Keep going girl, keep building that dream!
If you are on a quest of building something meaningful and are hitting a snag, this one is for you. I want to let you know that with focus and resolve, you can, and you will succeed. I have tried a number of projects in 2020 and 2021. In my toughest moment, I wished I had a fairy lady that could gently nudge me towards the right direction. I needed to have someone who understood the raw emotions I was going through at times, the anxiety, the fatigue and dismay. I have successfully built a clothing online store, a Podcast followership, I started a writing hobby, and a coaching practice for those looking to throw themselves into something big. Creativity alone will not get you over the line. Building and completing something of value does not lie only on the beauty of the dream, but also on many attributes we often discount. Discipline, grit and resilience are good friends. They will be the greatest allies in the worst of times.
From one adventurer to another, please know that as you set sail to your new destination, you will realise that building requires clarity and direction. It may change shape from time to time and even become a better version of the original plan. Whether you are building a brand, a social media followership or a business, there are many lessons to be learned. The lessons often become about ourselves and who we are becoming in the process of birthing something great. I was excited to write this article because in my down moments, I needed that article that would help me with understanding the excruciating process of building. I needed a voice that would remind me that I could overcome all the challenges I was meeting.
Build a plan
Firstly, it is important to build a plan as a guideline of what it is that you want to achieve. The plan can be altered based on the lessons and clarity you will attain as you progress. Building blindly can be challenging as one seems to be travelling without a GPS. A plan is also important for helping you to notice the good strides you are making that need to be continued. It also helps to bring to light the actions that are not yielding results and need to be abandoned.
Despite all the enthusiasm you have garnered by now and a solid plan, you will hit the challenging moments. I remember that when I started an online clothing business, I thought my love for fashion would be a natural hit and adequate to succeed. It turns out that the greatest challenge I would encounter would be the maintenance of an inventory system. Especially because I was still in fulltime employment, an inventory system was my greatest asset for pushing or stalling sales. I had to know at any time the sizes and colours that were still in stock. This is especially important for online shoppers who have access to many options at any one time and lose interest that much faster. That was a hard lesson learned and would make or break my business.
You may not know all the details to what you are planning but a foundation is important nonetheless to give you guidance of where you are headed. Once you have a framework, you can see what you need to build or source skills for and what you already have. As you become aware of other things that are required, you can simply refine your plan. In this way, you do not only have a revised plan but also what you can use to help teach others about what you have learned.
I remember starting a Podcast at the beginning of the year with all the excitement of new beginnings. The reception was overwhelming and everyone I spoke to seemed excited about the idea I was developing. It was so easy to find guests to interview for the show. The topics also came easily with an interest from quite a few corners. In no time, I reached the overwhelming parts of the process. I had to learn the difficult aspects of producing and improving the quality of the episodes. I had to take the good and the gory parts of the feedback to learn from and these were not always nice. Technically, I had to learn different cosmetic changes that would help to build subscribers. I had to develop branding elements, deciding as I was going along what the show was and wasn’t. I had to consistently market the show without losing the momentum of the growth. There were days when I was not excited of fitting the show in-between everything else that was going on in my life. Lesson learned here is to use the amazing momentum of the Beginner’s luck but brace yourself for the difficult moments as well.
Break the project into small achievable phases
The sheer size of what you want to achieve can be overwhelming at times. The best you will have to learn is to cut the project into achievable parts that can give you a sense of achievement once completed. Phasing a project also helps with stages of reflection and rethinking on how to best use the lessons learned to leverage the bigger project. It also builds momentum as well as the confidence that you can do this.
It will test you and you will grow from it
Building anything worthwhile will test you to the core. You will be stretched beyond your imagination and at the same time, you will grow in a way that will make you so proud. Tests are part of the journey and should, in no way, ever make you want to quit. Challenges are just that and they can be overcome. You will not always know the answer right away. You will need to research some information, learn from others and at other time, figure things out on your own.
Learn from those who have travelled the path
I found it very helpful to find like-minded people who are on the same journey or even ahead of where I am. One of my hobbies is writing short stories. I found it very useful to find support groups of other authors to learn from, receive guidance from as well as moral support. It has been the most rewarding experience which I would not trade for anything. With each article, I have learned something new and this has served me well in my Corporate life as well.
If you have any questions or thoughts on this topic, I invite you to share below. I’d love to hear from you! Please follow this series. Thank you again for your interest.