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July 22, 2009

(Wo)man on the moon: Small Steps to Big Action

As business owners there is much to be learned from Neil Armstong's famous words, "one small step for man one giant step for mankind".

To start, you need to crawl before you can walk. And, it is taking that first step that starts you on the greater road ahead.

While it is incredibly important to "think big" and have a vision of what you want your business to be in 5 years, it is also important to focus on the present and take it one step at a time. Often, a danger of only thinking big is immobility. It can be very difficult to take action on the big picture, and with only the big picture in mind it is easy to feel paralyzed and unclear about the day to day work that you need to accomplish in order to eventually achieve your long term goals.

So what to do? We usually encourage women entrepreneurs to do two things:

First, make sure that your big picture vision is where you really want to go! We have worked with several women who felt stymied and stuck although they had a clear vision. However, much of their inaction really stemmed from the fact that want they wanted had changed and their BIG vision no longer motivated them or was no longer suitable for the company.

Second, if you are a visionary person who gets inspired by BIG future ideas, make sure that you are setting aside as much time for brainstorming about the HOW as you are the WHAT and WHY. Start with your vision and work backwards. Given where you want to be in 5 years, what needs to happen in 1 year, then back up to 6 months, 3 months, 1 month, and 1 week. This kind of backtracking will not only help you put yourself into motion but also create some accountability too.

You should certainly reach for the stars and shoot for the moon but remember the importance of keeping your feet planted firmly on the ground.

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