There´s a lot of talk about what to do to be successful. Equally important is what to STOP doing. That’s right. We all have to stop doing whatever is getting in the way of reaching our goals. After a lifetime of working for myself and making a living with words – writing, editing, translating and adapting them, – these are the things I feel keep most people from reaching their full potential. If you stop doing them I can almost guarantee you will move forward faster than you ever thought possible.
STOP comparing yourself to others
It´s fine to have a benchmark, but if you spend most of your time watching what others in your field are doing, guess what you’re taking time and energy away from? Yep, doing what you gotta do to get where you want to be. Constantly monitoring everyone else can paralyze you for many reasons. You may feel you fall short, or maybe you think you’re better than them, you know you could crush it if you gave it your best shot. But you don´t do it. It´s easier to focus on others than it is to do the work! You are unique, so instead of comparing yourself, go do your thing and make a difference.
STOP having lengthy online discussions
I´m a member of so many different Facebook groups that someone else put me in that I´ve lost count. Many of these are focused on specific business or social media topics. While I love to talk shop, especially since I work alone, I find that these threads can also take time and energy away from my priority: business building and content creation. In the time that I´ve engaged with a thread – even if it´s only 20 minutes – I can read an article about the subject. I can write a business proposal. I can pitch an idea to a new client. I can write a blog post! This means that I rarely back and forth online even when the subject is fascinating.
STOP planning and planning and planning …
It´s a great idea to have a book outline, a publishing calendar, a business plan. It´s not healthy or productive to get so caught up in the planning phase that you don´t execute. So many people fail to launch a project, write a book, or even run a marathon, because they overthink it. When I launched the publication VivaFifty.com in 2014, I went live with no logo and started from scratch with its social media handles. I honed everything as time went by, but while I was creating and uploading content, I was also creating my business plan, getting a logo designed and building the foundation for a solid business that became Viva Fifty Media LLC a year later. Had I waited to be able to incorporate, have a team and the perfect layout, I would still be planning. Viva Fifty Media is what supports our family now.
STOP making excuses
Life has taught me there is never going to be the perfect time to do anything. It hasn´t been an easy ride, and sometimes I have no idea how I pulled it all off. But I´ve written books, articles and managed my online business against all odds: with babies and toddlers in tow, during and after divorce, with and without a steady income, even with physical injuries like a slipped disc. I see friends of mine continuing to pursue their dreams even as they battle cancer. How´s that for motivation? My husband, Phillippe Diederich, wrote his novels while going to grad school, teaching photography and raising his son after his divorce. He would get up before sunrise to write, and now he has three books published and more in the works.
In the end it all comes down to quitting anything and everything which prevents you from actually doing the work. I´ve learned it´s better to try and fail FAST if you´re going to fail, and then move on to the next thing. It´s the only way to keep finding reasons to DO things that matter to you.