- Consistency Over Quantity: Work on your business for 1 to 25 minutes daily.
- Move the Needle No Matter How Little: Work can be anything from updating a brain dump list, focused thinking on a walk, updating your website, reviewing product pricing, etc.
- Work Every Day. But Take Days Off: Make a little progress every day. Some days you’ll make a TON. But it would be best if you had rest, community, and fun. So prioritize those things if you can.
- Celebrate: I’m more of a self-berater than a celebrator, so when I found out that a great way to change is to celebrate your victories… I beat myself up for not celebrating more. Mostly kidding, but you get my point—celebrate—dance, shout, hoot, holler, hee, and haw. Whatever spins your beanie is good to go.
- Go Back to Step 1
I was just about to text a good friend. One of my lifelines through the pandemic. He’s also a client, and we’ve been working on his website as we can. He’s balancing his business, family life, and a massive home renovation. I’m trying to balance my business and taking care of my dad.
Anyway, he mentioned yesterday that today would be a waste. I asked him. Implored? Pleaded? With him to give me 15 minutes today.
I was about to remind him. To implore more. To plead more. Ok, ok. I was texting to beg.
Life Gets Hard
BUT wow, I know how life gets. It’s TOUGH sometimes. Getting 15 minutes takes a lot of work. So some days, we’d wrestle a small bear for 5.
But if you’re like me and you get caught up in a bunch of things today and do not move the needle on your business you’re going to feel kind of bummed about it. Let’s try not to add that voice to the pile of voices that seem to emanate from our pillows at night, ok?
From Bartender to Web Developer in 25 Minutes a Day
So here’s my recipe for changing careers. It’s how I went from a bartender to a web developer in 25 minutes a day. And by 25 minutes, I mean primarily at least 5 minutes and some days hours.
The important thing isn’t how much time. Not really. It’s about consistency.
But for over a year, I spent at least one 25-minute session a day working towards learning how to build websites.
You Might Want a Fallback Plan
Years ago, a fitness guru wrote an article about how we all need a backup fitness plan. It’s you do five squats. Or a squat. A walk around the block. You get the idea. It’s about, as Seinfeld wrote, “don’t break the chain.”
So if you’re a busy person (who isn’t these days?) and trying to start a business, I suggest you give yourself a minimum of time each day to devote to your business. No time frame is too small.
Where to Start
Step 1: In the Beginning Was the Brain Dump
If you are starting today, I want you to create a file on your phone or computer and call it My Business Brain Dump. Of course, if you’re a Luddite or just a romantic, a paper notebook or something in papyrus is fine too.
Once you’ve done that, try setting a timer for a minute and writing what you know about your business if you don’t know anything. That’s fine too. Who do you want to help? What is your end goal?
Congrats. You just moved the needle.
Step 2: Move the Needle Every Day. But Take Days Off. Don’t Beat Yourself Up for Missing a Day.
Did I mention life is hard? One way to make it easier is to do a little bit every day. Not to say that you can’t have super productive days when the stars align for you, but there’s something about those small victories.
Another way to make life easier is to rest. Jeez, c’mon, people, the science is in. We need rest, fun, and time with friends and family. Please take it. Demand it. Seize it. Enjoy the heck out of that time and be present. To heck during those times.
And then you move the needle again. A minute today. 20 minutes tomorrow…
Sometimes you’re adding to your brain dump. Others you might review some copy on your site. Other days review when your domain name expires. There are a MILLION things to do as a small business owner. Just keep plugging away.
You’ve got this.
Step 3: Celebrate
Congtratulations!! You moved the needle today. Future you is going to thank you. And to keep the momentum going you’re going to tell your brain how amazing it is by celebrating. So hoot and holler and dance and hee-haw or whatever it is that YOU do to celebrate.
Business can feel like a battle.
Today was a victory.
Step 3: Repeat Step 2
Seriously. It doesn’t sound exciting. Just keep plugging away. BUT
Good Luck and Have Fun
Some people online and on social media make owning a business sound fun. And it can be. But it’s also a grind. Because, life isn’t social media. There’s a lot of work to make it all happen. And if you’re juggling work and family and all of the obligations we all face it can feel impossible.
So go easy on yourself. Ask a little bit less, but keep the ball rolling forward.
You don’t have to lower your standards. Do great work!! Just do it in small chunks. And every day.
You get the idea.