Transcription of the How To Get Started episode of the podcast Doers Shakers Makers with Sierra Bailey.
[00:05] Are there projects you keep putting off because you don’t know where to start or are you ever overwhelmed with what the first step to take is when you start something new? Today, we’ll talk about how to get started on projects and goals and what the first step usually is. My name is Sierra Bailey, welcome to Doers Shakers, Makers, a podcast for go-getters to inspire you in your business and life. So we all have those things in life we want to accomplish. Some are bigger than others and that’s a whole nother podcast episode, but none have never been done before, so we know that they’re possible. I had an art teacher who used to tell me in high school that there is never something that you’re going to do that has never been done before, so don’t think that you’re setting out to do something that is brand new and that is absolutely the first time anybody has ever done it.
[00:56] Just get over that and work on making it very you and putting your stamp on it. Most things that many of us are aiming to do in life have been done in some way. Even if you’re Elon Musk and you are trying to be the first person to have a colony on Mars, you’re not the first person to want to create a colony somewhere. But everything else that a lot of people are aiming to do has been done in some incarnation. I’m telling you this because when you start procrastinating and you think that you don’t know what to do or how to do something, there are definitely ways that you can do some research and figure out how to do them. I’ve been reading a lot this year about fear and about the things that make us not accomplish goals and other things that we want to do. And when I first started reading about it, I thought, I don’t have fear, I’ll do whatever! And then I started reading about it and the most common type of fear out there is procrastination and oh, am I a procrastinator.
[01:55] So it’s pretty interesting when you start looking into it. Different people have different ways that they define the different types of fear and the different types of things that hold us back. No matter what you call it. the most common type of fear and the most common type of thing that holds us all back is procrastination. So, I’m not going to approach this episode by talking about all the ways that we perhaps are not starting something, but I’m going to talk about the big ones, the ones that a larger portion of the population experience. Procrastination and people-pleasing seem to be the two biggest of those. And the procrastination is tied very much into perfectionism, so they’re hand in hand. A lot of the reason why people are not starting projects is a little bit of a combination between feeling like they’re not going to be good enough at it, because we have in this society become obsessed with, and maybe as women in this society, we’ve become obsessed with being perfect at things.
[02:51] However, I know a lot of men that go through this too. So, if what’s holding you back is that you basically are afraid that it won’t be like the best or whatever, you need to get over that and just ship it like you need to just ship it. The biggest thing that you can do to get going on a project or to work towards a goal is to really just take the smallest action. Part of it is that perfectionism, procrastination thing. But the other part of it is that we’re not really sure what to do, which is why I brought up that most things have been done before so that you know, okay, I am starting out something that I’m not 100% sure on how to do things, but I can look at some other people and how they’ve done them and get an idea of some of the actions I’m going to take.
[03:34] So, let’s talk about what I mean by the big goals, the big projects. So these are things like writing a book, traveling for many months at a time, starting a business, competing in a race of any sort, losing weight, quit working for a corporate job, or if you love working in corporate America, getting a big promotion, changing careers. These are big things that people talk about doing all the time and end up being overwhelmed with the scope of the project or the goal or not really knowing where to start or maybe in their mindset is a little skewed and they think that they can’t do it. Reminder, remember everybody’s done it before. Why can’t you? What separates those that do these things from the wishers? I mean it’s partly confidence, right? I would say some of its confidence, maybe not. Some of it is freedom and by freedom I mean that people often will say, I don’t have the time.
[04:24] I don’t have the money. I don’t have the knowledge. All of the things that make them feel like they’re stuck in something that they’re doing right now, that they can’t possibly move on to the something else. And I don’t mean stuck in the, they don’t have a place to go, but more of the um, we’ll say the trapped or they feel trapped that a lot of it is not having the confidence to move on, to think that you can because, hey, as we’ve talked about, somebody has done it before. Why can’t you? Then of course, as I already have touched on, there is the fear or maybe the lack of, which kind of ties in with that freedom issue. So the lack of experience or the lack of not knowing which step to take or not knowing how to go about it. Really these are just excuses and then, of course, there’s the taking of action, so those that don’t are not taking the action and those that do take the action.
[05:16] That’s a huge part of accomplishing things. It’s taking action and we’re going to get more to that in a little bit. Something that I love talking about is having a plan and that’s a lot of what separates the doers from the wishers. That the doers have a plan and that they understand that even if they have a plan, it’s not only okay to fail, but it’s okay to rewrite the plan. So you don’t have to stick 100% with the plan. In fact, I talk about that all the time. I don’t want you to stick 100% necessarily with the plan because when you’re in the process of taking action and doing things, a lot of opportunities come up. Some of that opportunity is useless and you should not do it. But some opportunities really cool and by your taking action and putting yourself in the places where luck can find you, really cool opportunities can open. So you shouldn’t be close to that and you should be willing to change complete direction.
[06:08] You never know where it will take you. I feel like in every episode it ends up with my talking about somehow making your goals, defining your goals, having a plan and all of that. But really, it’s because it is the basis of achieving the things that you want to in life. So quick reminder goals should be smart, S M A R T. Standing for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based. You want to make sure that when you have a goal and you define your goal, you are having one to three goals. And I like the one year, it’s really my happy place. But you also want to, you know, be looking like either the three to six month or the one year or the five year. You kind of want to be making them big enough that it’s taking 90 minutes a week of putting in work to achieve that goal.
[06:54] So these are bigger things. These are not just little things and we’ll come to what the little things are in a moment. So when you’re thinking of your goals, I’m going to break this down kind of as we go. I’m going to go with two examples. So one example of a goal is to start a podcast in 30 days. Great goal. It’s specific. It is in 30 days. So it’s measurable, it’s definitely achievable. You can find articles all over the place that talk about that it is relevant and it is time-based in those 30 days. Another example is, make $10,000 a month in your business by the end of 2019. Again, this reaches all of the SMART criteria. So you see how you want to have numbers involved. You want to have a deadline. Goals should actually have these things. They should not be vague or then it’s more like a vision, or a mission.
[07:41] But your goal should be very specific. You want to have an idea of what it means when you reach the goal. If it’s vague, “be successful!”. Who knows when that ever, “be in shape!”. These are not measurable goals. These are lovely ideas, but you have no idea what it actually means to reach it. All right, so once you create a goal, you want to create projects to reach each goal. So in these projects, let’s say you have your goal of, start a podcast in 30 days, the three projects that you would need to achieve in order to reach this goal, are, first project, decide the theme and prepare your content. The second project is set up the podcast tactically and the third project is your marketing plan for the launch. So when you’re creating the project, you’re defining it. You are writing down in your project who you need to help you do them, what tasks you need to do to get them done.
[08:32] And I will say I get stuck here, a lot, because a lot of the time I have no idea. When you have your own business and you’re doing creative work, I was talking to an author the other day about the difference of writing fiction and nonfiction. When you write nonfiction, you create the outline and then you fill in everything for that outline and it’s basically creating a plan and filling it in. So the perfect thing for those of us that enjoy strategy, and if you are writing fiction, you kind of go where the story takes you. That is perfect for those of us who like to take action and jump right in. Okay, no problem. We understand that there are two different ways of thinking, two different ways of people that like to have their projects. That’s fine. Not Everybody writes fiction. Not everybody writes nonfiction.
[09:15] Not Everybody writes. So there is no right or wrong way to do this. I’m just offering you a few tools to inspire you, shall we say. So if you’re struggling with this, you may have a jumping-off point. So after you create your projects and you can have a few of those. I did a whole podcast episode on creating projects and how many is too many and how many you can have going at once. And the magic number is seven at one time. So if you’re having three goals, having two to three projects per goal is something to strive for without completely overwhelming yourself. And remember that projects are just a way for you to take action on your goals and to define them and to figure out what to do every day. So that’s projects distilled down into action, which are going to become our daily tasks.
[09:59] Once you have those projects created, you’re going to plan out your weeks and your days by time blocking and having three tasks per day, not all necessarily from that same project, but from the projects in an overview. And a lot of people keep a project list. So you would have all seven of your projects on a master list and then when you’re creating your schedule each week you would do your brain dump and then you would refer to your master project list to look at the tasks that need to come up. Those are ways to plan. Now, what else gets in the way? As we mentioned with the things that separate the doers from the wishers, the things that get in the way are fear. So it’s basically understanding that you just have to do it with the fear, which brings us to mindset. You’re going to have to shift your mindset and there are a lot of books on that and a lot of people have different things that have to do with mindset.
[10:49] Maybe you need to be working with a therapist to work through some things that are really holding you back. Maybe you need to spend time each week working on motivating yourself and understanding the why of why you’re doing this or what your objectives are. I like to focus on the word objectives instead of the why, but it just depends on the way that you feel about it. So spending a little time understanding why you’re working on this or what the point is of doing this will help a lot of people move forward on things. You also need to have support. You may need to find new friends. If everybody in your life are naysayers and say that you can’t do things, well don’t talk to those people because if you are very committed to getting big goals accomplished, you can’t be hanging around with people that either don’t do anything with their lives or are not being supportive of you.
[11:31] And I don’t mean to sound harsh, and it does not mean that you can’t talk to them anymore, but don’t spend all of your time with people like that. Surround yourself with amazing people who want to accomplish things and lift you up and spend less time with those that sit around doing nothing and talking negatively. You also can get an accountability partner. You can join a group like the Doers Shakers Makers group on Facebook, link in the show notes and can also do something like join a mastermind group and I actually have something along those lines coming soon. So stay tuned for that. You can gather three to five friends, commit to meeting bi-weekly or weekly. You really want to know more than monthly if possible and to keep each other accountable as a group. That’s a great way to stay on task. So what is the first step?
[12:13] I said in the beginning, I’m going to tell you that there is usually one first step. You know what that is? It’s jumping in. The first step is just taking any action. If you’re strategic, the first step is creating the plan. Like I’ve talked about defining your goals, creating the projects, getting your action points. But if you are an action-oriented person and you are overwhelmed with creating the plan, just do anything to start you off. It could be research, it could be buying a domain name, it could be making a phone call. It could be anything that is related to your project to get you going because momentum and motion draw from each other. It’s physics, objects that are in motion, stay in motion, so you want to get yourself in motion. And so often this is something that I go through all of the time.
[13:01] So often I will just say, I’m just going to pick up a pen and start writing. And before you know it, I have worked through the whole project that I’ve been putting off for weeks. That actually happened this morning. So I’m really, I’m speaking from some strong experience right now. I kept putting it off and putting it off. I didn’t really know where to start. And then I got irritated with myself and just said, you just have to start and at this point know myself. But that is what holds me back a lot of the time. One, that striving for perfectionism, that ends up making me procrastinate and two, that just jumping in and doing something. That is the most important thing to get started on a project or goal. Just picking something and taking action. All right, so I’m going to take us through the two examples that I gave a little bit ago about the podcast in 30 days and the making $10,000 a month in your business.
[13:53] So let’s start with the example of starting a podcast in 30 days. And I’m going to go quickly through this. Not all of the details will be included, but you’ll get the idea a little bit better. All right, so you’ve defined your goal. Now you have to figure out what has to happen and set your milestones and work backward. As we talked about, to figure out what has to happen, you’re going to divide them into projects. With this one, deciding the theme and preparing your content, setting up your podcast technically and creating a marketing plan for the launch are all three projects that will be filled with tasks. When you have projects, you could have small projects that are six to seven tasks. Now as this is a 30-day goal that you’re working on, perhaps some of this will include small projects because you’re not working on 4 year long project timelines.
[14:41] So you’re going to like I said, set your milestones. The biggest one obviously is that if you’re starting the podcast in 30 days, you’re going to launch 30 days from when we are starting this. So that means launch date, 30 days out and then start working backward. I like to use something electronic, digital, to set up reminders so I actually can see the time counting down and that it reminds me of things. If you go that way, set it up in your calendar or your list maker digitally. If you use paper, you can draw it out. You’re going to add your action items to those projects. So we’ll use the second project, set up technically as an example. Some of the tasks in there will be to get a domain name, research and find a host, sign up for the host, determine your recording equipment, order your equipment, decide how to edit, are you going to DIY or hire out?
[15:33] There are action tasks within each of those depending on what you decide and on and on and on. So that is how you figure out the tasks. Now, like I said in the beginning, sometimes when you’re creating a project you don’t really know all of the tasks. I think it’s fine to just write down the first few and then go from there. I work well in that method. If you need to have them all written out, that’s fine too. Just don’t use it as a way to procrastinate and then the last thing is to just do it. Just pick one thing and jump in. I love that the podcast in 30 days is a pretty quick one so if you have like a 30-day task ahead of you, you better get started. If you have three projects, you either could work on a little bit of each project each week or you can be working on one project at a time.
[16:15] First, the marketing plan because that should start immediately. That’s where you’re getting a little short on time there. Then decide on the theme and prepare. Then set up technically. So, you can either work on the projects in tandem or you can work on the projects one at a time. Now the second one, set a goal. This is a little vaguer because, we’re just saying make $10,000 a month in your business by the end of 2019, so it depends on what your business is. Without knowing your business, I’ll keep it vague. What has to happen? What are your milestones? You need to work backward. Obviously, if you’re going to make $10,000 a month, you need clients or customers and depending on if you sell a service or a product, will obviously depend on the amount of things that you have to sell or the amount of people you have to talk to or all of this.
[17:02] If you sell on multiple revenue streams, you can divide it up more. There’ll be a lot of math involved. As I said, and keeping it kind of vague. It’s an example. Let’s say you’re in sales of some type. Project one, would be to determine what you have to do to get the number of sales. In this case it would be if you need two sales to make $10,000 each month, and in order to get those two sales you have to talk to 10 people and have 100 leads, then your project will actually be: get 100 leads in x amount of time. So if you’re aiming to do this in a month, it would be to get 100 leads for every month. That would be your project and then you would break down the steps and what you have to do in order to get those leads.
[17:46] You may then actually say, what do you need to do to get the conversations as your next project and your third project, what do you need to get the two sales? Or you can have them all under one of two sales per month, because depending on what you do, you may have other projects that help you get to that goal. For example, it could be, another project could be marketing. Another project could be creating a new service or a new revenue stream or something that you can offer. So it kind of depends on what you’re doing on that. So if you have, let’s say a product, you would take, your amount of sales that you want to get, I would break it down per week. It’s usually a good way to go with products per day is very stressful, per month is very big and then you would say, what avenues do I have right now that brings in sales?
[18:41] Where can I put, or where should I put time and money? Where is the best ROI? What do I need to do? If you’re selling through multiple revenue streams, how much are you now and how much do you think you can grow percentage wise per month? Those sales, like I said, lots of math can be done, but anything you’re trying to accomplish, even something like I need to make an extra $2,000 a month. It can be broken down into bite sized tasks to reach those goals. You’re breaking down into a project and then breaking that project down into tasks that you can take action on, but remember what is the most important thing that you can do? It is to take action. So as a reminder, once you get those projects and you break them down into your tasks, you’re then going to put them into your weekly schedule and you’re going to block them in your schedule and make sure that you are doing something every day and every week to get towards your goals.
[19:25] So that is how to get started on a project or goal. Really, it’s how to complete a project or goal. But really the how to get started, take action. And in order to take action, you need to address your fear, change your mindset, have solid support, and figure out what your plan is so you know what you should be doing, because the best way to get started is to just jump right in and start taking action. Well, thank you for joining me today. My name is Sierra Bailey, and this is Doers Shakers Makers, a podcast for go getters. If you enjoyed this, please subscribe. And if you’re listening with apple podcasts, rating and reviewing helps me get found. I’ll be back next Monday, to keep you inspired and get you doing, shaking, making.
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