We’ve all asked ourselves the same questions over and over: What is my path forward? What am I passionate about? How can I take that to the next level and make it my life? How can I start my own company or grow my current business? These can seem downright overwhelming, but I’m happy to report that they really are not if you put a few things in motion.
Having a plan doubles your chances of success. It may not necessarily be the ideal time to do something new. It’s not always easy or feasible to leave a job, restructure a division of your business, grow a new division, etc.; but you can keep that idea and that dream alive. In fact, you must! Here are four steps to help you ignite your growth.
Step 1: Stay Consistent
This sounds simple, but it’s not. It’s not simple because it requires consistency to be effective. I’ve said this before but it’s worth repeating because it’s so important: Go buy a notebook and keep your ideas active. Spend five minutes, three to six days a week, to jot down your thoughts and keep track of your ideas.
It’s best to set a specific time each day for this exercise. I find that when consistency kicks in, the best ideas come from the previous ideas, and when you keep them alive by writing them down, they become something physical. When they become physical, they become a little bit more real. And as they become more real, they become part of your everyday thought process. Things start to take shape, opportunities start to open themselves up and you are continually forging a path that is one step closer to your dreams.
By sticking with this, you’ll start building your confidence and your courage as you get clarity on the discipline needed for what you will ultimately do. Just take that first step and then do one step at a time.
Step 2: Practice Patience
Once you have the confidence and courage, it’s time to begin creating your plan. Have you read or seen The Secret? The message is that we can use the law of attraction to directly change our world. Basically, the secret is: ask, believe and receive. Some people try it and think, “Well, I’ve been manifesting for a week and nothing’s happened.” But things can take time to transpire. That’s what I mean by keeping it alive, so you can constantly be focused on you and your company’s continual growth. You will find you are closer than you think.
My dad was a master gardener. We had these outrageous, amazing gardens when I was growing up and you know how it started? He just planted seeds. You can’t force a seed to flourish; you have to water it, fertilize it, nurture it and let it grow, and then maintain it.
Remember, you’re going through a transition and it takes time. Don’t be the one who gives up; be the one who keeps moving forward.
Step 3: Delve into the Details
Now that you have evolved your idea(s), increased your courage and confidence and started your plan, you can’t just zoom out and do a 30,000-foot view of your next steps. It’s time to fill your plan in with specific and measurable detail.
Continue with your five-minute-a day exercise and commit to taking your plan and reverse-engineering it down to the year, then the quarter, then the month, then the week, then the day and even sometimes down to the hour. Without specifics and measurements, you can’t execute because you don’t necessarily know where you’re going. As you’ve probably heard many times, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.”
Step 4: Be Accountable
Now comes the hard part. Share your plan with an accountability partner, someone who will push you to be your best and hold you responsible. These partners are great to have when times get tough and your confidence gets low. Let them be your courage and voice of reason when you can’t do it for yourself. Don’t just be a talker — be a doer.
One of my new favorite slogans is from Verizon: “We don’t wait for the future; we build it.” Tap into your tenacity, stop waiting and make your next big thing happen. Want it to sprout and grow? Embrace the consistency and the moxie you need to get you one step closer to that corner office.