Baby Steps To Business Success
By Angela Booth
You can do, be and have, anything you want. As long as you get started. Take baby steps: one tiny step after another, even when you have no real idea of how you're going to get to your destination, beyond the next step.
Taking baby steps involves faith, but faith isn't something you have. It's something you do. Meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg says: "faith is about realizing that we don't have to be defined by the circumstances we find ourselves in. It's seeing that our lives are a lot bigger, filled with far more potential than we usually imagine… we can step into the unknown and make a new beginning." (From the article "Finding the Connection" in The Oprah Magazine, September 2009.)
So how do you do this?
==> One: Decide on your destination
If the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, you need to decide where you're headed.
Where are you going? What do you want? If you want to own your own business, decide that that's your destination. If you want to write a book, decide that that's what you want to do.
Sometimes we're so scared of failing, that we don’t make that initial commitment, that decision. We never say: "This is what I want".
Decide. Right now. And write down your decision. Buy a small notebook, or open a new computer file. When you write it down, both left and right parts of your brain take notice.
If you feel nervous, reassure yourself that all you're going to do is take baby steps. One teeny step at a time, just whatever feels right for you in the moment. You won't ever ask yourself to do anything you are not capable of doing in the next moment.
==> Two: Wait for your intuition to guide you to the next step
Remember that still small voice within you?
That still small voice isn't the Spoiler. The Spoiler is a negative demon. It says: "you can't; you shouldn't; you won't; it's too hard; you'll never get there; who do you think you are?"
The knack to handling the Spoiler is recognizing it when it chirps up. Here's a cute imaginative exercise to muffle the Spoiler.
Close your eyes for a moment and imagine the Spoiler. What does it look like? Is it big, with a bulging head and massive eyebrows, and --- what's your image of the Spoiler?
When you can see the Spoiler in your mind's eye, imagine it shrinking. It's shrinking until it's tiny. It fits in the palm of your hand. Now pick it up and pop it into a jar, or a box. Something with a lid. Screw the lid onto the jar, or close the lid and lock it.
Now the Spoiler's gone. You can't hear it any more.
With the Spoiler gone (you may need to repeat the disposal exercise each day, or several times a day for a while), you can hear your intuition. Let's call your intuition your Director.
You can picture your Director in your mind's eye if you wish. Or you can listen for him, or her. Your Director pushes. Sometimes I ignore my Director, but she's persistent. She nags. She nagged me into creating a blog (Web log). I've still got no idea why having a blog is A Good Thing according to my Director, but at least she's stopped nagging about it.
If you're thinking that all this imaginative stuff is a mite weird, remember that your right brain thinks in images. Always. Whether you know it or not, and whether you care or not. If you can become aware of these images, you can get your left and right brain to work together more harmoniously. (If you're interested in images, Carl Jung called them Archetypes. To learn more, read popularized books on Jungian psychology. Fascinating stuff.)
==> Three: Remember that everything's changing, all of the time
Change is frightening. However, everything's changing. Nothing stays the same. So you might as well go with the flow.
Change doesn't have to be bad news. It's excellent news. It means that your business will NOT stay the same. It will change, and all the myriad tiny things you do each day do make a difference. They're cumulative.
Take action to steer your business in the direction you want it to go. If you want more sales, do more marketing. Follow up with your contacts. Follow up with past clients. Do at least five marketing tasks a day.
When it seems that nothing's happening, remember that it is, because everything's changing.
You especially need to remember that everything's changing when everything is going well in your business. You can't stand still. So if everything's going well, keep paddling in the direction you want to go. If you don’t, you may find yourself sliding over a waterfall.
==> Four: Listen to your resistance, it has meaning
When you resist something – say marketing – your resistance means something. Don't just assume that you're a lazy so-and-so and dump a heap of negative thoughts onto yourself.
Take a pen and some paper, find a quiet spot, and ask yourself some questions.
* why aren't I (doing whatever it is that you're resisting)?
* what am I afraid of?
* what do I really want?
* what should I do next?
Answers will come.
That's all it takes to take baby steps to business success. So go ahead. DO faith, and take baby steps.
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