April 25, 2012

I have Met the Enemy…and He is Us

It’s been three weeks since I’ve started my new adventure.

I’ve been investigating some business ideas.  And I’ve been enjoying a little downtime.

One new learning has emerged very quickly — the biggest challenge to making things happen is yourself.

When I had a regular job it was easy to stay disciplined.  I had to be at work at 8:30am each day.  I had one-on-on meetings with my direct reports.   People had expectations of me.

I wake up now and each day is a blank slate.  It’s easy to goof off, to surf the internet, to read a novel.  It’s easy to waste time.  Boy is it easy.

Once I realized this last week I took some time to think about and write down some long term goals.  Starting a business was one goal but there were also personal goals such as learning to scuba dive and to visit Australia.

When I had my goals written, I asked myself “What habitual actions do I need to take every day to achieve these goals?”  To support my “starting a business” goal, I wrote down “brainstorm and research business ideas.” Then I wrote down habitual or discrete actions for each of my goals.

Like John C. Maxwell says, “Success is not made in a day.  Success is made every day.”  I realized I needed to structure my time every day.  So I scheduled time for regular activities that support my goals in Google Calendar.  For example, from 9-11am each day I “Research Business Ideas.”  I have a separate list on specific research topics.

I still find it challenging to follow the schedule because there’s no one around to put pressure on me if I don’t follow it.

I have met the enemy, and he is us.