Have you ever experienced resistance to sitting down and starting a big (or even sometimes small) project in your business? There it is. Staring you in the face. Deadline ticking away. Yet, you, a successful business owner have now made 10 phone calls you were putting off, checked off everything else in your to do list and completed a load of laundry to boot. And yet – that project still looms. Why do you procrastinate as an entrepreneur?
There are plenty of reasons our brains play tricks on us to create avoidance around accomplishing a big task.
FIRST, LET’S TALK ABOUT THE FEARS THAT CAUSE PROCRASTINATION
- Fear of failure: you know that once you finish this next task at hand (a website, logo, biz cards, newsletter, announcement, etc) you will then have to put yourself out there and do the hard work of getting clients. Even though we hate to admit it, that can be downright scary, right? Lots of ‘what ifs’ begin flying around. What if no one wants what you’re selling? What if no one sees you as an expert? Let’s just stop that train of thought now, shall we? The good news is that you can use these behind the scenes tasks you’ve accomplished and expand on them to grow your business. Click here to find out how. The important thing is to have those foundational pieces ready to share when you begin growing.
- Fear of success: okay, so let’s say those clients DO want what you’re selling … then what? Fear of success is much more prevalent amongst entrepreneurs than you may think. What in the world will you do with yourself once the project is launched, the client queue is full and the financial goals are achieved? Easy – when you make it, you set a new goal and you start all over again. You actually do it ALL the time but the goals just aren’t as big as what you tackle as an entrepreneur. Best to leave that fear of success in your rear view and just keep slaying your goals.
- Fear of upsetting someone: the market is saturated – what if you step on someone’s toes by offering something too similar to what they are? Or, what if you upset your clients by outgrowing some of your offerings? At the end of the day, you are running a business. As long as you’re doing it your way and not borrowing from someone else’s process, your offering will be uniquely yours. And no one can put the heart and soul into it that you can if it was your idea from the start. As far as outgrowing offerings, you may disappoint some, but you pave the way for even better services by letting go of what doesn’t light you up any longer.
NEXT, LET’S TALK ABOUT OTHER REASONS THAT CAUSE PROCRASTINATION
- You are bad at time management. News: very few entrepreneurs are actually good at time management! But you should be! Be honest – when are you blocking hours to spend on your business? Or, are you hoping they will just magically appear in your calendar (spoiler – they won’t AND that just breeds procrastination). Start creating new, better habits to block off time for your growth.
- You are overwhelmed. There is so much that needs to be done you literally just do nothing. Overwhelm sucks. But that’s no excuse to sink into complete avoidance. Usually if I’m experiencing complete overwhelm, then I need to do a brain dump of all I need to get done (it’s usually less than I’m stressing over). Then, prioritize that list. Then, break down the first task into actionable steps and get back to work. OR, sometimes you need to step away and take a quick walk to clear your brain. Then get back to it.
- Self doubt. Let’s just throw comparison and second guessing in here, too. This can be a doozy for your self esteem. If you’re having serious self doubt, anchor into the problem that you are solving. Who needs it? Why do they need it? What are you doing to fix their problem? Then, my favorite way to get out of the self doubt spin cycle is to have a folder of love notes from clients to pull out and read as a reminder when the going gets tough!
- You just want someone else to do the work. Real talk – if this is the case, you don’t really want to own a business. You want to work for someone who will hire other people to do the real work. Owning a business is hard work and often requires many long hours. You have to be in it for the long haul. As you grow, yes, you must learn to delegate – that’s important. However, your commitment to what you offer should be just as solid as it was on day one. And you need to do the work before you can adequately train someone else to.
- It’s time to hire – and you’re scared! Different than the procrastination pitfall above, this happens when you’re in a growth cycle and there’s more than you can do yourself, but not quite enough income to hire help. Yes, it’s scary. If you’ve weighed your finances and your time spent on certain aspects of your business, then you’ll know when it’s time to take the risk. You can offer a trial period even, if it helps.
- You don’t want to do the task you need to do anymore! It’s time for a change. If you’re putting off doing something because you are quite literally dreading getting it done, then it may be time to move on. Either delegate it to someone else or step out of that task altogether.
Procrastination is often a signal that you need to look at a habit or a fear.
What I would love for you to do now is own up to which of the above procrastination potholes you often find yourself in. Then, set aside 10 minutes right now to be proactive about moving forward. What are 3 action steps you commit to accomplishing by the end of this week?