There are a ton of good, positive things to be said about having an internet business. And we are all too aware of all the “bad” stuff that comes along with having a typical 9-to-5 “rat-race” job. Most people would agree that one of the greatest things about an internet business is all the freedom it gives you. You can work pretty much any time and from any place you want. You can take time off when you want, and there’s nobody looking over your shoulder making sure you meet some ridiculous deadline. Having an internet business means you never have to come up with a new excuse for missing work or being late. And you will never have to rely on someone else to give you a raise or to approve an additional day of vacation after you’ve worked your butt off for 5 years. Whoopee.
But hold on there, Sparky. If you’ve been in the Rat Race for years and you’re thinking about starting an internet business, there’s a little dose of reality that you may as well face now: It’s probably not going to be as easy as you think. For all the great benefits of internet business and all the headaches that go along with the Rat Race, there’s one thing that holds true for most people regarding work habits. That is, you will be more likely to “get it done” when you are somehow held accountable, and when there are some undesirable consequences for not getting it done.
Think about it. As much as you dislike your job and want to get out of it, you continue to go to work every day and do what needs to be done. Why? Because if you don’t show up, you’ll have to answer to someone and you’ll probably face some consequences that you’d rather avoid. If that’s not enough, there’s always the risk of losing your income and any other benefits that come along with the job. If you had no one to answer to and there were no negative consequences, do you think it would be harder to make yourself go to that job every day? Yeah, it would. The reality we’ve been facing lately is that, even if you’re talking about starting your own business, being your own boss, and doing something you enjoy, it’s still sometimes tough to “get it done” – for the lack of the very things we hate about the Rat Race! There’s nobody telling us what to do and when to do it, and there’s no “punishment” for putting it off ”just one (more) day.” At least, not until recently…
We took a vacation recently and it gave us some time to do a lot of planning and talking about our businesses. We’re both pretty good at the planning and talking. It’s the doing that trips us up. Since there’s no boss shoving deadlines at us, and no threats of immediate “punishment” of any kind, it’s far too easy to put things off and avoid doing the things we know we should be doing. As much as we hate the Rat Race, it’s what we’re used to and how we’re used to functioning. In a nutshell, neither of us is happy with how slow our progress has been. And, until recently we have been struggling to find a way to keep ourselves on track. We realized that accountability and consequences are two of the most obvious things missing from our current situation. So, we set our minds to the task of finding a way to hold ourselves accountable and to, well, punish ourselves for not doing what we should be doing. And we finally found it. We found our “swift kick in the butt.”
A while back, we bought concert tickets to see Jack Johnson at Virginia Beach Amphitheater. The concert is coming up July 16th, and it’s something we’re really looking forward to. So, we decided to use this concert as an incentive to get our blogs launched. We’ve come up with a list of the “absolute necessities” for each of our blogs – the things that have to be in place in order to launch. If we can get everything on that list done by midnight July 10th, we’ll be on our way to the concert. If we don’t get this stuff done by the deadline, there will be no concert for us. This is the kind of incentive that usually works pretty well for us. There are specific things that need to be done, and there’s a specific date by which they have to be done – or else there’s a consequence that we really want to avoid. Kind of like the “incentives” you get from a Rat Race job, only you get to pick your own reward, consequences, and time frame.
When you find yourself stuck, and not making progress toward your goals as quickly as you’d like to, what do you do to get yourself back on track and moving forward again? What’s your kick in the butt?