When my daughter, Elena, kept putting off selling cookie dough for her Color Guard team, I thought she was just being lazy or making excuses because she doesn’t really like to sell. Talking to others and asking people to help her is pretty outside of her comfort zone. When I pressed her on it, she explained that she just couldn’t sell that dough to our neighbors. She explained that they would buy it from her just to be nice, but she knew it wasn’t good. I pushed further though and asked how she thought she would help her team raise funds for their trip if she didn’t sell the cookie dough.
“I’ll make it!” she replied.
She loves to bake and has gotten a lot of positive feedback on her cookies. This is something at which she excels. Before I knew it, she had a business plan, a letter to the neighbors, an order form and was mixing up dough. The next day an appointment got canceled and she immediately filled that time with packaging and delivering her cookies. She came home with a handful of orders and started planning when she would bake and deliver. She had no problem committing to and following through with an even more difficult task and will probably learn far more from this experience than with the traditional fundraising program.
Experience is the Best Teacher!
My publishing project this week is a lot like Elena’s cookie order. I didn’t accomplish any of my goals this week. Looking at Elena’s experience and mine, I’ve identified three things that are important to understand in order to better a job reaching our goals.
It’s important to really understand the problem in order to create solutions.
Elena’s refusal to sell cookies using the traditional route was not because she was lazy or shy, but because it didn’t align with her values. Once she clarified that her goal was to make money by selling a valuable product, she was much more eager. Similarly, I haven’t made progress on my book project because I haven’t clarified what that means. I have not sat down and identified goals, benchmarks and tasks. My overarching goal of publishing a book is going to need to be broken down into smaller chunks if I am going to be able to make and track consistent progress toward my goal.
We are much more eager to invest in things when we feel comfortable and competent.
When Elena focus on her strength, baking; her weakness, selling, was no longer an issue. Her strength compensated for the weakness. My weakness with the publishing project right now is not really knowing the process or steps I need to take. In order to move forward, I will need to take a step back and utilize my strength, learning. It is important for me to identify some resources and mentors that will help me feel more comfortable and competent with the publishing process.
In order for something to be a priority, we have to make it a priority by investing in it with our time, energy and resources.
As soon as Elena identified what she wanted to do, she immediately invested time, energy and resources into it. No goal worth reaching is ever reached without a little blood, sweat and tears. This week I didn’t have time or energy to work on my publishing project because I failed to make time. I scheduled my calendar with several other things and did not block out time for my project. Because I was so booked, I also stayed up late and didn’t take the time to prepare healthy meals. As a result, even if I did have time left over, my energy and focus were gone.
It’s pretty clear to me from my experiences this week that dreams don’t just come true, we have to make it!
I saw this video the other day and it really illustrates for me how important it is to keep working toward your goal so that when you reach it, you have become the person you need to be to live that future self. I definitely made some mistakes this week and have more things to learn. I am committing to defining my goals, finding supports to build my skills and prioritize my project. I have a ways to go toward reaching my goal, but
I’ll make it!
What steps will you take this week to make it?