Taking the first steps toward success
Think back to when you started your business. What was the first real step you took? Was it buying a book that told you how to be a startup? Was it talking to your friend about it? Maybe it was buying a business computer, fax machine or some other product.
We’ve all seen ads on how to make money from home or work for yourself. Did you fall prey to one of those packages? But were those things the real path to your business? I suspect your first step was writing a business plan or registering your business.
Why do we spend so much?
When you bought that computer or business package, I bet you felt good about it. You were doing something. Spending money makes us feel as if we’re taking steps toward a goal. There’s an adrenaline rush, like we’re moving forward. The reality is that until you do the hard work, you aren’t going to reach your goal.
You can buy a pair of running shoes, but until you put them on and get moving, you won’t run that marathon you’ve always dreamed of.
I know the feeling too well. I want to write a novel. I have tons of books about writing. I use some of the top software in the industry. The writing industry is tough. I’ve subscribed to many different writing newsletters and magazines. But the fact of the matter is that nothing is going to happen until after I actually sit down and write the book. I can spend as much money as I want, but I actually have to put myself in a chair and focus on my writing. For the record, I now have 20,000 words towards a novel. My goal is to have a first draft by the end of the year.
Shopping makes us feel good
Marketing is a strange industry. We’re encouraged to buy things that will “change our life.” Need more time in the kitchen? Buy this gadget to make peeling eggs quick and easy. Never mind that the last time you ate hard-boiled eggs was two years ago. Tired of cleaning your bathroom? Use this product and your tub will sparkle. Sure, your tub will shine as long as no one takes a shower or bath.
It’s easy to buy things today. It only takes one or two clicks, and we can have just about anything we need at our front door in just a few days. But is that the real secret to what you want? It’s called the false first step.
When you buy something, you’ve simply spent money without actually attaining meaningful progress.
I want to encourage you to really think about your next purchase. Are you trying to buy your goals? Will a new dieting book actually help you reach your weight goal or do you need to get outside and exercise?
How can you reach your goals?
Do the hard thing you’ve been avoiding. You can make more sales without having a new smartphone. Build your habit of playing golf before investing in a set of brand new clubs. Make an attempt to try something new in your life.
Even if you fail, you’ll have learned something new.
Personal growth doesn’t come from spending. It comes from trying and learning, not succeeding necessarily. You’ve probably heard that you learn more from your mistakes than successes.
It’s true. My first novel was a complete failure, but somehow I managed to graduate. I’ve learned from that experience and this time, my novel is coming together much better.
Maybe you will get to read it someday. Maybe not. But I know I tried to reach my goals.