You want to accomplish a goal. Maybe that goal is to increase sales, launch a new product, or earn more income. The thought is both invigorating and intimidating. So what can you do to make sure those goals make it from the drawing board to success story?
Take a lesson or two from Linda Formichelli’s new book Commit: How to Blast Through Problems and Reach Your Goals Through Massive Action. It includes 20 different tactics for getting unstuck and succeeding in life, and “every single one of them applies to ownership and starting and doing better at business,” Formichelli says.
The book is rooted in Formichelli’s pursuit of her own goals. An accomplished and respected freelance writer, she has written for more than 150 magazines, multiple corporate clients, and has authored eight books. She also serves as a mentor and teacher to many in the freelance writing world. “I quit my job to pursue a dream of freelance writing,” she says. “I gave myself six months to earn a living that would support both my husband and me.” Through “massive action,” Formichelli not only achieved her goal, but surpassed her income from her former office job by 50 percent in her first year.
The way to get the most out of Commit is to read it actively — decide on the business goal you want to reach or the problem you want to solve and try the appropriate commit tactics. After a discussion of each tactic, there’s a “Commit Now” assignment that’s designed to get you immediately working and achieving results.
“You can use one giant, crazy, unbelievably powerful tactic,” Formichelli says, “but it’s even more effective to combine several tactics at the same time.”
There are three tactics from the book that are especially relevant to small business owners.
- “Check in with yourself” — One of the challenges of being your own boss is policing yourself. With your many responsibilities and no one to ensure you’re staying on task, it’s easy to get sidetracked. Formichelli advises, “Set a timer to go off at regular intervals, and when it does, you check in and ask yourself whether what you’re doing at that moment is furthering your goals.”
- “Overwhelm your goal with sheer numbers” — Formichelli believes people too often “baby-step” toward a goal and are frustrated by slow results. “Instead of piddling around sending out a sales letter here and there, send out 300,” she writes. “Instead of calling one store every day to ask if they’ll carry your product, call 50 a day.” This is massive action.
- “Hire Help” — Whether for financial, personal, or other reasons, small business owners tend to want to do everything by themselves. But Formichelli encourages small business owners to hire help when appropriate. “Hiring people not only gets tasks done quicker and better, but it creates accountability. You paid someone to help you do design, or market, or write, and they’ll expect you to get serious about your business and give them what they need to get the job done.” As an added bonus, you will be freed up to do what you do best for your business and one of your hires may even serve as a mentor like figure.
Formichelli believes many business owners already have a good idea of what’s holding them back from committing, but they don’t do anything about it. The biggest problem, she says, is the initial resistance people feel before setting out to accomplish a task or goal. “You want to do it, you’re all fired up, but something in you just says ‘no,'” she says. “It’s subtle, and many people try to label it — ‘fear of success,’ ‘fear of failure,’ whatever. But it’s all resistance.”
Ultimately, the reason is irrelevant. You need to move in spite of that resistance. Commit can help get you going in the right direction.
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