Let’s be honest here: Covid-19 has collectively wreaked havoc on many careers this year.

When the new year kicked off, many of us hoped for a year of personal and professional milestones. Instead, we’ve spent most of the year just trying to find our footing in what this 2020 version of the “New Normal” looks like.

We saw more companies let go, furlough, and restructure their teams than we’ve ever seen before. Our views shifted. Owners and high-level managers had to get crafty when it came to how many people were truly needed to keep their company running. Brick and mortars had to shut their doors due to the restrictions placed on physical distance. And if you didn’t know the business word, “pivot” before this year, well, you’ve certainly had it drilled into your brain by now.

But pivot we did.

Many small business owners took measures to adapt to the new circumstances by increasing their online activity to keep client interaction and sales possible. As well as seeing an increase across the board with the creation of online businesses during this time. Millennials and Gen Z are 188% more likely to create a side business (Salesforce, 2019) that eventually they could see taking full-time. And during this time, many took the opportunity to do just that.

So we have a large percentage of people who are launching businesses online and working on their own for the first time, yet we were never taught how to actually do this.

Where do we find the motivation? The structure? The accountability?

Very few of us just know how to wake up and create a workday for ourselves when we’ve never had to before. And that lack of understanding in regards to where and how we should focus our attention when starting out leaves many of us oscillating between two mindset norms:

Analysis paralysis: constantly overanalyzing every decision and actually producing very little in the process. Or,
Shiny Object Syndrome: trying to do and consume everything at once, yet getting distracted by each new idea and producing watered-down results.

So how do we combat this over-consuming and under-producing work cycle?
Here are 5 simple ways to create momentum and continued action in your business today:

  1. Vision Work: Get extremely clear on where you want your business to be, how you want it to look, run, and feel in 3 months, 1 year, and 3 years from now.
  2. Set Goals and Make Them Actionable: Outline goals that will get you to where you want to go and set timelines around them. Breaking down your big picture goals into action steps with dates and deadlines keeps you accountable and makes your goals actionable.
  3. Time Block Your Days: Time blocking is a productivity technique in which you divide a period of time into smaller blocks that you focus on specific tasks. Creating this structure for your days will leave you feeling empowered by defining the purpose for each day.
  4. Create Accountability: A big one when you are working on your own, but find your circle/team. Hire a coach, join a networking group, get in a mastermind, and create accountability so you are with other like-minded individuals who will keep you on track and honest.
  5. Eliminate Outside Noise: Develop boundaries around what you consume and be intentional with how you spend your time and energy. Assess if more of your day is spent consuming vs. creating, and if it’s consumption heavy, decide on 3 action steps you can take right now to move the needle forward but don’t feel too overwhelming. Start there.

For many new entrepreneurs, developing a sense of structure is necessary for creating a greater feeling of purpose and achievement we desire as business owners. Goal setting, accountability, and the celebration of little wins along the way will help us to navigate the beginning stages of launching a business all on our own.