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#148: Mindset: 3 Ideas for Taking Action When You Don’t Know The Next Step To Take As An Entrepreneur

Introduction

Welcome back to the Entrepreneur Mindset podcast. Today we are starting a brand new series that I am really excited about. We are going to talk about what to do when you don’t know what to do next in your business. We’ve all been there. 

The fact of the matter is that sometimes the next steps aren’t clear. There are a lot of right next steps. There are a lot of steps that maybe could be right, you aren’t sure, and there are probably some steps that you feel like you really want to take, but there’s some little piece of your gut that’s saying that’s the wrong next move. So we are going to, over the next four episodes, be breaking down what to do when you don’t know what to do.

PPMDAS

All right, so let’s think about the time when you are looking at your balance sheet and it’s not what you want for your business. I’m talking with a lot of coaches and course creators right now who are saying I need to bring in so many more clients this year. I need to launch this course or that course, I need to. And they’re telling me the outcome that they need to get to. But what’s unclear, they’re super clear in their goal, but what’s unclear is what steps do they need to take to get there? And what happens is that they remain paralyzed. They remain stuck in not knowing exactly where to go next. 

Can you relate? Have you ever been there? 

I know that last year as I was revamping my offerings, I was thinking about what I wanted to do and there felt like there were so many things to do to make this shift in my offers that I didn’t know what to do next. And so a lot of this comes down to a mindset. And the first piece of the mindset that I want to talk about today is the fact that we have to let go of everything being done by a certain time or done in a certain order. And why I say this is that there will always be a reason not to launch something or to make the offer because you need to do this first. How many times have you said, well, I need to do this first. I just need to get that done and then I can… 

And the question becomes a mindset one. Who told you that you actually had to have that done in order for the next step to happen? A lot of times in school we’re taught you must do this before, that you must go through grade one, before grade two, before grade three. Think about math. We have, “Pretty Please My Dear Aunt Sally”. In math you must do things in a specific order. But in entrepreneurship, the rules are not so clear cut. It is not like the math equation where if you do the addition and subtraction before. You take care of the parentheses, you get the wrong answer. In entrepreneurship, that simply isn’t the case.

Your Next Step

There are lots of different paths to get to where you want to be. And this week, when we’re thinking about mindset and what to do when you don’t know what to do next, my invitation to you is to choose something. Just choose something. There is not a right or wrong answer here. It is simply a next step. And from there, you take the next step. 

In one of our Coaching Hive Elite calls this week, we had a peer mastermind. And I love these calls, because what happens is everyone shares what they’re struggling with, and we all brainstorm together and help the person get to that next step. And what often happens is, well, I’m okay right now, but I’ll tell you what I’m working on. And all of a sudden the challenge comes out, oh, maybe we could actually talk about this. 

In the course of this conversation, a coach was sharing about how many more clients they would like to sign this year to really make some good revenue goals, but as we dug deeper, it was more about the feeling of making progress in their business and being able to grow the business, not just kind of sustain where the business was. And so the easy question was, well, what’s going to take you there? What step do you need to take? 

And that’s where the momentum froze. They said, “I’m not sure. I don’t know what to do next.” And the answer was simple, “who do you know that you can talk to?” I had a call like this with another coach, same week, actually, and the conversation was very much the same. I don’t know what to do. I know I need to get some paying clients. And it was, who can you talk to that’s already interested? Or who can you talk to that you have a great relationship with? And you can say, hey, this is what I’m doing. Do you have any ideas of who I might reach out to or who might be looking for this type of coaching? 

So when you don’t know what to do next, first, it’s a mindset thing. Release that there is a “right” next step. It’s just “a” next step. So there’s no right or wrong here. The second thing is to take action. And the easiest way to take action is to reach out to someone that you already know and say, here’s what I’m doing. Do you know anyone that might need these services that might be interested in this course or in a collaboration? Reach out to the people you know, use those networks. This is why networking is so important in business. As an entrepreneur, we must always be looking for ways to increase and improve and deepen our network.

Let’s keep a few things in mind.

First, embrace the unknown. It is critical to go ahead and accept the uncertainty. This is a hard one for many entrepreneurs because you are trying to replace income, pay bills, and make your business a success. But that uncertainty is where growth can happen. You can simply acknowledge that you are unsure, uncertain of the next step and then recognize that this can actually lead to clarity.

That clarity can help highlight what you need to learn, what skills you need to acquire, what tools you need to get, and what systems you need to put into place. That lack of knowing can actually push you forward because now you are actively pursuing knowledge and action. 

Now, it would be nice if we could just take action, but you do still need to be thoughtful. Break down those goals into smaller steps and more manageable steps.

One of my favorite ways to do this is using John Lee Dumas’ approach to goal setting and planning. He focuses on 100 days, then breaks that down into 10 day segments and three micro goals per day. This keeps things moving, manageable, and enjoyable. 

Action Item

Your action item for today is to think about where you want to be in 100 days. Then I want you to list the things that you think need to happen that will get you to that 100 day goal.

With that in mind, start organizing them into “like” tasks. This is a great activity with an empty wall and stack of sticky notes. You can move things around and that tactile activity keeps you really thinking.

From there, choose something to work on today. Don’t worry about if it is the right next step, just focus on taking a next step. Because you have chosen activities that directly relate to your goals, any of them will be a good choice!

Conclusion

That’s all for today’s episode. Over the next 3 weeks we will continue to dig into what it looks like to take next steps. We will talk about social media, website revisions, and more. 

As always, I’m here to help, whether that is with planning your next 100 days, getting your course finished, your coaching program created and implemented, or support in going through a course that you have purchased.

I’d love to work with you! I’ll drop links to the application so that we can see what next steps might be the most thoughtful next steps for you. I can’t wait to read your application and help you make progress in your entrepreneurial journey.

And I will see you back here next week for another episode of the podcast where we are focusing on mentoring community and implementation so that we can remove the overwhelm of building a successful and profitable business and add in a little dose of momentum.

Until next time, have a healthy, safe, and happy week.

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