November was quite the whirlwind for me both professionally and personally, but I wanted to drop a note of reflection as we into the last month of the year. Have you ever wanted to start something new (let's in this case, say a blog) but continued to come up with excuses as to why you aren't able to launch it?
"I just don't have enough time to write a blog post every day."
"What am I going to write about? And who will want to read it?"
"I want my post to be perfect before I hit publish - I must keep editing!"
The truth is, while we were busy asking ourselves 21 questions, making statements and assuming, we could've published at least one or two posts, created a content calendar for the next two months and put throwback content in rotation on social media.
Last month specifically, I spent most of my time getting back into the groove of working full-time and managing my various passion projects. And let me tell you, it hasn't been easy. In addition to getting ready for the new year, training for my third half marathon in January and traveling for the holidays, I haven't had much time to put my ideas into action - which has resulted in a ridiculously long line of questioning in my head.
But that long line of questioning I've taken myself through is only procrastination. And I'll be honest - my procrastinating ways and (sometimes) self-doubt have held me back from starting a lot of new things. Days and days have gone by because I thought and over-thought about the "what-ifs" instead of putting in the work, promoting what I've created and learning about myself along the way.
So how exactly do we break this cycle? Starting before we're ready.
You're probably thinking, "Well Chasity, what does that look like exactly?"
I'm glad you asked friend.
To me, starting before we're ready is less about being prepared and more about fearlessly taking the risk to step into your greatness. I know it's so cliche, but we truly have everything we need to launch our dreams, bring them to life and watch them flourish.
When I started Millennial On A Mission almost three years ago, I knew that I wanted to shed light on the amazing things that my peers were doing both professionally and personally because I was sick of the media calling us lazy, narcissistic, and entitled life-time members of Broke Phi Broke. It soon occurred to me that I was surrounded by a group of amazing individuals who are defying these stereotypes and needed to have their stories told.
What started off as two blog features a month has grown into an online community of millennials with different backgrounds and disciplines, but who are all passionate about discovering their life's purpose and bringing it to life.
Looking back on the conception of MOAM and any other projects that I've completed, I had to remember what it meant to actually meant to S.T.A.R.T. something from the bottom and build it up:
SEEK out a problem you wish to solve. For me, it was dispelling the myth that millennials were much about nothing and mooching off of their parents post-college. What problem do you wish to solve? Be willing to ask yourself an uncomfortable question or two.
TAILOR your voice to a specific audience. Again, I wanted to speak specifically to my millennial peers. In doing so, I had to not only share their story, but share my journey as well. Once you decide the problem you wish to solve, make sure that your content is resonating with an audience that will understand the message you are trying to convey.
ALLOW for vision to expand. Initially, MOAM was just going to be a blog feature. But the more I spoke with my peers about their experiences, the more I realized that I needed to stretch it's purpose - one that I'm actually still trying to discover. With any goal we wish to achieve, we must be willing to give ourselves the space to grow and change. And who knows, something beautiful make come out of that detour.
REMIND yourself to be patient with the process. Listen, Linda. I can't stress this one enough! There is no such thing as overnight success. We are going to have to work hard, long hours in order to achieve what we hope to accomplish. If you need a break, take one. But even as you wait for something to happen, there's always work to be done.
TAKE time to evaluate what has worked, what hasn't and move forward accordingly. It will forever be important to conduct market research, test your product, check your work and monitor your progress. If something didn't work, that's alright! There's nothing wrong with pivoting or shifting in order to get to where we want to be. The time you take to review and evaluate your work, the more meaningful it will be to those who will benefit from it.
So there you have it! What are you planning to S.T.A.R.T as we move into a new year?
Let me know in the comments below or tweet me!