It is easy to find the appeal of becoming an entrepreneur.
Defining the nature and scope of your work, aligning what lights you on fire with what you do during the day, and having time and freedom are just a few of the kickin’ features and bonuses of being an entrepreneur. It is all very, very appealing.
What may not be so well-known or widely spoken about is how much work is involved in keeping the dream work of an entrepreneur alive. On top of that, there are many threats to surviving as an entrepreneur, including:
- not having enough patience to see things through
- feeling frustrated by having to work in excess of 40 hours a week
- lack of support or understanding from others
- insufficient planning or funds to support the work
One of the most daunting threats to being a successful entrepreneur is that subtle, but annoyingly destructive factor — procrastination.
Procrastination seems to creep in just when we are starting to make real progress. Procrastination lets us think we are being productive when in reality we are stalling or working in circles.
Procrastination causes us to drag our feet when we need to make important decisions. And of course, procrastination can be the cause of so many other problems in our work and businesses.
So, what do we do to make sure procrastination doesn’t kill our entrepreneurial dreams? Here is a brief list of some actions you can take to make sure procrastination stays out of your way:
1. Define your specific focus
In the desire to capture as many leads, followers, or sales as possible, entrepreneurs often decide to cast a wide net rather than to choose part of the market or their particular area of expertise to focus on.
When entrepreneurs fail to define their focus, they are more likely to have difficulty producing copy and designing products that really fit the bill for their intended clients.
Entrepreneurs who don’t determine their focus end up drifting away from their work and getting distracted and frustrated by their efforts to move forward. Take charge of your own direction and determine what your specific niche should be right away.
2. Find a mentor or coach
With all of the available free resources on the web, entrepreneurs often decide they can run their ventures entirely on their own. What more seasoned entrepreneurs know is how beneficial having a mentor or coach to guide them can be.
Entrepreneurs who are going places tend to be going with smart, informed company, and not alone. Coaches can help you sharpen your vision for your business and your message. They can provide ideas for moving forward and growth that have been tested and proven.
Save yourself valuable time and energy and start looking for a coach or teacher. If your current financial situation is tight, you may want to start by purchasing a course or program from a coach or mentor you respect and would like to learn from.
3. Think big
Entrepreneurs are by nature big thinkers because they are willing to do what it takes to put something brand-spanking new in the market. They know how to create and how to be creative.
The tricky part of entrepreneurship occurs when that big, expansive thinking gets clouded by different anxieties that crop up. These anxieties may cause entrepreneurs to price their offerings too low, to procrastinate when it’s time to make their product, and to delay launching the product after it has been made.
Just remember that anxiety — of success and failure, of being known and being invisible — are common among entrepreneurs. Anxiety is the cluster of uncomfortable feelings that arise when we are about to embark on something new and noteworthy.
Clear your head from the fear-inducing thoughts and plan your designs, products, and launches instead. You will survive this process, I promise. Keep thinking big.
4. Communicate your message clearly
You may have designed the world’s greatest product (congratulations if you have), but the world’s greatest product won’t be able to make a dent in the world if the benefits of the product are not communicated well.
Spend the time it takes to make it clear in all of your copy, social media posts, and live contacts with your clients why your offering is unique, useful, and transformative.
Make sure that you communicate your understanding about the problems and conflicts that your client wants to solve. Never forget to connect with your potential client by being a person yourself.
Include your story, your struggle, your personality, and feelings. Be yourself and don’t be bashful — you’ll communicate best that way.
The big takeaway: Don’t let procrastination defeat you
Get out there. Experiment. Remember that it takes repeated exposure to your ideas and work for potential customers to become clients.
Remember that it takes lots of practice, time, and active learning in order to be really good at anything related to entrepreneurship.
Don’t worry about your failures either, because they are an important part of how we entrepreneurs learn to achieve meaningful success. Leave procrastination behind. Go find what you were meant to find in this world.