10 Ways to Get Ahead Even When You're Already Late
Do you always feel like you are behind? Like everyone is making progress doing things you think or dream about? You want to get ahead, yet you always feel late to the game? As an entrepreneur mentor, it's my duty to share with you everything I can for you to be successful. Let's do this!
My own coach told me, "Honey, that is a game you are never going to win. You are not late." I kind of "yeah yeah'd" her, thinking I "should be" err... so desperately wanted to be further ahead in my goals and dreams than I actually was.
In thinking about our conversation, I think she is right. (Totally right.) I get to put together the plans for what I will accomplish, when, and how. I get to decide if I am late or not -- it's my own game. Right?!
Given that, I still very much want to move forward, actively, and continuously. I personally found that by giving myself space to work, and by taking it step-by-step, I was able to get ahead like never before. (Well, like before when I had all the time in the world and no kiddos pulling on my leg asking for another coloring page!) As an entrepreneur mentor, I want to share with you everything I can to ensure your success.
1. TACKLE ONE THING AT A TIME
Before you can really get ahead, you have to know and decide what you want to do. Sounds like a no brainer, I know, but when you have lots of ideas and lots of responsibilities, it's hard to nail down just that one thing. I get it. I have a hard time doing that, too. Being a professional project manager, where I literally teach and help others implement their goals, I can tell you through and through, it is simply impossible to change every single thing you want all at once. You have to decide where to focus, and that's a maximum of 3 things at one time. Depending on your workload and responsibilities, it may be 1 thing at a time. That's okay. Step by step, you will get to the others, but first you have to decide which item you are going to tackle now.
Are you going to focus on getting those big dream accounts? Are you going to focus on building your brand? Are you going to focus on having dinner on the table each night? Getting to the gym on more regular basis?
Once you decide, then own it.
2. START AND STOP
Again, once you decide what you are going to tackle, what you are going to accomplish, you have to decide when you will start.
Right now? Are you prepared for that? Probably not.
Heck, I gave up processed sugar as a test to myself, and before I could fully commit to when I would start, I suddenly had cravings for Trader Joe's bite-sized licorice that I had to get! Random! But I had to do it! I was not prepared!
(By the way, best decision ever to give up sugar!)
Point is, you need to get prepared. Will you start in a week? Tomorrow? Pick a date. Put it on the calendar. Mark where you are, and what your starting point is.
Then give yourself a stop date. An arbitrary stop date. In my podcasts with Rosemarie Groner, the Busy Budgeter, she talked about how she gave herself a year to make full-time money from her blog. If it didn't work after a year, she was going to move on. (She's killing it, btw.)
Give yourself a reasonable timeframe to accomplish what you are looking for. Test the waters and commit.
OMGoodness, I cannot tell you how many times people let go of their own commitments to themselves. You know it's true. We all do it. In order to get ahead, you have to commit to doing what you set out to do. The best and easiest way to do that is also to plan out how you are going to accomplish it. Plan out how you are going to get started TODAY and for the rest of the week. That's it. Don't go any further that next week. Truth is, part of your work will be learning. When learning comes, the plan goes out the window.
Commit today. Plan for tomorrow and next week. Then start doing.
4. TURN OFF THE TV
When are you going to do this? Do you watch tv?
Good, I do, too. I wish I could be that person where we didn't have tvs, but that's not me. I have 3 shows I watch. The Good Wife (sad it's actually over). Scandal. (Silly I know, but I'm committed.) The Deadliest Catch. (My husband and I have been watching it since it started, what can I say, I'm a loyal person.) Then if I need something mindless in the background, I watch Friday Night Lights from Netflix on repeat. I have literally seen the show way too many times.
But guess what -- that's it. I watch tv, but I don't let tv consume me, either. Typically I watch an episode of something with my husband and then I walk away. With the tv out of my life, I have many more hours to give to my goals and dreams.
Step away from the tv. You'll thank me for it later.
5. GO TO PINTEREST & YOUTUBE
OMGoodness. Google is dead. Google is sooo 10 years ago. If you want to know, if you want to learn, it's all on Pinterest and YouTube.
Don't even "yeah yeah" me on this one -- just listen. I had no idea myself until just a few months ago.
Want to know how to put together a podcast? YouTube.
Want to know what equipment you need to put together a podcast? YouTube.
Want to know how to start a blog? Pinterest.
Want to know how to do that and put a meal on the table at night? Pinterest. YouTube.
Anything you want to learn or do, there is information about it on Pinterest and YouTube. (And actually Facebook, too.) Google is sooo over. Trust me. Keep the learning going and go where I tell you.
Actually, I am so serious about this that I have 2 guides that I am living and breathing and dreaming about when I sleep. Pinterest Strategy Guide and Strategies Worth Sharing (for Facebook). Seriously, 2 books to increase traffic by the thousands?? Worth it? Ummm, yes!
6. CALENDAR BLOCK
I started calendar blocking just a few months ago and I simply love it. It's not an exact science but what it does do is open up your eyes as to how much time you really have to devote to certain things.
Immediately, the first things in the calendar are my girls' activities. Most afternoons are booked solid with their activities. That gives me mornings and evenings to add in. When will I interview a guest for the podcast? When will I edit the podcast and prepare the show notes? When will I work on client work? When will I hit the grocery store? Make those returns I have to?
Once I started putting tasks in my calendar, it was eye-opening where and how I was spending my time. And with whom. Was I spending my time with the people I wanted to vs the people I was actually seeing? I was inadvertently and unintentionally setting priorities that way. Once I started calendar blocking, I really realized I could better control my time and make my activities align with my real values.
Try it. Just try it.
7. SAY NO
Pick 3 priorities. If a request comes in, then have NO at your forefront. Remember, that is an option for you.
It's okay to say no. Actually, it feels amazing to say no.
No, thank you. Not interested. Not today. Not tomorrow. (Maybe next week.) No.
8. SAY YES
Have fun with YES! Just say YES! Let things change up. Do what you wouldn't normally do! Get out of that rut! Allow the doors to open, breathe in the fresh air! Say YES! and give it a shot! You will get ahead more and more by just saying YES! YES! I am open to that!
Nothing is permanent. If you cut your hair, it will grow! If you say YES! then you get the experience of being open to the new experience! Say YES! Then next time, you can decide is this a YES! or a NO!
9. STEP AWAY FROM THE PHONE
It's too much. To really get a break, to really get ahead, to really connect and move forward, you have to put the phone down.
It's hard. I know. I have a love/hate relationship with my phone. I hate it. But I need it.
Truth is, I don't need it all day every day. Put the phone down and get back to work.
10. BE KIND TO YOURSELF
You cannot get ahead without treating yourself well.
I repeat. You cannot get ahead without being kind to yourself.
There are so many glorious and easy ways to be kind to yourself, so just do it.
Recognize that you are strong and capable. Treat yourself.
All. the. time.
I realize this past year I mostly talked about my dreams, or even got angry about my unfulfilled dreams. Without quite realizing it, I felt I had less time because I had my kiddos around and my charming, yet needy husband to take care of. I felt my responsibilities were overwhelming me and preventing me from doing the things I dreamt of. Perhaps that's true to a degree. Or perhaps, I wasn't quite ready.
But I'll tell you what, when I did get ready, when I did focus and turn off the tv, the tide shifted in my favor. There has been so much learning this past year. There's been a lot of highs and lows too, I'm not going to lie. Yet, I realize, like my coach said, I was the only one who thought I was "late to the game" and I just had to focus on moving forward. Was I committed? Or wasn't I? Was I open or wasn't I? Was I willing to do the work? When all my answers there were YES!, everything started to change.
Start! Take action! Correct your actions and continue to move forward!
Good luck! Also, by all means, if you are working on getting ahead in your own life and want further explanation on any of these steps, please reach out to me. I'd be happy to explain my process further if that would help you!
In full disclosure, this blog post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase from any of these links, I may make a little money. So thank you in advance for using these links as it adds a cushion in my accounts, too!