Getting to the How
One of the reasons we procrastinate is we don’t know how to do what we need to. Becoming a digital business is a point in case for me. The opportunity offered by the internet giving access to an international market basically from my desk is just too great to pass by. But easier recognized than done!
Every time I took a step forward I realized how much I didn’t know or understand or didn’t want to do! These things included becoming familiar with different social media platforms and what and how you post on each of them for the purpose you want to achieve. It meant learning how to digitize our material. It included testing how to source merchandise and manage the logistics to deliver. It was about sorting through the complexity (to me) of digital marketing and all its different elements.
As I think about everything we want to accomplish and the process to get it done I feel a bit overwhelmed. In truth it’s not the size of the project that seems daunting. I have tackled big jobs before and as long, detailed and huge as they may have been, the exercise is the same as eating the proverbial elephant — that is, one bite at a time.
In fact it’s not even taking on this learning curve that seems difficult. I love learning new things. Discovering something I didn’t know before is such a thrill. Ask my poor family who inevitably end up hearing about whatever little snippet I have recently gleaned.
It’s the combination of these. It’s the size of the task, the steep learning curve as well as the fact that while I am slowly trying to inch forward others are racing ahead. The world is not stopping so that I can catch up. I also acknowledge that my fifty-something brain is not as tuned to this digital revolution as those born in it. I can learn it, but it’s not quick and certainly not instinctive.
What Makes it Possible
So if it’s so hard why don’t I give up? You know this has really not been an option for me. There are several reasons. Firstly, I work with a team of partners in whom I have built trust and loyalty over many years of working together and quite simply I don’t want to let them down. We’re in this together. We’ve made a commitment to each other and the project, and I need to play my part.
Secondly, I’m excited at the possibilities. This is an amazing opportunity to build a sustainable revenue stream for our business. But more than this we are able to reach a more widespread, diverse audience with the wisdom and thinking tools of our life-changing process. How amazing to be able to put powerful developmental resources into the hands of people who cannot afford corporate fees for self, leadership and business courses?
Thirdly, it makes sense. Nothing stays the same and technology is only increasing the rate of change. If we are to grow and thrive into the future we need to embrace the tools that take us there. I am grateful that I bring a wealth of business and people experience, as well as a very invested and expert team. Therefore, in perspective all I have to learn are the tools. And this is not out of the realm of possibility.
Given how much I have to learn my approach is to do something new every day. The challenge of course, is that I have to keep learning and practicing what I learnt yesterday and the day before. So I’m spinning those wheels with one part of my brain and time but with another part I attempt something I haven’t done before.
Let me give you an example from today. A few weeks ago, one of my mentors challenged a group of us to post on some form of social media every day for 365 days. It could be writing, podcasting or videoing. So I began blogging. I discovered medium.com, a blogging site, and have mostly written something every day, which I post there as well as copy onto my business Facebook page. I have managed to get this wheel in motion.
The challenge today is to market a free event for business owners so that they can strategize and prepare for next year. So I used Google Docs for the first time so that I can more easily share and save documents with my team. (Don’t laugh if this old hat to you — we all have our own learning journeys!) In fact, I overachieved today — I did more than one new thing! I also learnt how to use our licensed software to design an invite to our target audience.
What huge goals or tasks are you facing? Are you procrastinating because not only does it seem immense but you also don’t know where to start? Is your learning curve so steep you can’t see the top of it? Start with small steps of incremental learning.
This practice of daily incremental learning is not my idea. It was introduced and modeled for me by one of my business partners. But this is another thing I have learnt, from the same partner, it’s not what you say you will do that makes the difference, it’s what you actually do! I don’t need to have the bright idea to take on board some new concept or skill by taking small steps each day, I just have to DO IT.