You’re sitting at your desk wondering why you ever started this crazy business in the first place. Well, there is always something, no matter what time of the day or night, that you can do.
Here’s 5 recommendations to get you started. They might sound mundane, but not everyone is building a rocket ship and trying to colonise Mars. Keep things simple and stick at it and the results will amaze you!
Join a group
Meetup is a phenomenon, and all of its thousands if not millions of groups have been started for reason, and that reason is to help people exactly like you. So, sign up.
You don’t have to go to every event, you don’t have to read every email, but signing up to and becoming a part of community, however little your involvement at first, is always worthwhile.
You never know where it could lead. It might prove to be a non-starter, but one thing is for sure; you will get more value from joining a group than not joining one.
Try it! There, you just got something concrete in exchange for a 10-minute trawl of the Meetup site.
Already signed up to every event that is relevant to you? Try something completely different. Learn to Salsa, or join a speaking society. You never know where the next big opportunity is going to come from.
2. Go To An Event
Drop what you are doing and go somewhere different, meet a new group of people with fresh ideas and different ways of looking at things.
It’s too easy, as a startup founder or business owner, to get caught up in your own little world.
We all need social oxygen – humans live and breathe the stuff. Without it we become restricted, set in our ways, and find it harder and harder to interact with the outside world.
Remember, startup founders do not build products for themselves – they build it for others. After all, are you going to single-handedly buy or download enough versions of your product to generate a profit?
So, go to that meetup you have hemmed and hawwed over for the past six months, ask questions, introduce yourself to people and tell them about what you are doing.
The feedback you receive will be like manna from heaven – and I guarantee you will leave feeling better, more optimistic and motivated than you did when you arrived.
Nobody, and I really do mean this, ever regretted going to an event and just interacting with some real people – in most cases, fellow entrepreneurs, mentors, and who knows, maybe even an investor.
As we all know, it’s only the stuff that you do not do that you end up regretting.
3. Write a 1 year plan
Ok, you have probably done this one thousand times before – so why not do it again? Follow my logic here; You can’t refine a business idea enough.
Write a plan in the morning, when you are feeling fresh, and then write one at the end of a long day when you are feeling “tired and emotional”. Compare the two, and at first, I can pretty much guarantee you they will look radically different.
An independent observer would most likely not even recognise that you were writing about the same company!
Rinse and repeat – keep writing that one pager over-and-over again until it looks the same in the morning, evening, after lunch, after a few beers, when you are taking your partner shopping…
When it starts to look the same after every read, that’s when you know you are onto something. When you have a deep and meaningful with your co-founder of CTO, and the plan does not shift one iota form what you always write down, then, my friend, you are ready to execute.
Only then, and never before.
Admin, admin, admin!
Sleepless night? Fill it by doing all those things you won’t want to be doing when things are moving swiftly. Install those updates that take a few hours that you have been avoiding for the past few weeks.
Pay that bill that’s been bugging you; send that email inquiry, file that piece of work in its proper place, fix the bathroom light.
Admin is the business equivalent of a cold shower. Dumb, painful and definitely not a turn on. But you feel better afterwards, trust me ; )
Try something new
It was Einstein who said that madness is doing the same thing over-and-over again and expecting a different result.
So, whatever you do decide to do when you are experiencing a work lull, make it count, and make it different!
Even people who have achieved enviable amounts of success are constantly innovating, trying new ideas and experimenting with alternative ways of doing things. In fact, I would go so far as to say nobody has ever made a success of themselves by trying to stay the same. Leave that to the Warren Buffet’s of this world.
Forgive me for trotting out a few clichés here but a change really is as good feast – in fact, it’s better because you don’t feel full afterwards – and you can go and get some work done.
The more you can introduce change into your life, the more adaptable, dare I say it, agile, you become – and in business, the ability to be ready to react and make the most of a changing environment is half the game.
So there you have it – don’t spend your life wondering, or waiting for the right circumstances to arrive, because they won’t. Do what you can with what you have, and when that opportunity comes, as it no doubt will, by staying in the moment, you will be ready to reach out and grab it ; )