Hard work and dedication are needed elements in growing your career or business. I’m sure you’ve heard the concept, “work smarter, not harder”. It’s true you need to find innovative and optimized approaches to solving challenges instead of brute-forcing your way through, which only leads to burn-out. BUT, I also think sometimes you just need to work hard. Especially if you’re an entrepreneur or creative; you have to cultivate drive to start, work hard to make progress, and stay dedicated until you reach your goal.
Recently I spoke with a perspective coaching client who wanted support building confidence in writing a screen play. When I asked about the root challenge, it was evident that very little writing was taking place. While mindset and confidence are essential in believing you can do it; another HUGE part is actually sitting down, putting in the hours, and in this person’s case… WRITING! You have to do the work.
Here’s where to start:
- Define the result: Think about what you want to accomplish. I recommend setting a 1-year vision. Do the following writing exercise: Using present tense, and stream of consciousness, write where you’ll be a year from now having achieved your goal.
- Understand your WHY: Ask yourself, what feeling you’ll have when you achieve your goal. This is often the true reason people pursue goals. Our feelings make the goal real. Will writing that screenplay make you feel accomplished, successful or confident? Understanding motivation is critical in achieving goals.
- Create micro moments: Throughout your goal process, what mini-goals will lend themselves to fostering the feeling you’re pursuing? For example, if you write 1-page of the screenplay per day, will that make you feel accomplished? Maybe having a peer review your work will make you feel more confident. Whatever it is, build in process steps that support your goal and the feeling you’re after.
- Hold yourself accountable: A number of my clients struggle with personal accountability. People often need someone or something outside themselves holding them accountable to make measured progress. If this sounds like you, ask for support. Tell people about your goal and have a specific accountability ask. For example, a weekly email from a friend asking about your progress may be enough to keep you on track. In other cases, working with a coach may be your best option.
Sometimes there’s no productivity or mindset hack for old-fashioned hard work. Set a goal, understand your “why”, go after it, and hold yourself accountable. You got this!