Saturday, January 19, 2013

What's holding you back?

 At our breakfast meetings, one participant gets to share a challenge she is currently facing, and then we brainstorm solutions. So it was interesting this week that at both the Toronto and Oakville breakfasts the challenges raised were the same -  procrastination.

It was one that we could all identify with, as many of us have been guilty of putting off something that is important but we don’t want to do.

I remember years ago when I had a business coach I was always very diligent about getting my “homework” done, except for this one assignment.  Ironically it was around social media and after a few weeks of nothing being done, my coach challenged me on why this was.

Bottom line it wasn’t something that interested me at the time and being busy, I just relegated it to the bottom of my “to-do” list. I also didn’t really know how to begin and questioned the value of embarking on such a strategy.

Likewise, the women at our breakfasts were doing the same.  As we probed further, it became clear that like me, this wasn’t an aspect of their business that turned their crank, but they also knew it had to happen.

In my instance, we recognized that I didn’t have to be the one to implement a social media campaign, I could contract it out or draw on the expertise of others to make it happen. But sometimes when you are starting out, that is just not an option, the budget just isn’t there.  So what can you do?

The women in the group came up with lots of ideas, and here are just some of their suggestions:

1.              Book time in your calendar to get the work done.
2.              If you are feeling overwhelmed, break down the work involved into small, more manageable tasks
3.              Eat your frog – make it something you tackle first – so you start to make a dent in the work to be done.
4.              Ask yourself why you are avoiding the task, and if it has indeed, got to be done.
5.              If it is not in your skill set, maybe barter with someone else to get the work done.
6.              In the case of producing a monthly newsletter, collect information all month so that when it is time to pull it together, you have the different components already at hand.

In my case, we set up a committee to come up with recommendations on social media, and later I got a grant to hire someone to implement it.  Today, social media is something I have not only embraced but am an active player, which just goes to show that once you get over your fear of the unknown, and welcome the chance to learn new skills, you can change your mind.  You just have to be open to the opportunity.

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