“Whatever you want to accomplish – whatever business you want to start up – give yourself two weeks to make massive, measurable progress. If you don’t hit your goals in the first two weeks, give up on that business. Forever.”
This piece of advice is singularly responsible for more of my success as an entrepreneur than any other piece of advice I have ever received.
As an entrepreneur, working on building and growing a startup, it’s incredibly easy to procrastinate; especially when you’re doing it along side working a full-time job. The result: most entrepreneurs fail before they ever even start. The excuse of not having time can easily begin to run rampant and kill off any chance you may have had at actually getting anywhere in your business.
Start by setting goals. A person without goals is like a ship with no navigation – you can turn the engines on full speed, but all it’s going to do is speed up how quickly the ship crashes and burns. Now, what’s important here is that the goals be big. These goals should be big enough to scare you. Make sure that the goals you’re setting are things that would drastically accelerate the growth of your business and bring you as close as possible to being able to launch.
Next, give yourself two weeks to accomplish everything on that list of goals you just made. Don’t you dare read that and say to yourself “I’m too busy this week, I’ll give myself two weeks starting next week”. Even more important, don’t you dare start erasing things from that list. No cheating. If you want to be successful as an entrepreneur, you have to be willing to give up sleep. For the next two weeks, 6 hours a night means you over-slept.
Lastly, you need to make yourself a promise. Promise yourself that no matter what, if you don’t accomplish everything on that list by two weeks from today, you’ll quit. You’ll walk away from this business and you’ll never return to it ever again. This promise achieves two very important results:
#1: This will allow you to cut your losses early and try out 26 different business ideas per year.
#2: This will light a fire under your a**.
In my opinion, result #2 is by far the most important, as well as the most impactful. If procrastination is what we’re working to avoid, what better way to do so than to put everything on the line?
If you have any doubt in your mind about this advice or the results it can create, I invite you to have a look at what I personally accomplished in my first two weeks building Pursuit Brand.
In the two weeks immediately following the very first day that I ever thought to myself “I should start a watch company”, here are a few of the things I accomplished:
- Polled 10+ friends to select the name “Pursuit”.
- Registered the business name “Pursuit Watches” (later to become Pursuit Brand)
- Hired a freelancer who completed my logo design.
- Built a fully functioning website using Weebly.
- Researched, interviewed, selected, met with and contracted a design firm to begin designing my first line of watches.
- Researched and interviewed 10+ overseas manufacturing companies.
- Selected a manufacturing company in China.
- Researched, selected, and set up accounts with a distribution centre in Traverse City, MI to handle all of my future inventory and distribution.
All of this and more in the first two weeks. Oh, and did I mention that I was also working full-time managing a $1M coaching business?
By the end of those first two weeks, all I had left to do to get my business ready for launch was to have my design team finish up, send the designs over to my manufacturer, get the first production run over to my distribution centre, and sell. Now, obviously none of those tasks were nearly that simply. There were an unbelievable number of challenges, learning curves, and pivots between then and now. The fact still remains however, that in the first two weeks, enough progress was made that I was able to see the light at end of the tunnel and start running towards it.
I’m not special, anyone can do it. Very few will do it, and that’s okay. Not everyone is meant to be an entrepreneur. Starting and growing your own business is incredibly challenging and it’s not for everyone. There’s a lot of value in failing fast, so if you want to see if you’ve got what it takes to be in business, give it two weeks.
Ready, set, action.