BY LINDSEY HOBBS
Did ya’ll watch the VMAs last weekend? If you didn’t, your eyes and ears were no doubt assaulted on social media the next day about the performances– mainly, mostly, the one that brought down the house and actually ended the show 15 minutes early … Beyoncé’s.
She killed it, there’s no doubt about it, and as usual the Internet brought out the funniest and most clever people during the telecast.
Despite my many, many retweets that night, though, one in particular stands out to me, as possibly the most relatable advice I have heard lately about the startup and entrepreneurial journey:
You can laugh, but think about it. Bey’s tireless image is one of a flawless entertainer, who not only “woke up like this,” but has also managed to have the perfect family. She seems to have it all. To those of us who have startup dreams, it is akin to those already successful businesswomen out there, who are making it look so easy.
But it is important to remember that Beyoncé has been performing and honing her craft since childhood. And it actually took many centuries for Rome to grow into the Empire that is in our history books.
It’s A Marathon, Not a Sprint
It is so easy to get discouraged when your aspirations are taking longer to reach than you want them to. But why do you think some fitness experts recommend that you avoid your scale during a weight loss journey? Because change won’t happen overnight!
If your dreams are to start a business and be successful in six months, you’ve got another thing coming. You should only set out to start your business if you’re willing to put forth your passion, time and energy for the long haul– yes, there’s that pesky word time again.
HOw Do you Pace yourself?
1. Last week, we shared a great article on Twitter from themuse.com about The 90-90-1 Rule. The article explains that leadership expert Robin Sharma recently suggested a plan that if you invested the first 90 minutes of each workday, for 90 consecutive days to your startup dreams, before you know it, you will have made significant progress. That’s three months just to get started! Now, put that in perspective, to estimate how much time it will take to pick up speed, and then how much time it will take to finally be in cruise control. Thinking of things an hour and a half at a time will help you stay grounded and less overwhelmed.
2. As is best practice for most huge undertakings, break your startup goals into smaller, more measurable goals. Short-term goals are easier to stay focused on, and much like the 90-90-1 Rule, they will magically build up to significant progress before you even notice. Examples of goals could be: develop my business plan, build a website, contribute your expertise by providing content to another website, gain your first client, etc. and so on. You know all about SMART goals, right? Of course you do, you’re a woman on a mission. So you should recognize that “get successful,” isn’t a SMART goal.
3. Focus on cultivating your brand. Not only is brand-building an automatic pacing strategy, but it is also just plain important because your brand needs to be well defined before your business makes any big moves. When you think about the startups you are most familiar with, you’ll probably notice that what they all have in common is a passionate fanbase. This passion comes from a well-defined brand with a clear message. Think of it like falling in love! You want people to fall in love with your business and just like falling asleep, it will happen slowly and then suddenly all at once.
I know you want to change the world, or at least make a cannonball-sized splash, and when you look at those to whom you aspire to be, you think “When will I get there?” You can gain drive and determination from aiming for the finish line, but you can also keep your perspective if you think about the journey that person must have taken, and the blood, sweat and tears he or she must have shed before their business took off.
Did you know that before Beyonce was winning lifetime achievement awards on television, she was a preteen on the singing contest Starsearch? And she LOST? That’s right. Not even Yonce could make her dreams happen overnight. If you take the slow and steady approach– working with manageable, measurable goals, and developing an identity that everyone can get behind, you’ll wake up #flawless before you know it.
>> Lindsey calls Columbus, Ohio her home, where she is an online marketing strategist by day, and a red wine sipper and budding kickboxer by night. You can read about her mission to learn programming at the614project.com or fuel her Twitter obsession at @hobbsie11.
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