Ever look up the long winding path in front of you and think to yourself, “I will NEVER in a million years reach the top”? And yet, if you continue to take one step at a time, soon enough you will be looking back at that long winding path and think, “Wow, look at how far I’ve come in what seems like no time at all.”
In business (and in life), typically when you start out on a long and winding path, you can’t see the top or even the entire route ahead of you. Perhaps all you can see if the daunting rock wall straight ahead, the one the guidebooks assure you leads to a false summit. The only thing you can do is set a direction and take one step at a time.
Why Focusing on the Very Next Step is the Key
It’s ridiculous to imagine that you would start off from the trail head and in a single leap, jump to the top of the mountain. Or that you could take all 50,892 steps at once. And yet that’s often how we approach our businesses, expecting to get there in a single leap or by tackling all the steps at once.
Thinking that it’s simply a matter of leaping ahead and skipping all the steps is at best naïve and at worst, a grave shortcut that will cost you more steps than you save. Trying to tackle all the steps at once often leads to overwhelm and leaves you with the same amount of unfinished tasks. Both equal no forward momentum at all.
Taking It One Task at a Time While Focusing on the End Goal
Keep your chin up and focus on where you want to end up, but set your foot down right in front of you. That means tackling the one task that needs to be done to keep things moving along. Sometimes that means halting your forward progress to train an assistant or address technical challenges that are ultimately slowing you down.
Start at the beginning. Entrepreneurs are notorious for racing ahead in steps and trying to tackle the tasks that are fun and exciting and leaving the foundational steps for later. A good start is better than trying to rush ahead only to have to retrace and redo missed steps.
Finish each step before taking the next one! It’s a mistake to think that momentum means jumping quickly from task to task. Firmly plant each footstep before taking another so you don’t backslide on a misplaced footstep. Rushing ahead often costs more time on going back and redoing tasks that weren’t fully completed.
Check your compass! It’s easy to get lost in the woods, especially when you are lowdown in the valleys and can’t see above the trees. Continually check your course against your goals and make sure that each step you make it on track!
Remember, when building a sustainable business, what you do along the way matters. Choose your steps carefully and you will create a foundation that will serve you for years to come! Rush ahead too fast and you will be retracing your steps to find the path you should have taken to begin with.