Taking the first step is not the biggest hurdle

Perhaps you’ve heard the quote by Henry Ford:

If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got

You want to make change happen.   You have an idea to improve your business.

You take action.

Take a first step.

Perhaps you even take a moment to congratulate yourself for making a change.

Time passes……..

Frustration kicks in.

Whether or not you see immediate results,  your efforts might feel a bit clumsy or awkward.  You are tempted to got back to doing it the old way… or stop making those news steps.     You are not along, this is often the time that people give up and revert to doing what they’ve always done.  Just knowing this fact might give you the impetus to stick with it – and more in a moment about what you can do.

Taking the first step is not the biggest hurdle

Often there is much talk about overcoming inertia, the effort involved in starting something.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

What do I mean by “overcoming inertia”.  It’s the increased effort that’s needed at the beginning.  Take a broken down stationary car –  much effort is needed to get the car moving initially, but onces it’s moving it’s reasonably easy to keep it moving.

In fact knowing what the first step, and perhaps even taking it, is the easy bit

BUT in my experience of working with business owners, sometimes making changes to your business it’s NOT like overcoming inertia.  The first steps aren’t necessarily the hardest.  Oftentimes starting is easy.  The challenge is sticking at it.  There are of course different reasons for “quitting” something new.  Let me briefly describe 2 main areas.  Maintaining the changes, and the awkwardness of doing something new.  I touched on this in a previous blog: Becoming a learner again


Maintaining the changes

Until you see results you may be reluctant to change systems (if you have them) to incorporate the changes.  So if the systems and checklists aren’t there, it’s likely to be harder to ensure that you (or your team) are accountable to complete the tasks on a regular basis.

Awkwardness of doing something new

There’s a “model” of how people learn called The Learning Curve. The learning curve, shows how as we learn, we progress from being unconsciously incompetent through consciously incompetent to unconscious competence.

So what is going on here… let me use an analogy, a story, to make the point.. as well as give you some labels along the way.

Learning to drive:

My wife describes how she learnt to drive, an experience common to many of us.

“As a teenager, I was a passenger a lot.  We did lots of driving around.  I probably thought I could drive, knowing what all the switches and levers did.  I could hear when one of my parents were in the wrong gear.  “How hard can it be?”, I wondered.   The technical phrase for this stage is unconsious incompetence.  Or might be described as blissful ignorance.

“I had my first lesson.  The car kangarooed across the disused carpark.  How would I ever get the balancing of the clutch and accelerator?”  This is concious incompetence.  Having had a go, the task becomes “real” and sometimes harder than expected.  This can be the stage people quit.

“After a while of course, I got the hang of it …. but it required all of my concentration.  I remember meeting with my friend Sara who was a bit older than me and had passed her driving test, and had one hand on the steering wheel, music blaring”  Consious competence is the description.

Followed by unconsious competence:  “of course it didn’t take too long for me to pass my test, and be able to drive AND listen to the radio”.

Planning for success

The terminology for The Learning Curve can be off-putting.  However the lessons that you can take from it are useful.  The learning curve can inform how you make changes.  It’s important to recognise that having taken the first step may not be the hardest.  Before you start something new, have a think about the “support” that you need to continue, when you’re metophorically crunching the gears and it feels awkward.  Perhaps remember a time that you’ve struggled with something, BUT ultimately succeeded.  How did you “keep going, when the going was tough?”.

Just knowing this stuff might help you stick at something new long enough to get good at it and achieve success… most times the temptation to quit is too strong.  Whether it is because it is too hard, or you cant “see” the change.  Quitting three feet from gold happens all too often.

So if you want to make a change, to improve and live the life of your dreams and you would like some to hold you accountable along the way.  Or just someone to give you honest outside feedback.. to confirm that while it doesn’t feel like it YES you are on the right track.. then call me now to find out more – 07973288043

As your local Surrey business coach I really do want to support Business Owners, like you, improve performance.

Just call me, use my experience!


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