Today we’ll talk about obstacles that hold you back from starting a business, once you have the right idea.
There are many hurdles that keep you from taking action. Most of them are self-caused. Here are the common ones: fear, negative beliefs and behavior, habits, inaction and procrastination, mindset, lack of clarity, money, and limited time.
We’ll look at Habits first. Habits account for a large part of what you do every day, they may be good, positive habits, or negative, defeating habits. Everything you do and the results you get, including the actions necessary to start a business, begin with your habits. It’s by developing the right habits that open the paths for a business. A negative habit could derail any efforts to reach your goal.
This article is based on James Clear’s writings at JamesClear.com and his best-selling book Atomic Habits. He is a leading source on establishing habits and strategies to implement them.
What is a habit?
A habit is what you repeatedly think and do every day. Your habits have a huge impact on shaping who you are, whether it’s your health, wealth, business, or life in general. Creating better habits are the key to becoming the person who accomplishes the goals you want.
We need to focus on who we wish to become, not what we want to achieve.
That’s a key point. If you only look to reach a goal, then what happens after the goal is reached? Alternatively, if you change your view of yourself and the actions you take, you have changed yourself to reach your goals now and in the future.
Why you need to create new habits
Think about your desired goal and ask, “Who is the type of person that could get the outcome I want?”
For instance, if you want to be healthy, trim and fit, ask yourself “what would a healthy, trim, and fit person do?
Answering this question helps you know what habits you need to adopt.You would create a habit of regular exercise, eating quality food, reducing stress, proper sleep, and adopting a healthy life-style.
If you want to create a one-person business, ask “what would a successful solo entrepreneur do?” What kind of habits do they have? What habits do I need to establish that makes me into the person who reaches these goals?
Once you know the outcome you want and the type of person you need to be, you can take small steps to reinforce your desired identity. Start thinking of yourself as that person and what that person would do. Creating habits is much more powerful and long lasting than working toward a goal that may be short-lived.
The key here is that once you start focusing on the habits of the person that gets the outcome you want, you create the belief that you are that person and take the actions they would take.
How to form better habits
Forming new habits doesn’t just happen. There is a method and process to get there.
According to Atomic Habits, there are five steps to building a new habit.
1-Start with a small version of the habit you want to establish.
2-Increase the habit in small ways.
3-Break the habit into chunks.
4-If you miss doing the habit, get back on track.
Start with a small version of the habit you want to establish
A small habit is something that takes only two minutes to do. Think about what habit you want to establish and then set an initial task. Make the small version easy to start.
For instance, you want to become more visible online and you decide to write more content. Start by going to the computer, turn on a writing program or go to your your website and write down the title, do some research, and write a few sentences.
To keep the habit going, come up with a plan that tells you what you will do, at what time, and where.
You decide: I will write content related to my business every morning after my first coffee at my desk. By defining where and when you will practice this habit gives a better chance at success. A key tip to help with the habit is to leave yourself a reminder, such as keeping your writing page open so you see it when you go to the computer.
Increase the habit in small ways
Every day slowly increase what you are doing. In the above example, you could write a paragraph or two instead of a few lines. Significant changes come from the sum of all the positive actions you take every day. You will see that the things you do have a compound effect, like compound interest, it’s over time that you see massive changes and get the benefits.
Break the habit into chunks
Once you start adding on to your habit, you don’t want to feel overwhelmed. It needs to stay easy.
For example, if you’re up to writing 500 words per day, you can break it into smaller pieces done several times a day. In our example, you would keep your morning practice of writing, but only 250 words, then you can add an afternoon session with another 250 words, or break it into three short session of 160 words. The important thing is to keep it easy and consistent. Continuing with this practice will add up quickly.
If you miss doing the habit, get back on track
It’s easy to miss when you’re trying to create a new habit, and that’s okay. There are things that can get in the way. You need to get back on track as soon as possible. It’s only through consistency that you build that critical habit that results in you having the identity of someone who is successful.
Start small and increase slowly.
This may be frustrating because you want quick progress. But, you must build a strong foundation and do things you can sustain. If you go too fast it may result in not continuing your progress and losing motivation.
There are two steps to keep motivation and stick with your new habit.
First, work on tasks that are the right difficulty for where you are in the process, and increase the habit as needed, and Second, measure your progress as you go to convince yourself that you are moving forward.
It only takes small changes done consistently to get great results. And it’s these changes that take you from where you are to where you want to be.
Remember that you must take action.
Actions and thoughts must come together to have results. Just because you know what traits you need to develop to become the person you want to be, and get the results you want, it’s not until you do something that things start to happen. All the planning, research, and strategizing only prepare you for the action you must take, but that alone doesn’t get any results.
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