Start, Stop & Change: next step

Do you know someone who is wired to ask, What’s the very next step?

Someone who seems to have action and results in their DNA.

I have to admit the very next step is not my natural state. I can get overly focused on the whole enchilada. On wanting to know all the steps involved before I take the first one.

Which is a recipe for disaster. More accurately, it’s a recipe for taking no action whatsoever.

I’ve been practicing with this mindset a lot lately and it’s amazing (as in life changing) the difference it makes.

There’s always an answer

Because when you routinely ask, What’s the very next step?, there’s always an answer. You don’t have to be clairvoyant or all knowing. You don’t have to be a genius. You don’t have to only play within your comfort zone.

Instead, you just have to simply be willing to step into what’s next.

Like most mindsets, this one comes in handy in all sorts of situations.

  • A solopreneur is feeling overwhelmed with everything on his plate. What’s the very next step? (She decides to do research and get a virtual assistant).
  • A friend is tired of being in debt. What’s the very next step? (She decides to put a spreadsheet together to look her debt in the eye, something she’d been avoiding.)
  • You want to monetize what has been your hobby blog. What’s the very next step? (You might decide to read Michael Hyatt’s Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World to better understand the process.)

This mindset doesn’t mean you neglect being strategic or never look at the big picture. But I find that’s not where most of us get hung up.

Instead, most of us get stuck in overwhelm mode. We don’t know how to get started. We look for the perfect first step instead of a step that will simply move us forward. 

The way to get there is dark

When you’ve defined where you want to go (be debt-free, change careers, become comfortable public speaking), the way to get there is dark.

You’re not sure about the exact path, the specific steps.

Imagine you’re holding a flashlight to light your way. But it only shines so far in the darkness.

To see further—to make more of the path known—you have to take a step forward. With each step, there is greater clarity, more is known.

The way forward is clearer. The real obstacles in your way become apparent.

But all that clarity depends on your willingness to take a step forward. And then another. Even in the dark. Even when you don’t know the entire way.

The secret sauce

The secret sauce of What’s the very next step? is its orientation toward action. The saying goes: Imperfect action is better than perfect inaction.

So what’s your very next step?

  • Research?
  • Picking up the phone and making that call?
  • Scheduling an hour of uninterrupted time on your calendar?
  • Asking for help?
  • A brainstorming session with your whiteboard?
  • Signing up for that class?
  • A crucial conversation?
  • Making a decision?

Will you practice this mindset with me?