What Is the First Step to Starting a New Business? Hint – It’s Not What You Think

Chris and I had every intention of launching the UnStuckable podcast this November after our first round of interviews in September, but we didn’t.   So what happened?

We made a classic entrepreneurial mistake.   After I wrapped up my travel marathon on October 31, 2013 to close out my decade-long career path as a broadcast sales trainer, I was supposed to dive into unstuckable. We didn’t give myself enough breathing room in between my transition between old and new career paths.

What exactly have I been doing over the last few weeks?

PURGING.

I think this is one of the least discussed and most important activities in the early days of any entrepreneurial process.

Before you take on an enormous new vision, identity and commitment you have to clean house and give yourself the space to fully commit to your new path in life.

So what have I been purging?

 

Physical Possessions

I first went through all of my clothes.   I got rid of anything I haven’t worn in the last year and donated them to Goodwill.   If I haven’t worn something in a year, my subconscious mind already decided it didn’t like it.

Next I hit the spare bedroom my wife and I use as storage space for our books, office supplies, files, etc. Long ago I converted most of my paper files and bills into digital form, but paper still seems to rear its ugly head.  I filed all my documents and bills into their appropriate folders.

Finally I hit the basement, purgatory for all the stuff we don’t know whether to hold onto or not.  Out of sight, out of mind, right?  Wrong.  It still nags me!  Most of the stuff we planned on donating, so I gathered it up and donated it to Goodwill or put it on Craigslist.

 

Digital Content

Physical clutter might take up space in your home or office, but digital clutter takes up space in your mind too!

I purged any programs on my computer I haven’t used in the last year.   I unsubscribed from a slew of newsletters I was no longer reading.   I went through all of my documents and deleted the ones I knew I would no longer need and moved the rest to my dropbox. I even took the time to purge bookmarks from my browser.

 

Social Connections

Purging social connections is a delicate conversation.  As you are about to embark on a life changing transition like starting a business you need all the positive support around you as possible.

On the flip side, you’ll need to purge as much negative energy in your life as possible.  You know, those folks in your life who don’t offer constructive criticism, but rather doubt and skepticism.

Take this opportunity to review all of your social connections and be aware of those who are taking more from your life than adding to it.   You might want to minimize your interactions who those who are depleting your energy or cut them out altogether.

A few years ago I went through a major social purge.  It wasn’t fun and was very hard.  It was worth it in the end and I’m on a better path now.

 

Obligations & Commitments 

Americans have been told they can have it all, but you can’t.Time is a limited resource.If you are going to take on the dream of working on your own terms, you are going to have to give up some of your previous obligations and commitments.

Here’s a quick gut check for purging them: make a list of all the obligations you dread the most.  Instead of using your energy to avoid them, determine if they continue to deserve any of your attention at all.

Sometimes you might even have to give up fun commitments like travel.  No one loves to travel more than me, but I have put a 6-month hold on planning any big trips.

 

Emotions 

We all have issues.   Deal with them as best you can in a positive way, so they don’t hold you back from realizing your full potential.

I have decided to get back into yoga.  It’s a practice that let’s me tap into my spiritual side, enabling me to really let go of my petty, emotional garbage.

 

Sweat the Small Stuff

Some of you might think purging sounds like a productive form of procrastination.  Let me tell you this, the practice of purging has made me lighter, more energetic and more focused as I embarked on each one of the transitions in my career.

Many of the things I purged might seem inconsequential.  All those little things nagging at you have a cumulative effect on your energy by incrementally draining your will power and slowing down your progress.   Better to deal with your worries now and let them go!What do you think about the purge stage? Do you think it’s valid and useful?

What is your view on purging?

Post your comment below or email questions@unstuckable.co