Tweak Your Biz » Growth » Taking the Irreversible Step

Taking the Irreversible Step



ChoicesDecision point.

Choice 1: Keep talking about your vision as a wish. Notice the difficulties, the reasons you can’t make changes to your business. Stay focused on your limited resources and muddle along.

Choice 2: Take a hard look at your vision and act on it to make it reality.

On paper, it looks easy. We want to be the heroes of our dreams. We know we have the talent and the dedication to build our businesses to their peaks. Of course, we pick choice #2.

But…

We intimidate ourselves. We know that having a vision for your organisation is more than a fantasy of what your business could be. It is scary to act on our desires. It sounds so grandiose when we tell someone what we most want from our work and how it will enhance not only our lives but their lives as well.

Is it okay to have what you want? We have these inner voices telling us to keep our heads down, keep the noise down. Our Inner Saboteur feeds on our anxiety about change. We wonder if people will still love us or  if we can tolerate rejection. It asks us, “who do you think you are?” We see successful people get knocked down in commentary and ordinary conversation because they were bold and determined to see their vision come to fruition. We become fearful that we will be exposed and alone, maybe even failures.

So we sit in limbo and feel the pain of our indecision. Maybe the thrill of the early days of starting up your business has worn off. Maybe you’ve been in business a while and it feels like a treadmill. It is hard to embrace a new role when you’re holding on your previous identity. We have implicit and explicit beliefs about money and success and our feelings about them get triggered when we are indecisive. They make our heads swivel from future to past. How do you walk forward when your eyes are looking backwards?

What do you truly want your business to manifest? Nobody ever said it had to be a grand gesture. Nobody even said you had to be fearless about getting into action. In a recent conversation about decision-making, my daughter looked at me and said, “If there is something you can do, there’s nothing you can’t do.” From the mouths of babes comes simple wisdom. We complicate things too much with our thinking. Sometimes the boldest thing to do is a little thing. Changing language on your web site, making one phone call, asking for help, or hiring a coach might be your business development steps.

Now, stop talking about your business. You’re at a decision point. You know what you want and you know what the obstacles are. Can you be a better leader? A better manager? This is beyond your dream time. It is now time to commit and act. To be fair, you can stay where you are. It is safer and more certain. This is an action you can take. You know your business will be all right because you’ve come this far. But…what if you want more?

What are you making real? There’s no going back. The irreversible step is the one when you take an action, big or small, that develops your business further. It is the first step in a process that gains in energy and momentum as you see how powerful and talented you really are.

Will you choose to stay where you are or make your vision real?

What is your irreversible step?

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The Author:

Elli St.George Godfrey guides small business owners as they expand in their own community or internationally using her 3 Keys Coaching process helps clients not only navigate growth stages. With each stage of the 3 Keys coaching process, we tackle strategic planning, goal setting, managing change, organizational development and managing the stress and feelings of overwhelm that often plague small to mid-size business owners and executives. This results in clients feeling confident in identifying and developing strategies to be more effective leaders, plan more creatively, increase revenues and overcome the fears and obstacles that interfere with building thriving small to mid-sized businesses. I am also Chief Community Manager of Kaizen Biz and Host of Twitter chat, #KaizenBiz (a chat that uses the concept of "kaizen" for continual improvement in how we think and act in business). Please visit www.abilitysuccessgrowth.com/about/ to learn more and I look forward to meeting you in a complimentary coaching session. http://www.abilitysuccessgrowth.com

Add Your Comment

  • http://www.btbtraining.com/blog Niall Devitt

    Hi Elli, great post and a really interesting perspective. I have often thought that choice can easily act as a hindrance to taking action, what do you think? Thanks for stimulating as always :-)

  • http://www.consultingexcellence.ie Jackie Prendergast

    Elli – another really great post. You are so right about moving forward – I definitely think the one thing that often stops us is that we constantly look for the big thing that will make a difference. So perhaps it is time to refocus and recognise that the small things done well and continuously can propel is forward just the same.

  • http://www.TonyJohnston.biz/ Tony Johnston

    It’s a good thing there aren’t too many picket fences in the business world or else we would likely see lots of great people struggling stuck on top of them. Elli’s article here should help business owners and CEOs avoid that fate as long as once they get through reading her great advice, they think / decide / act without hesitation or regret. Come on now Guys & Gals, seriously, you CAN do it.

  • Anonymous

    Niall,

    Research is showing that too many choices makes decision-making too difficult. In this case, the choice is simple but life-altering. That is where it gets complicated. Degas is quoted as saying that “self-doubt kills ability.” This is why we take so much time prolonging whether or not to take our businesses to more sophisticated levels.

  • Anonymous

    Jackie,

    The silver bullet, the big break don’t really exist. When we see someone become successful, we don’t see the little things he/she did so it seems like they got a big break. It’s the analogy of eating the elephant. You can only eat the elephant one bite at a time.

  • Anonymous

    Very true, very true! It’s just amazing how much we build up all that stuff in an effort to not succeed! Once you break through, you often wonder why you made all that fuss about it as well. As they say, if it doesn’t kill you….

  • Anonymous

    Tony,

    Your enthusiasm is contagious! Thank you for the kind words!

  • Anonymous

    Lewis,

    Love that last bit about “if it doesn’t kill you…” I suppose you might have been paraphrasing Nietzche but it also suggests the possibility of going forward and letting things progress until you reach your vision. And yes, we do make a lot of fuss which makes going forward rather anticlimatic. LOL

  • http://www.getresults.com GetResults

    Great points, Elli. And you are quite right. The first step – any first step – can not be reversed. The very act of taking the step changes your perspective and consequently, changes everything. Going back is impossible. Perhaps that’s why the first step is sometimes never taken. The fear takes over, paralysis sets in and the comfort of the Same Old Stuff prevails. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.inclinedesign.info CASUDI

    I have seen business owners not take those small decisive steps, that could move them forward in a positive direction, and instead they wait for the big break. And of course we all know what happens to those that “wait”. This is where even minimal coaching can be very effective in not only the first step implemented (the irreversible first one) but a slow (or not so slow) build on that first step. The choice is always there, however the incentive to make the choice often needs reinforcement. Vision without implementation is hallucination! Great discussion. @CASUDI

  • http://blog.myprojecttracker.com Barney Austen

    Hi Elli. Another great post – fair play. The irreversible step is something to be embraced rather than feared. As many of us have pointed out in the past in various guises within posts, this is easier said than done!

  • http://twitter.com/MiriamAhern Miriam Ahern

    Very interesting post Elli. Every business no matter how big or small should have a clear vision. I work with companies to extrapolate that vision out into a mission statement and values statements. I find this helps with the subsequent strategic planning process as it lends great clarity to the direction and intent of the enterprise. Your point is well made, that first tenuous step is often the tipping point that you need.

  • Anonymous

    John,

    Your point about the change in perspective may be the most misunderstood part of the process. Once you’ve opened your mind up to see a different way, you cannot be the same every again! This is true even if you don’t take that first step.

  • Anonymous

    CASUDI,

    Ooh, “vision without implementation is hallucination.” The power of the mind is formidable! Your point about choice needing reinforcement makes so much sense. Perhaps this why it is so crucial to join a community whether it is in the form of a mastermind group, an industry group, or a networking group of like-minded professionals. Coupled with having a mentor or a coach, it is easier to take those forward steps.

  • Anonymous

    Barney,

    I’ve noticed this trend about how hard it is to choose to move forward with our businesses in a bolder, more determined way too. As I observe my clients, other busines owners/leaders, and myself, I wonder if this is really the biggest obstacle to building the thriving business we envision. Sure, funding and staffing are frequently obstacles but the fear of change is so incredibly powerful.

  • Anonymous

    Miriam,

    Your work is so important! The inclusion of a values statement grounds people in why the work is important which can make the operational plan so much easier to execute. You’re right! Tenuous they may be but first steps can be the tipping point.

  • http://www.wchingya.com wchingya

    It’s the little steps that count — that’s the phrase came into my mind as I read through your brilliant article, Elli. True, there’s always a little voice (but impactful enough) that telling us to stop realizing our dreams, for it’ll never happen — the so-called reality check but never really was, entirely, the real voice. ‘To commit and act’ — that’s the word that hits me. If we manage to take even baby steps forward, we’ll see a whole new level of faith and life lesson that will carry us further, closer to our dreams.

    @wchingya
    Social/Blogging Tracker

  • http://www.carltonprmarketing.com/ BobbieC

    I like the “stop talking” point especially — the just start “doing” is the hardest part of starting any project.

  • http://www.getresults.com GetResults

    Elli,

    Yes, indeed, the rabbit is out of the hat and Heisenberg was right. Good
    point! John

  • Anonymous

    @wchingya,

    Your comment is so beautifully written! The “whole new level of faith and life lessons” is definitely was carries us. Each step is an affirmation of our abilities. I was looking at my garden today with the spring flowers just emerging. They don’t just bloom. It is a slow process to the bountiful but it is always up and out.

  • Anonymous

    @bobbiec1

    Thanks for noticing that point. While I can be great talker also, the frustration of stagnating can be so painful. And all we do with our talking is reinforce our fears. Sure the fear is there but so is our ability. We are amazing and talented people!

  • http://marketingpartners.ca Jon Aston

    That is your most powerful piece yet, Elli. Very inspirational. Made me think of one of Eleanor Roosevelt’s more famous quotes: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

  • Anonymous

    Jon,

    Thank you so much! Eleanor Roosevelt is one of my heroines! The beauty of one’s dreams is what fuels the passion to go through the highs, lows, and the days of drudgery! Let’s go make our future!

  • Anonymous

    Elli,

    Great post. It is phenomenal the amount of barriers we through in own path to success. It is not as if it is not challenging enough out there without us making things worse. Love Irreversible step, it is amazing how suddenly these barriers disappear once we make that sometimes effortless 1st Irreversible step.

  • Anonymous

    Greg,

    Things are challenging enough without putting anything additional in our path but we do. You are so right about how barriers disappear! It can seem anticlimactic at times. Thank you so much for your comment!

  • http://www.projectmanager.com project management software

    Great article indeed. Easier said than done really. Much more risky. But still is worthy of trying. Big things are achieved by taking the small steps. :)

  • Sheddy

    A great work. You have given me answer the puzzle of this new year. The decision is mine to make and I will make it right.

  • http://www.seo-writer.com/blog/ IDavid Leonhardt

    I prefer to be epic.  That does not mean long, but it does mean to have a big idea.  I don’t blog every day and sometimes I skip a month or two.  But when I do blog, I try to present a big idea – something that most other bloggers in my niche just are not doing.

  • http://www.ivanwalsh.com Ivan Walsh, Media Writer

    Thanks Michael, 

    Yes, Seth is the best business writer out there by a long shot. Something he said that stuck with me was to be remarkable.

    What he meant by remarkable was not to be clever clever but to write/do/create something that others will remark on.

    Simple when you think about it :)

    Ivan

  • Anonymous

    All of the above plus you have to reinvent yourself over and over and over again, so that you can keep the loyal readers curious and constantly (positively ) surprised while you are gaining new readers with each new transformation.

  • http://www.tweakyourbiz.com Niall Devitt

    Hi Aileen & Welcome back to Bloggertone. Great post, I have a new client that I believe would benefit so hope you don’t mind if I share it. I agree that the ability to make decisions smart quickly is a major advantage in business. 

  • http://www.garrendennylane.ie/blog Lorna

    Good post Aileen and good tips re the financial information we should be checking each week in order to keep an eye on cashflow

  • Tlfromdet

    Good post Aileen. Have you ever heard of http://coachquestleader.com/? I have heard good things about this company. 

  • http://twitter.com/aileen456 aileen456

    http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/28/this-week-in-small-business-what-would-canada-do/
    woo hoo! got a mention here – see the Bill Clinton section

  • http://www.damondnollan.com Damond Nollan

    The whole time reading your post, I kept thinking about my company’s decision makers. To myself I’d ask, how can I provide my leadership with those bite size pieces of information? Should this be in the dashboard? Email? Weekly meeting?

    I appreciate the opportunity to consider another POV.

  • http://www-weightlosssecrets.com/ Uzmakhand

    Great work man.

  • http://topathletesgear.com/ Buy Fentany

    happy to see your post..

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