Getting started can be the hardest part of a project.  Take that first step to find it’s easier than you think.  

We all procrastinate – especially on those things that we really “should do,” but they aren’t urgent enough to make it on the A list for generating revenues or net income or family happiness.  

I’m a believer in starting to do something as the way to move forward.  

“He has half the deed done who has made a beginning.” – Horace

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

Once you start a project, even one that you’ve been dreading and putting off for months (or years!) doesn’t it seem that it’s easier than you thought it would be?  During this last week of December, I usually can find enough time to tackle a project that I know I should do but hasn’t seemed urgent enough to spend time doing.  Those are the kinds that will “bite you” when you finally run up against having to do them.  Then it’s when you really do need to do something else, and it may be too late to fix some of the problems that happened before you started work. 

This week’s example is the dreaded “Clear out the Garden Shed” project.  It’s a blessing and a curse to have space to keep things that you aren’t sure about.  This is especially true when you let your parents convince you to take all their extra bits and pieces (rugs, furniture, light fixtures, etc.) that they never got rid of (or worse yet, are Family Heirlooms).  When they sold the house and moved to be nearer the grandkids, years and years of their inherited things ended up in my shed! 

With the new year coming up and after trying to find some winter container materials I needed for the season, I agreed with my husband (who has been trying to get me to clear out the space for years) to work on it.  We spent several hours of deciding what to keep, what to give to kids, what to toss or recycle and what to donate.  Donations even have sub-categories – things worth giving to Goodwill and textiles that aren’t reusable but that can be recycled by the “Re-threads” group that makes them into other items vs. ending up in a landfill. Unfortunately, the delay in clearing out caused us to lose some parts of our beehive – moths had gotten to them while they were stored incorrectly! 

You know how good it feels to have accomplished such a project?  We are still congratulating ourselves on the new space in the shed.  We also spent some time feeling bad about the money and time spent (wasted) on things that seemed important at the time but now have no value to us at all.  First-world problems, for certain. 

The good news is that: 

  • Once we started working on the project, it was easier than we thought it would be.  It took less time overall and 80% of what we had to go through was easy to make decisions about.
  • We felt good about donating a lot of things that could be used by others rather than sit idle.
  • We have a great sense of accomplishment in having the shed cleared out!

Have you been putting off a project because it just seems like it will take up too much time and it doesn’t directly impact your daily results?  I speak to a lot of landscape business owners who put off making an exit plan for their business because: 

  • The time spent working on it doesn’t impact their daily/weekly/monthly results.
  • They aren’t sure where to dive in and don’t want to waste any of their precious time.
  • The results might not be what they had hoped for, and they aren’t ready to think about that. 

It will be easier than you think it will be once you start working on it.  The world of exit planning for small privately held businesses has improved dramatically in the past 10 to 15 years.  There are steps you can take to see if you are personally ready mentally and financially and whether your business is ready as well.  Once you start identifying what your options are and which of those you want to pursue, you can decide how to achieve the best results.  

If there is a gap between where you are today and where those greener pastures are, you will know what it is, what you can do to fill the gap, and start executing.  If you now know what you want to do, you can begin executing your plan knowing you’ve considered your options.  Don’t let your concerns about not knowing about the process and potential outcomes overwhelm your thinking that it’s time to address this project.  If you would like to discuss your exit plans, the value of your business, selling your business, or buying another business, let’s chat.  It’s rarely too early to think about setting goals.  Have you bought a business and are having trouble integrating it?  We can help with that too. 

I can be reached anytime via email: [email protected] or phone at: 224-688-8838.

We’re here to help you Harvest Your Potential!

Alison Hoffman

has more than 25 years of experience in strategy, operations, mergers and acquisitions and delivering business-to-business client solutions. Her areas of expertise include managing operations for profitable growth, organizational design and strategy activation. She brings a wealth of experience through her work in evaluating, valuing and purchasing over 30 companies, leading company-wide cultural and business integration projects and consolidating best practices among business processes and corresponding computing systems. Read Full Bio

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