If you’re looking to build more profit in your business and create more freedom in your life, you need to make sure you’re making meaningful progress, day after day.
I’m the kind of person who rips a Band-Aid quickly. I prefer to dash into the cold water, and get it over with, rather than wade in slowly. In the words of Samantha Power, I try to “get where I’m gonna get.”
But I also understand that not everyone’s like that, and one way isn’t better than the other. Everything’s a tradeoff. My way is faster, but riskier. The slow way is, well, slower, but it’s more deliberate.
So the point isn’t that there’s a superior way—there are multiple ways of getting where you’re trying to get. The important thing is that you’re actually getting there.
One benefit of my way of doing things is that it becomes clear quite quickly whether it worked or not. If the Band-Aid’s still attached, I did it wrong. If I’m still standing on the beach, I’m not swimming like I came here to do. If I’m not making progress toward achieving my goals, I’m not getting closer to what I want out of life.
The slower approach allows for more nuance, and therefore more self-deception. I’m not procrastinating, I’m thinking about it. I’m not avoiding the conflict, I’m preparing. I’m not standing on the beach, I’m getting ready to wade in.
If you’re trying to build more profit in your business, so you can get what you ultimately want out of life—whether that’s more freedom, more time with your family, more vacation, or simply more money in the bank—you need to put in concentrated, consistent effort in the right direction. It’s not the sort of thing you can wish your way into.
If you’ve made the decision to act because you know it’s what’s best for you—and you’ve thought it through, all the way to the end—you have to act. You can’t negotiate terms with the scared part of brain on how or when, because it will always try to keep you from moving forward.
And that means you have to know whether you’re actually making progress or not, or whether you’re still negotiating with yourself. For that, you need clear, articulated, stated goals. And you need to be tracking your progress toward them.
Start by taking some time to identify what you truly want, more than anything. And that means being honest with yourself about whether you’d prefer to make progress or stay comfortable—because you can only have one of those things at a time.
Next, write down clear, measurable goals, with attached timelines. When will you do this, and how will you know it’s been achieved? How does it relate to your overall strategy, and in what specific way will achieving it get you closer to what you ultimately want?
You should never be planning to work toward a goal—you’re either working toward it or you’re not. If your goals allowed for that much wiggle room, they weren’t clear enough and they probably weren’t written down.
My way isn’t better. I have to practice consciously slowing down to avoid making mistakes of haste. Everything is a tradeoff.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how long it takes us—progress is progress. But it does matter if we’re merely stalling or avoiding.
Take as much time as you need.
But get where you’re gonna get.