A few years back when I lived in Virginia, I wanted to attend my sister’s new baby boy’s baptism…. so we opted for a ROAD TRIP. At the time we lived in Virginia and they lived in Denver, Colorado so we actually took the crazy task of driving!
Yup, I packed up the family and drove from Virginia to Colorado.
While I was driving and of course on vacation, the thought that kept coming to me was a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. That’s such a huge concept to really embrace in our lives and in our business.
Because guess what, we absolutely would never have gotten to Denver if we never had gotten in the car and taken the first step and all the steps that followed.
Owning and growing a business is a journey
It’s totally the same thing in our business. We all have massive goals and huge dreams and a vision of what we want our lives to be and we’re only going to get there, we’re only going to arrive at that destination if you are committed to taking small, tiny steps along the way.
What I found as an interesting metaphor was very evident on our Denver road trip. We would drive for 8 to 10 hours, but we had to stop for the night. We weren’t going to literally drive for 24 hours straight. You have to realize there was me, my husband, my three children that were 6, 11, and 14 almost, and my mom was with us so we had a car full. It’s a nice comfortable car, we have the DVD and the heated seats and all this fun stuff. But hey, we got tired, right? We were cramped up in that car and we had to stop. We had to get out of the car, we had to take potty breaks. We had to get back in the car and keep driving. We had to stop and have our lunch breaks, get back in the car and keep driving. We had to stop for the night, totally out of the car for at least eight hours and then get back in the car and keep driving What I found was that there are parallels between what we were doing on our family road trip and what we have to do when our business.
We were taking those tiny steps every hour, every single day and those steps add up.
You will eventually end up having been on a journey of 1,000 miles at some point in our business and in our lives, and during that journey we get tired and we have to take those breaks. While one this family trip, I was kind of taking a little break from my business and it sort of stressed me out a little bit. It’s like oh my gosh, I’m not doing all the things I normally do. What am I going to do? I’ve got to make sure I’m focused. I’ve got to get back in the game.
But I had to take a step back and remind myself that while I’m focused on taking my journey of a thousand miles I also need to make sure that I’m taking small baby steps every single day and taking a break from it every once in awhile.
How to get back in the game after taking a needed break
So after you take your much needed break, I want to offer a few tips of what I do to get myself back in the game after taking a few days or in this case 14+ days off.
Claiming to be “not working” is relative since I live the laptop lifestyle. While on vacation, I am still on wake up calls, attending webinars, replying to emails, but I’m just not super active like I normally am.
So when I finally ramp up to start working again, I start working on my to-do list and on a list of the projects that I want to make sure that have the utmost attention. There are definitely tasks that I know are more important than others.
It starts with being organized
In business you have to prioritized your to-do list and project list.
After taking some time for yourself, you need to setup yourself up for success when we returning from a much needed break by simply being organized. When you finally dive back in to working, you absolutely need to know what it is that you’re looking to do when you get back into it and then it’s super easy to jump right back in and become productive without having a lot of downtime.
The one thing for me that I have certainly found is when I’m not organized then I waste time. When I have not clearly mapped out what I really should be doing, and I sit back down to my computer after an extended break, I don’t accomplish anything. I can spend half the morning “on something” but can quickly realize it was probably a whole lot of nothing because I wasn’t organized and I just didn’t have my stuff situated.
So that’s what I want you to think about. As we’re walking through this thing called life and business and while we’re reaching towards our larger goals, we need to take steps every single day and we need to be organized.
While still on my roadtrip, I knew I had to get organized before I got back. I knew I had to review my to do list and make a commitment to myself. Sure, it would of been a lot easier to watch that movie and hang out and laugh and joke and play and not pay attention to the things I needed to do.
Embrace taking small steps daily in building your business
You need to make sure you are embracing the concept of taking small steps to build your business. Don’t underestimate the importance of actually making that commitment to yourself that this is something that you’re going to accomplish and you are committed to taking a small step forward each and every day in your business.
So what is your small step for the day? What is it? Are you going to make sure that you don’t go to bed tonight before it’s accomplished? If you’re like me, you probably need to have it planned out a little bit farther ahead. I have my absolute necessary to do’s already planned out for the next few weeks and then of course I’m flexible. If something else comes up and I have to fit something else in, it’s totally fine, but as long as I know what that step should look like, as long as I know what it is I’m looking to accomplish, then what happens is a month goes by and I look back and I’m like, wow, I accomplished a lot of stuff.
The key is to commit to those small daily tasks.
Yes, you’re going to have obstacles and frustration. Yes, you are going to face fears and uncertainties on your journey.
On our roadtrip, I didn’t know where we were going to stop for hotels. I wasn’t really sure where we were going to eat. I was scared to death driving over the mountains with my minivan, with the UHaul attached to the back of me, but we just plugged away mile after mile after mile and we got there.
So in your business, that stuff is gonna come up. And so it’s almost as if you go ahead and set your mind to understand, it’s going to happen, you’re going to be okay.
You’re going to have moments where those tiny steps feel like it’s a mile all by themselves.
Every single step can feel overwhelming at some point, but you just have to not let it. And if you know what your goal is, if you absolutely know what your today’s goal is, then that’s how you’re going to get to that long goal.
Because guess what? When we started our road trip, I didn’t start out by saying I’m going to get to Denver in one day. That’s my goal. That’s the eye on the prize. I’m not going to look at anything else. No. I looked at Lexington, Kentucky first and then I looked Kansas City, Missouri, and then I looked at Hays, Kansas and then I was so excited to read that first city sign right inside the line of Colorado. I don’t remember the name of it, but it was very cold and we stopped and we took the pictures outside the Welcome to Colorado and that was fun except for it was really, really cool and then when we reach that moment that that was a lovely milestone and then four hours later we arrived in Denver.
So it was the concentration on the incremental steps along the way that really got us to our destination and it’s absolutely the same way in your business. And I know many folks want to know how am I going to do it right now. We want it all now. We want it all now and sometimes we don’t want to break down the smaller steps that are needed to actually get to the end goal. That’s critical and it’s crucial to your success.
So focus on the small steps today, then tomorrow and then the next day, and next day and next day. Until today becomes tomorrow. This will totally get you where you’re looking to be in the long run. Remember this, it’s such a lovely Chinese proverb. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step and you can do it as long as you focus on what you’re ready to accomplish today.