A few months ago, we potty trained our older son. This was huge because I’d been dreading potty training for over a year and a half.
Every time I thought about it, I imagined weeks of poopy pants, rugs that smelled like pee (or unsuccessful, vinegar-y attempts to get the pee out), and long hours sitting beside him and his little potty. Diapers were so neat and tidy and controllable—why not stay with them until William reached the age when he magically and almost instantly potty trained himself?
Periodically I would dutifully Google and read free articles on potty training and note, with both disappointment and relief, that William didn’t meet all the “readiness” criteria. I thought about a former supervisor who trained her toddler over a long weekend and felt hope—but I also worried that we wouldn’t succeed and would be stuck washing poopy pants for weeks. In the end, my intimidation won and I would put aside thoughts of potty training again, waiting for the magical time when he would be “ready” and it would be easy.
Pursuing your life dreams or running a business is like this. For most of us, there’s something we’ve been putting off. We imagine all the “crap” we’ll have to deal with… and we put off action, hoping for a magical time when we’re “ready” and everything falls magically, quickly into place. In the meantime, we suffer. We dread, we worry, we avoid, we feel bad.
The feeling that ‘the clock was ticking’ finally pushed me to action. The day Oh Crap! Potty Training became available on my Kindle, I bought it. And the author (Jamie Glowacki—huge thanks to her!!) explained that my son didn’t have to be ready for potty training—he just had to be capable of it. No one starts by being ready, because potty training is a completely new skill. And it doesn’t magically happen by itself. But, it also doesn’t have to be traumatically difficult. There are simple steps you can take, each one building on the prior one, and if you follow those steps, potty training happens.
The same is true for running a business–or reaching any life goal. If you know the right steps to take, what seems big and intimidating can become simple, straightforward, and easy to resolve.
Over the next couple weeks, William went from diapered to totally diaper-free. (And into the bargain, we also moved William to a “big bed”—another step we’d been dreading for at least a year!) Along the way, I learned something incredibly valuable: because I had the right guidance and because I went ahead despite my fears, something I was scared of—and avoided—for a year and a half was quickly and easily resolved.
I’ve noticed a similar thing with my clients. They come in struggling to make enough money or get enough clients, unclear about what will work and anxious because their business isn’t getting easier or better. Then they learn the simple straightforward steps to take, and their world changes.
If you’ve had the same issue for a while (getting your income to the next level? ending the trade-off between overwork and underearning? pursuing your true creative vision?), you can resolve it much faster than you think. You don’t need to wait for some magical time when you’re “ready.” Because the fact is, you’re never “ready.” But you are capable. You can make the change you need. You just need the right guidance and the right steps.