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Get Busy: 7 Tips to Drive Action

This is the season to get busy. When I say season, I’m not talking about Fall, or the holiday season. I’m referring to the season that I feel deep in my stomach. It’s the season of no more excuses or delays. So whatever is hindering you move it out of the way. The time is now!

Hindrances don’t dissipate or eliminate themselves – you do that. I may sound a little evangelical, but I want to urge you to get busy. There’s a new business opportunity; a new idea for a product; a new strategy, a book, blog or podcast with your name on it and the world needs to hear from you.

Everyone has value, but far too many times I’ve seen friends and family diminish their worth, and each other. They say things like, “you can do that, you have the resources,” or “you can do that because people listen to you.” Well I didn’t always have the resources that I have now and there were days when I didn’t feel like I was being heard or seen.

In 1996 I had that burning desire to do something different – something special. I liked my job as a reporter with the Post and Courier newspaper in Charleston, South Carolina, but something was missing. I wanted to help others in a way that I was unable to do in my job. However, I had one problem. I was scared to death. I had been with the paper for more than 10 years. What else was I capable of doing successfully? I needed a steady paycheck and health insurance, I told myself. I pushed my desire to bolt every single day. I had written an article about my family losing 500 acres to the federal government to make way for the construction of the Savannah River Nuclear Plant in South Carolina and had been encouraged by friends to turn the article into a book. I came up with a number of excuses. Finally, a co-worker convinced me to request a leave of absence to write the book. I didn’t think the request would be granted so I asked. Guess what? It was granted and now I was out of excuses. I took the leave, which gave me time to work on the book and explore other opportunities that had been secretly swirling in my head for years. I had both the potential and promise to be successful in many ways, I just had to get out of my own way.

Let me encourage you to get out of your own way by sharing with you seven concrete steps to add fuel to the flame flickering in you.

Step 1: Build yourself up first before helping others. You know what the flight attendants say, “Before you help someone with their airmask, put your own mask on first.” Write affirmations on sticky notes and place them throughout your home and work. These notes serve as reminders of your positive attributes.

Step 2: Adopt one mantra and write it and recite it daily. My current mantra is “how you do anything, is how you do everything.” It reminds me to be diligent in small matters and big ones. Adopting this mantra means that I put passion and effort into everything I do. Complacency is a career killer and it silences the person you are meant to be.

Step 3: Begin each day with an accomplishment. Making your bed, going for an early morning run or doing 15 minutes of yoga are great ways to start the day. Being either organized, energized or centered mentally and psychologically is bound to set the standard for the day.

Step 4: Read something that will help you on your journey to success. When I was young there was a public service announcement on television with the tagline “Reading Is Fundamental!” So, read a book, an article, a blog, a quote –something that builds you up professionally or personally.

Step 5: Set goals with timelines. Set short-term goals, 1-3-6 months to provide momentum before you attack any long-term big hairy audacious goal. The short-term goals help to keep you motivated with every small success. The long-term goals are reminders that Rome was not built in a day.

Step 6: Get a mentor or a coach to help keep you encouraged and accountable. They can help you refine your goals and provide a valuable unbiased perspective.

Step 7: Each One, Reach One, Teach One. After you have effectively implemented the first six steps and can attest to their value, then teach someone else how to break away from the negative thoughts holding them back.

There’s another great reason to get busy. It keeps you in a positive space. With so much drama and negativity all around us one can become despondent over the future. This feeling will seal your fate left unchecked. Having something to do that has a start and finish sets you on the right path every time.

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