to "trick" myself into gear was to just show up at the gym or track and get started with the workout. Before I knew it I got into the action and ended up having a great session.
The same tactic can work for you. Get yourself to just start, knowing that you can quit a few minutes into it. Chances are if you just get started you'll soon get engaged in the moment and continue, getting some real, high value work done.
- Do it imperfectly. If you're a perfectionist, plan on doing the first version of whatever you're working on imperfectly. In fact, I tell my business coaching clients to call it a "draft" or a "beta version." This gives them subtle permission to do it imperfectly.
- Do it now! Do it now! Do it now! Ready or not, just take the step now. Make the decision. Have the adult conversation. Dial the phone. Do it now.
- Get clear on what you are really afraid of and accept the worst case scenario. This emotionally and mentally frees you up to get busy working on the solution rather than obsessing about the problem.
- Develop your integrity to the place that when you speak it you do it. Practice honoring your word in every area of your life. Be on time, all the time. If you commit to doing x by y, then do it. As you grow your personal integrity you'll find that when it comes to procrastination, you will no longer allow yourself to fail to keep your word.
There is so much potential there for you in your business, I wish you great success in grabbing on to it. Here's a great resource to help you scale your business: a free tool kit with 21 in-depth video trainings to help you scale your business and get your life back, click here.