'PLANNING' vs 'DOING': STRIKING A BALANCE
One of the things I have had to consciously think about when setting up two businesses, and indeed throughout my time being self-employed, is finding the balance between 'planning' and 'doing'.
I have been guilty of staying in the planning and preparing phase for too long sometimes, but on the other hand, that has made the 'doing' an efficient and successful process. It's hard to know exactly what the right balance is here, and I think everyone needs to find their own way. But here's what has worked for me.
PLANNING, PREPARING, AND DOING THE WORK
I want to get this right, to consciously create a business that I love and that serves others. As such, I have really enjoyed thinking this through, and figuring out what I can do for potential clients. I've carved out the time to be able to take my time building this business, which is lovely, but it can also make me lazy, or at the very least disinclined to launch anything before I feel it's perfect. But... it is likely I'll never think it's perfect! And ultimately, done is better than perfect.
I don't want to launch with 'nothing'. I want potential clients to be able to get to know me. To be able to find useful information and insights on my website. To have access to awesome resources. And the creation of all of that takes time. But I need to prioritise and draw a line somewhere: I need to have something there when I launch, but it doesn't have to be everything!
I need and want to keep learning, and improving, so I have tried to schedule some 'training' or self-development time into every day. I have a long list of things I want to read and learn, training courses I want to complete, and podcasts or audiobooks I want to listen to. But I know that if I do all of that before I start doing the work, then the work will never get done. I'll keep finding new things I want to learn - not as a form of procrastination, just because there are countless experts and resources out there. By chipping away at this daily, I feel I am consistently developing and improving my work, whilst getting things done. And if in three months I learn something that's a game-changer, I can always amend my business to reflect that.
How has this manifested so far? I write this on 29 April 2018, before my business is officially launched. I have been building the website for about a month, creating content, slowly building up a bit of a social media presence so that people can get to know who I am and what I stand for, refreshing my knowledge and learning new things. But I felt like I could carry on in this phase endlessly, despite setting 'launch' deadlines for myself. I wanted and needed to make this real by getting something out there. So, I very quietly published a holding page for my website, added the URL to my Instagram and LinkedIn pages, and invited people to sign up for updates when the business fully launched.
Not only was this really rewarding and made me feel like I was making progress, it was also motivating as I can't keep a holding page up forever! Additionally, it has been a great way to test the concept of the business, and begin a mailing list of interested parties.
PUSH YOURSELF TO MOVE FORWARD
Think about what small things you can do today to move your business forward, if you feel like you're stuck in the 'planning' phase. Work out a way to strike a balance in the long term, but most importantly, just do something - it will feel scary, but great.