I had a big problem. I wasted a year doing the wrong work. Now, in my defense, it felt like it was the right work! It aligned with my goals of being an online entrepreneur (I thought). When I talked to my peers in my mastermind groups, everyone agreed I was getting a lot done; in fact, they were impressed. And let me tell you, when I checked things off my to-do list, boy did it feel good! Checking things off the to-do list is a true indicator of success, right?
So here’s what happened. My goal is to be a successful online entrepreneur. Specifically, I help people get super productive by getting clear on their goals and helping them map out the steps to get there. But in order to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to make money and in order to make money, you need to be doing the right work. Since I was’t doing the right work, I had a hobby. An expensive one.
Maybe you can relate.
You’ve set a huge goal. You are super committed to it and really passionate about it. You’ve made it your priority by making time for it. There's a lot to do and so you’re doing the work. But after a while, when things don’t pick up speed as much as you’d like, you start to wonder if you are doing the right work.
Here’s the thing. It can be really hard to figure out what's really the right work.
You want to start an online business — so you need to create a website and then make sure that website is perfect. After the website, you decide to start a podcast to get the word out. Facebook ads too!
Yes. All of that is important. But not as important as getting out there and talking to the people who are your target audience. Find out what they need. What’s their biggest problem? Listen to them. Help them. This is the right work.
You want to do that sprint-distance triathlon this summer. So you go out and buy a brand-new bike. You take a class on bike maintenance (What if you get a flat during the race? You need to know how to change the tire!). You need new sneakers too.
Yes. Good footwear is important. Going out and running, every day? That is the right work.
So are you doing the right work?
Only you will know for sure. It’s easy to overlook. It’s easy to trick yourself too. Very often it will be the thing you just don’t want to do. The thing that you’ve been resisting because it feels too scary or that you’re not ready yet. But when you do that work, it will start to propel you to where you really want to be. It’s so worth it.
I’m finally doing the right work too.
I spent the better half of a year ‘getting ready’. I set up my website, created autoresponders, and I wanted to fool around with some cool additions to my website when my business coach Jenny called me out. And she was so right. There certainly is a time to get ready, but it’s not nearly as long as we usually make it.
So tell me. Are you doing the right work? Do you suspect you should be working on something else? Leave a comment and let me know where you think you may be stuck.