As we reflect on the past year and sharing all about our biggest wins, challenges, and how we overcame them, I wanted to share a common theme of the BIGGEST business lesson that you (and I) have been learning. Perseverance. Especially for people who are starting out in business, or have a new-ish arm in business, it definitely takes a lot of time and energy in order to see the fruit of your hard labor.
So let’s talk today about: Perseverance.
Because there’s a lot of messages in the online space that you CAN build a business quickly, and easily, and you CAN, but you just have to persevere long enough to really see the the results you created when you do what you set out to do.
I wanted to harp on two things: the mindset and a practical strategy for perseverance.
The Mindset: The Difference Between a Growth Mindset v. a Fixed Mindset
If you have a fixed mixed, that means you can’t change anything, just give in to your life circumstances, and just ride it out. A growth mindset is much more empowering, creative, and resourceful, because you have the ability to grow and change. The key distinction for a growth mindset is that you have the ability to create a clear vision and set goals, but also have the ability to reflect back and recognize your progress.
That’s the biggest key in developing perseverance, is acknowledging your progress — seeing how far you’ve actually come.
When you do that, and actually look back on your journey and reflect on how much you’ve grown, how much you’re done, and the skills you’ve honed, and did the things you didn’t think was possible — just that exercise of doing that will motivate you to go more.
Todd Herman calls this the OWW brain v. the WOW brain, really reflecting on your progress to see how far you’ve come, and CELEBRATING that, and recognizing your progress.
That’s why I start off every coaching session with clients with:
What’s been your progress since the last time we’ve talked? What have you accomplished? What are some wins that you’ve had? What have you learned?
We start there because it develops that growth mindset, and clients have a sense of progress, accomplishments, and realization that they are creating a milestone in the journey of long, entrepreneurial journey. If you do this on a regular basis, you'll develop that sense of progress and perseverance.
The Practical Strategy: Short-Term Projects
People get tripped up knowing the difference between creating a vision (long-term big picture, what’s important, your legacy, your values) and having shorter term goals and projects. We can have long-term vision but break it down into shorter goals into a 90-day framework, and even smaller weekly projects.
When you’re doing a project, it’s important to give yourself shorter deadlines, so you’re working on sprints, rather than longer marathons. So creating a project and developing a project around a specific question you may have like:
How do I get my first client? What social media platform should I spend my time on? Do I do workshops as a way to grow my visibility?
By designing a project around a question, you’re able to test and tweak, and DO IT without wasting a lot of time and resources. This will help you get feedback and information to inform you to create your next project.
Again, if you think of of perseverance like doing a business marathon, these projects can be like doing a shorter sprint. By doing that, you are developing the muscles to DO THE WORK, and also REFLECT back to see what’s working and what’s not working.
An example of a project was how I got my first client. My question was: Can I combine the inner work of coaching and the visual representation of creativity to teach a workshop? I have no idea if it was going to work, but I gave myself one month to try it. Officially, I collaborated with a local artist, launch the workshop, used materials I knew to teach it, and my first client came from a person who attended that workshop. By giving myself that deadline, I was able to work more efficiently, and at the end of that workshop, I was able to see: I loved collaboration, I loved teaching, and doing it in a group. I also learned some things I didn’t want to do, but that kind of helped to inform me how to change things to work on my next project.
Every time you finish a project, that’s going to help you develop that perseverance.
I hope your takeaway is this: just keep going. And also taking to time to reflect to see: what’s working, and what’s not working. You’ll be able to grow and create success in your business.
Now, I’d love to hear from you: What’s YOUR biggest business lesson from this year? Comment below and SHARE this article with your friends if you found it helpful!