Do you consider yourself an entrepreneur? If you’re anything like me, you probably said no. You’re a farmer, a chef, a food producer. Entrepreneur? Well, maybe. You got into farming or cheffing because you love working outside, with food, nurturing the soul and the soil. Odds are you didn’t start your business because you love Excel spreadsheets and bookkeeping. But here you are: paying bills, dealing with payroll taxes and HR issues, and calling customers trying to find out where their payment is.
I was reminded of all the “crap” we have to deal with as entrepreneurs when I read this article: Seven Strange Questions That Help Find Your Life’s Purpose. (Side note: after reading this article I feel content that I’m on the path to fulfilling my life purpose.) The first question in particular resonated with me as it relates to entrepreneurship:
What’s your favorite flavor of $#*! sandwich and does it come with an olive?
What this is really asking is, do you have what it takes to turn your passion into a business? The fact is that if you want to succeed in your business, you’ll need to do a few things you don’t like. For me, it’s writing proposals. For most of my clients, it’s dealing with the financials. And as the author says, “everything sucks, some of the time.” So you might as well recognize that for the most part you get to do what you love, and buck up for the things you don’t like. At least until your business is big enough to delegate what you don’t like.
So part of succeeding in business is doing the $#*!-ty parts — in other words, getting $#*! done. I recently read another article by the CEO of LinkedIn where he talked about the people with whom he most enjoyed working: people who dream big, have fun, and — you guessed it — get $#*! done. When I looked at his Venn diagram, I realized that person is also an entrepreneur. My interpretation:
By now, I’m sure you’ve picked up on the theme: Running your own business as a farmer, chef, or food producer means that you get to dream big and have fun – that’s why you chose this path in the first place. But it also means that you have to work hard…really, really hard. And that work isn’t always to going be fun or directly relate to your big dreams. Here are seven tips that I’ve come up that help me get my $#*! done as an entrepreneur:
- Make it a game. “Can I get this done in 30 minutes? Ready, set, go!”
- Build in rewards. “Proposal sent! 15 minutes to read my favorite recipe blog.”
- Plan the hardest work for the time of day when you have the most energy.
- Collaborate with a friend or colleague to get it done together. An accountability partner can go a long way.
- Stop waiting for perfect conditions to get started. Immediate action fuels a positive feedback loop that drives even more action.
- Chunk big projects down into bite-sized pieces, create a to-do list, and then cross things off the list for a feeling of progress and satisfaction.
- Don’t get paralyzed by perfection. $#*! doesn’t always need to be perfect: sometimes good (and done) is enough.
How do you motivate to get your $#*! done? Need more help? Give us a call or send a note.