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How to Beat Procrastination as an Entrepreneur in 2 Simple Steps

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how to beat procrastination

Entrepreneurs are driven individuals, with a great passion to create innovative businesses and companies that are changing the world. Their determination to see their venture up and running is admirable, and they often display the skills and resilience to persevere in difficult times. Since entrepreneurs usually take higher than normal risks to build and operate their businesses, it’s easy to assume that the pressure to deliver results will help them be uber focused and prevent them from procrastinating.

The company is their “baby,” their own creation and the stakes are high. They have made a decision to escape the 9 to 5 and committed to a life of ups and downs, where success depends fully on them. Knowing that, I was convinced that if a person has passion and a compelling vision, they won’t have a problem to sit and do the work.

They will be motivated and inspired at all times, as they aren’t even perceiving their business as work. Have you heard the popular sentiment : “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life?” If this is true, then why do most entrepreneurs struggle with procrastination?

The reality is that no matter how much you love your work or the pressure you feel to deliver, at times you still find yourself procrastinating. You end up wasting time, doing activities that are not connected to generating revenue or are not even a top priority. I am an entrepreneur and absolutely love my work. I don’t rely on any other sources of income and it’s all up to me if my business will succeed or not. Even knowing this, I still procrastinate often.

After exploring different productivity apps, reminders, accountability structures and many other tools, below are two simple, but very powerful actionable steps to get into action:

1. Prioritizing your daily tasks, starting with the most important one.

The one you usually dread facing the most. There is something about it which makes you avoid it and do all the rest, less important tasks. Everytime you think about it, it gives you that intense feeling of being overwhelmed. You try your hardest to find excuses to keep putting it off. You often say to yourself: “I’m not fully ready…I won’t have enough time to complete it today, so I’ll pick another day when I have less going on. I’m not feeling as energetic as I need to be in order to pitch today, so I’ll do something else.”

At the end of the day It would be in the back of your mind and sitting heavy on your chest. It will make you feel stuck with some unfinished business. As an entrepreneur you are most likely a high-achiever and often beat yourself up when you see that daunting task still marked on the calendar.

Sometimes we allow ourselves the luxury of having too much freedom to create and change our own schedule. As much as we love flexibility, when it comes to procrastination, the solution is rather straightforward. We just have to take action and dive in, which is of course the hardest part. So how do we approach the most daunting task, the one we do our best to avoid? Not knowing how to “trick” ourselves to sit down and actually do the daunting task is one of the reasons we procrastinate.

“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” – Vince Lombardi

2. The secret is to break it into really, really small pieces.

You can do it in terms of time or in terms of portions of the project. Here are some examples:

  • You have to make 10 sales calls today. Your mind might perceive that task as too big . You start thinking about all the people you need to reach out to and the thought of it generates anxiety and overwhelm. Here is the trick: what if you “tell” your brain that all you need to do is 1 call ONLY? Now suddenly, it doesn’t look so bad anymore. One call is pretty easy to do, right?  The trick is to stop your mind right before it starts rationalizing. Don’t allow it to tell you that this isn’t actually true and in reality you have to accomplish all 10 calls. Just trick yourself, it works!
  • Take another example. If you know any writers, you have probably heard about their golden rule to write a thousand words a day. Writer can also procrastinate. They call it a creative block because they aren’t inspired at this given day. What if they switched their goal to a couple of sentences? Once they create a few sentences, they slowly get into their creative flow.

Often, the biggest challenge is to make the first step. Once you do it, you quickly gain the rewards of feeling accomplished and productive. At the end of the day your level of satisfaction is higher, based on the fact that you worked on your main priority. You feel accomplished and more energetic to finish all the rest of the tasks.

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don‘t see the whole staircase.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Practicing doing the hardest thing first has proven to be effective every time. It frees up space in your mind and gives you the opportunity to think about the next major step you need to make. It instantly removes a significant amount of stress and drops the weight off of your shoulders. Breaking it down to small manageable pieces will ensure your ability to get into action quicker and get more done.

Try out these two steps and let me know how they worked for you in the comment section below!

Vanya is a Professional Leadership Coach, certified by the "Institute For Professional Excellence In Coaching" (IPEC). Prior to her coach certification, she graduated "Sofia University" with a B.S. in History of Philosophy, where she began her journey to study the human experience and the powerful role of the mindset in changing behavior and achieving success. Her entrepreneurial nature and innate drive for personal and professional growth, balanced with a deep connection to purpose have led her to work with leaders, entrepreneurs, and founders. Her personal experience, moving to the USA at the age of 22, allowed her to develop the skills and mindset to navigate constant change, tolerate risk, and build resilience. Based in NYC, today she helps her clients to optimize their leadership potential, gain perspective, improve their productivity and time management skills and define the bigger vision for themselves and their business. You can find out more about her and her work on her website www.liveauthentic.net and her weekly podcast 'The Coaching Journal'.

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Are you completely new to networking?

Then this article is a great place to start. Networking isn’t hard on paper…you go along to online and in-person meetings, make new connections and build relationships, and those relationships lead to more work so you can grow your business! The challenge is that in reality, it isn’t quite so straightforward, as our emotions get involved and make things much tougher.

It’s incredibly common for nerves to creep in and to feel overwhelmed and apprehensive when it comes to networking – even when it isn’t new to you. But how can you become more successful at it, feel less self-conscious, and make networking work for you and your business?

Here’s a few tips to help you embrace every business networking opportunity you get, so you can grow your business and achieve your goals.

Rock up with confidence

If you want to keep those nerves at bay and ooze confidence at networking get-togethers, you’ll need to downplay it rather than seeing it as a big occasion. Try not to put pressure on yourself and see it as a casual meet-up with a bunch of people with similar goals to you. To help you relax in the run-up to the event, be sure to set achievable goals and expectations before you go.

Keep your chin up and your goals in mind – positivity is key. One easy goal for your first networking meeting is very simply to speak to one other person and see where the conversation goes. Introduce yourself and your business, but take the time to listen to their story, too. It’ll only take a few minutes and will be over before you know it, so it’s nothing to fear. You may even enjoy it and want to speak to a few more people, too!

“You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie

Where to go networking

If you’ve never been networking before, it might not be very easy to find a group – but only because there’s so much choice and you don’t know where to start your search! Groups come in different sizes and styles, so it’s important to find one that suits you and your business. Informal, formal, big, small… the choice is yours.

For your first meeting, start small to ease yourself in – a big group could prove too daunting, and stop you from feeling comfortable enough to get involved. After all, you want to make a strong first impression!

If you’re wondering which group to opt for in the long-term, give a few a go! Get a feel for them, speak to as many people as you can, and see which one suits! You’ll know when a group feels right for you, and you can see where those all-important relationships are most likely to be built. If a group doesn’t feel like the right for you, give a different one a go.

Get more leads and referrals

This will happen for you, as long as you put the effort into building those relationships. If you take the time to get to know people, and then check in with them and support them, they’ll see you as a trustworthy and reliable contact who they can call on. And when they feel that way, those leads and referrals you’re looking for will come a-knocking.

Once you’ve made relationships with people who you trust, and they’ve had a positive experience working with you, you can even ask for referrals! But don’t rush this, as you don’t want to inadvertently push people away or try and force the relationship along too quickly.

When you do get an opportunity to work with someone you’ve met at a networking group, go above and beyond to offer more value than they’re expecting, as then, they’ll be much more likely recommend you and introduce you to more of their contacts!

Grow your business

By investing your time and effort in networking, you will gain more business through the relationships you make, and you will be able to grow your business.

We know that it’s not easy, going networking for the very first time. And that’s why we want to give you all the advice and tools that you need so you can walk in with confidence and make the most of the opportunity.

2023 is just around the corner, and you have the chance to make it the year you make networking work for your business. And the benefits could be incredibly amazing for your business, just like they have been for ours, and many business owners we have worked with over the years.

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