It’s Thomas here taking over for today. We’ve been traveling around like crazy and Julia has been going nonstop, speaking at 3 events last week, with a quick return to Charleston, before heading back to NYC to work on Gal Meets Glam Collection, which is where we are right now. Needless to say, Julia could use a day off from writing. Today’s post was actually inspired by meeting and speaking with lots of you. So many of you have bright futures ahead, but often come to us looking for some advice on how to get there. There’s this common theme we’ve found of people needing help figuring out how to start when they know where they want to be, but have no clue how to get there.
In life, it can be very challenging to start something new. Standing between you and your biggest achievement are obstacles that can impair the confidence needed to take that necessary leap of faith. We let the voices in our minds take charge. Unfortunately, these voices telling us why we can’t do something often drown out the ones that are more encouraging.
What a lot of people don’t realize is that starting something new is kind of like learning to ride a bicycle. It takes courage and a ‘just go for it’ mentality to get started. But once you’re up and riding, it’s only a matter of time before your headed down the road tackling each new obstacle and hill one at a time, and at your own pace, getting better and better with each ride. Where do I begin?
Adjust your mindset – The first step in getting started on something new is getting your mind working for you instead of against you. I’m all for foresight, strategizing and planning, but not to the detriment of starting. This is why Julia and I make such great partners – our minds work differently in a complementary way. Julia’s focus always fascinates me. When she dreams something up, she doesn’t start tomorrow or a month from now after planning out everything to a ‘T’. She starts immediately. I’m the opposite. I’m about the worst starter because I become more concerned about where I’ll be a year from now and whether I think that’s the right place to be or not. And while I consider myself smart (and humble, right?), I’d say I suffer from analysis paralysis. Luckily, there are moments where both Julia and my mindset ‘click’ and balance each other out enough to create new things, with a focus on those being the right things.
Make sure that you’re passionate first – If you think about it, we started GMG at a time where fashion blogging wasn’t a career. The only reason why people started their blogs was because they felt a strong desire to create online. Our business is in an industry full of question marks of what the future holds. With anything brand new, you cannot foresee everything on the road, so you have to learn to be open to dealing with whatever comes your way. Being passionate about your idea will keep you going when the going gets tough. If I hadn’t loved Julia and her passionate commitment as much as I do, I would have given up on photography which I honestly didn’t like for the first two years. Now photography and running Gal Meets Glam is something I cherish and something I’m constantly motivated to push boundaries on. So if you’re going into something you feel ‘iffy’ about, stop right there and ask yourself if you are really passionate about what you are pursuing. Because once it gets really hard, it will be easier to give up. Rather than doubling down to push through the tough times, you’ll have no real reason to keep going.
Create a list of decisions to make – Highlight the most important ones that will actually help you make progress and highlight in a different color the ones that are distractions from starting. For instance, we’ve talked to so many people that have wanted to get started with blogging, but an overwhelming amount of people get caught up on what to name their blog, or what Instagram handle to pick. Work on getting your ideas closer to becoming reality. You can always pick a name later, or even change a name.
Start as inexpensively as possible – Make use of your time and sweat equity to get started. Cash in any favors you have to get some help. Create with free platforms. If you’re planning on doing something where a large financial investment is unavoidable, do things to test your idea ahead of time, like creating samples, taking sales meetings, or finding a way to poll or interview potential customers.
Enlist the help of someone that can hold you accountable – Similar to having a workout buddy, having someone there that can check up on you is really helpful. It’s important to have someone that can both pump you up when your feeling discouraged or give you a kick in the ass when you are underachieving.
Set trigger points – Part of what causes so much worry in starting something new is having limited resources, including time and money. To limit your initial investment and risk of potential loss, set trigger points which you’ll monitor and reflect on to gauge your performance. Basically, you create what’s called an IF THEN ELSE statement. For instance, IF I sell 100 jewelry pieces in 6 months THEN I will invest more time or capital in growing my jewelry business or ELSE I will reevaluate my desire to pursue running a jewelry business and figure out what to do differently.
What’s something you’ve been wanting to get started on but just haven’t worked up the courage to do it? This week is your week, so take these tips and put them to the test. Feel free to share what your big goal is.