Struggling to get motivated to do something HARD? Cool—do the easy thing instead.
As faithful business owners, often we have to do things that are very hard. What we have to do can sometimes be things that you just want to avoid, because maybe you’ve made bad decisions, maybe they’re depressing.
I’m thinking of things like doing your finances, trying to balance your books. Maybe, like me, you have a month where you go off the rails purchasing software because you find good deals on things, and then when it’s time to start really nailing down and cracking down and looking at the books, you’re not motivated to do it, because you’re afraid of what it might look like. Actually let me just make this intensely practical for you. This happened to me recently.
I usually am pretty on top of my finances. For the past 4 years or so, maybe even longer, maybe 5 years now, I’ve been pretty intensely focused on financial health. I look at a budget almost every day. If not every day, multiple times per day. So that’s been kind of characteristic of things.
For me these past couple months have been very busy and I found myself, this was a couple of weeks ago now, having not looked at my budget in over a month. I was extremely nervous about what I was going to find when I looked at it. By the way, I did look at it and I got it all figured out, so it’s all good now. I’m speaking from a position now where I have that nailed down. But at that time I didn’t.
Honestly I needed some motivation, I really did. I hesitate to use the word depressed because there’s a very serious meaning to that word that some people deal with. I really didn’t want to do it. I was seriously depressed about looking at it, for lack of a better word right now. And so that was a hard thing to actually take the time to sit down to take the hours I knew it was going to take away from my work to even be able to do this. I knew it was going to take a long time so I needed some motivation.
Instead of doing the hard thing, what I did was an easy thing. I listened to one of my favorite finance podcasts. I listened to You Need a Budget (YNAB) which is the budgeting software that I use and also the budgeting methodology that I use. I am a fan of both Dave Ramsey and YNAB and many people find that their systems work really well together. That’s how I do things.
So I listened to the YNAB podcast and I binge listened to about 5 or 6 episodes probably. By the time I was done listening I was motivated to get my financial life in order. I just wanted to take from that experience really something interesting. It’s like if you have a hard thing to do, maybe there’s an easy thing to do that will get you motivated to do the hard thing.
I’m really bad at thinking of examples of things that haven’t actually happened to me, so maybe there is something in your business, a decision that you need to make, and you don’t want to make the decision. Maybe there’s an easy way to go about it. Maybe you could just talk about making the decision with somebody else. You could ask for advice and for counsel about the decision and just start talking about it more. The more you talk about it, the easier it will become to make the decision, possibly. There’s an example.
Again, the very thing that happened to me just serves as a good example. It’s very hard to imagine spending 3 or 4 hours balancing all of my finances across my business and personal life. So I did the easy thing. I listened to some podcasts and by the time I was done listening to those podcasts, I was super excited to dive in and do it. So that’s the principal. That’s what I’m trying to teach you here. Do the easy thing. What’s the easy thing that will allow you to do the hard thing or at least motivate you to do the hard thing. That’s something that I think you should think about and I think it will help you very much.
Thanks for listening and we’ll catch you in the next episode.