I heard once that 90% of people want to write a book but in real life, less than 1% actually do. Why is that?
And if that’s book writing, how many unfulfilled dreams do other people have sitting in the corner of their minds, sulking at not being given a chance or a voice? How many would-be entrepreneurs and artists and musicians and poets and chefs are waiting, suspended in the dark closets of tomorrow?
One reason so many people don’t go out there and do all the amazing things they dream about is that they just don’t know where to start. You have these huge ideas of what you would like to be doing but somehow, time passes and you don’t seem to come any closer to them.
So what should you do about it?
Make a move.
Let’s say you want to be a novelist. If I ask you, on a scale of 1 to 10, what is your skill level at novel writing, 10 being a best selling author, you might respond that right now you’re a 3.
Ok, great! There’s nothing wrong with that.
What does a three look like in practice, I’ll ask?
You might tell me a 3 means you’ve written some short stories or blog posts that have good story lines but perhaps you need to work a little more on character building or punchy endings.
So my next question would be: what would it take you to get to a 4?
You might reply that a 4 is a good short story longer than 2500 words with some solid characters and a tight plot.
A 6 might be a completed novella that your friends loved reading and an 8 would be a full length novel that is pretty damn decent.
You’ve created a scale for yourself now. So your next step is very simple: Get to the 4.
That’s all you have to do.
Go back to you story and work on the characters, research, read books, get a writing coach, learn how to build better characters, read them to your wife or friend or son and get their feedback. Whatever it takes to get to the 4.
I hear the skeptics say, yes but that’s not all there is to writing. There’s marketing, there’s querying agents, there’s book publishing know-how etc… Yes of course there are all those things. But can you market yourself as a 3? No? Then we’ll worry about that later.
Ok with that settled, what if you hate writing?! What if you actually want to build a coaching business that gives you financial freedom and time to spend with your loved ones? On a dream scale of 1 to 10, that’s your 10.
Right now, you’re just taking on a few clients here, a couple companies there, but it’s not even close. You say that right now, you’re a 2.
Fabulous. What does a 3 look like to you? Maybe a 3 means you have a regular stream of clients making their way to you. How are they finding you? Through your marketing plan I hear you say? Great what is that?
You like public speaking do you?
Fabulous. So you your next step is clear. You put together a short 30 minute high-impact interactive talk that highlights your strengths and the benefits of your area of coaching. You come up with a list of 100 places that would be interested in hearing that talk, places that have your audiences waiting to hear from you. You get in touch with these places and schedule a talk a week over the next few months.
It’s not going to be easy, any of it, but it’s action and there will be learning and growth along the way and that’s ultimately how you get to where you want to be. It’s tiny, focused, VISIBLE steps, one at a time.
Neither the novel nor the business are going to happen tomorrow, but if you’re sitting there worrying that they’re not happening, they’re never going to happen.
Action is key.
And the only step you have to take right now is the next one.
Everything else can wait.