What should I do next? That is one of the most common questions that I get asked by entrepreneurs.
They want to know how to spend their limited time and energy to make sure that they’re actually moving forward, toward what they want. So I’m going to tell you exactly what I tell them in today’s episode.
We are going to dive into exactly what I would suggest if you’re in this position and how to help you answer the question: what should I do next?
- Episode 063: How A Clear Aligned Vision Saves You Time
- Productive A.F.
- Book a Clarity Call
- DM me on Instagram
- Listen in to hear how to confidently take the necessary steps to level up & build the life of your dreams.
- Discover what an action plan is and how it will help you in both your business and life goals.
- Learn why I believe perfectionism is just a bad excuse that is holding you back.
Rather read before you listen? ⬇️
One of the most common questions I get asked is “what should I do next?” An entrepreneur will come to me and say they want to launch a podcast or write a book or create a course and they know there are some things that they need to do but they don’t know what to do in what order. They don’t know how to spend their limited time & energy to make sure they are actually moving toward what they actually want without wasting resources. And that is exactly what we are diving into in today’s episode.
I used to live next to a lake.
When the season starts changing from summer to fall weather, the fog is unbearable. And I HATE driving in fog.
For those of you that may not know, the official definition of fog is ” a thick cloud of tiny water droplets suspended in the atmosphere at or near the earth’s surface which obscures or restricts visibility to below 1 km” which basically means you can’t see a damn thing.
I can’t stand not being able to see where I’m going, especially when operating a motor vehicle with my daughter in the backseat.
To get to her school in the morning, we had to get on a highway where the average speed is 65 MPH and when there is fog, the average speed is still 65 MPH!
So then entire way to school, I would be white knuckling the steering wheel while my brain’s trying to figure out why I can’t see more than 50 feet in front of the car, while going 45 MPH hoping no one rear ends me, while simultaneously squinting & determining if I see the taillights of any cars in front of me so I don’t rear-end them— oh and fielding 1000 questions about why fog exists from a tiny human in the backseat. (You didn’t think I knew the official definition of fog by accident, did you?)
To put it plainly, driving in fog stresses me out because I can’t see where I am going.
The same is true of life & business:
A lack of clarity on next steps leads to stress & lack of confidence, causing you to slow down and sometimes stop altogether.
I get it. It’s scary to not know what the next right steps are. You don’t want to waste time & money or miss out on opportunities.
It is possible for you to confidently take the necessary steps to level up & build the life of your dreams.
How? Well, create an action plan.
An action plan gives you the clarity, direction, and confidence you need to move forward on your big business goals.
Simply put, your action plan is your road map to get from where you are to where you want to go.
It outlines the steps you need to take next, in the distant future, and those that you should just say no to.
But not just any action plan will do. I highly recommend creating an action plan that aligns with your vision, your values, and your strengths. If you aren’t sure exactly where it is you want to go, I highly suggest listening to episode 063 to get a bit clearer. (I actually teach how to do this in my signature course, Productive A.F.)
An Action Plan Will Save You From Stress
There are thousands of entrepreneurial gurus on my instagram feed at any given time. I’m sure you experience the same thing. There is a wealth of information, strategies, advice, and— yes, overwhelm.
The question actually isn’t “what should I do?!” but instead “what should I do first?”
We are told that building a funnel, or a tiny offer, or a Facebook group, or using hashtags, or leveraging partner campaigns, or leaning into Pinterest, or creating Reels, or any number of other strategies is going to fast-track our success and get us where we want to go, faster & easier.
And who doesn’t want that?!
But the problem arises when you can discern what to do next and try to do all the things. You are not only ineffective but burnt out by the must-dos, to-dos, and should-dos others swear by.
But a good action plan can keep you moving forward even amidst the shiny objects and distractions being thrown in your direction every time you open Facebook.
An action plan can actually create a decision filter for you so you can better prioritize opportunities as they arise and stay on track towards your goals, rather than chasing a wild hare of an idea just because Suzie Entrepreneur told you to.
It helps you stay aligned with how you work, what works for you , and what is truly important to you . (See a theme here yet?)
You know your next right steps because you’ll start with your vision & goals, then break down your goals into weekly strategies & daily habits to make incremental progress every day.
The result? A happier, less stressed, more successful YOU.
What’ll Get in Your Way
If it was easy, everyone would do it. But that doesn’t mean it has to be hard.
Here are a few things that may come up for you when creating your action plan:
1. Perfectionism. Ugh, I hate this word. Probably because I hear it basically every day. And I used to be the one saying it too.
Perfectionism is a socially-acceptable form of procrastination. It’s a cop out. We think that by wearing the badge of perfectionism, it gives a free pass to stay exactly where under the guise of “high standards”.
We can’t move forward because the plan is perfect or finished or thought through at all angles. Yea, that’s BS.
There is a difference between perfectionism & excellence. Perfectionism is an excuse. Excellence is the language of high standards. And you can’t make anything better if you never create it or dare to start.
2. Inflexibility. Your action plan is meant to be a road map but that doesn’t mean you can’t deviate from it EVER.
You are creating an action plan for yourself right now based on the information you have & the experiences you’ve encountered. As you gather new information and experience new things, you are going to edit & alter the steps needed to get where you are going. Possibilities that previously weren’t on your radar can then become your reality.
Maintaining flexibility and a willingness to pivot will ensure your success.
3. Analysis paralysis & Indecision. This can tie back to the dreaded perfectionism, but it’s worth its own bullet point.
You can get stuck in all the possibilities but at a certain point, your research & mulling over the options is just procrastinating and that means you are wasting time— your most valuable resource.
The most successful people are making decisions quickly and following through on them, but they aren’t afraid to change course or their plan of action when the situation calls for it. Cultivate decisiveness as a habit.
If you are ready to have some help to side-step all these challenges and finally have a spacious schedule that supports you actually taking daily action on your aligned action plan every single day while also being fully-present with your family & taking care of everything that truly matters to you, I want to invite you to book a free clarity call because you my just be ready for Productive A.F. My 4-month hybrid coaching program to help you SAVE TIME so you can grow your business, avoid burnout, & have more time freedom. You can check out more about the program at erinhaworth.com/productiveaf and book a free call directly from that page.
I always like to end each episode with an action step that you can take right now to help you move forward and begin to implement immediately. Here is your action step for this episode: It can be overwhelming to start with a 10-year, 1-year, or even six-month plan— which is why I help my Productive A.F. students create a 90-day plan. And you can create your own action plan as well. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Start small with a 1-month goal and reverse-engineer it down to daily actions. You’ll know what you need to do each day to stay on track with that 1-month goal.
- Once you create your Action Plan, print it out and keep it where you can see it every day. Get in the habit of taking 15 seconds to review it each morning.
- Practice pivoting.