How to succeed in Business – making the hard yards

“Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air”

John Quincy Adams

This is the partner post to the idea of thinking like an entrepreneur. If you play rugby, there’s a phrase they use called “making the hard yards”. This is making progress through a pile of defenders who are trying to stop you, its far from easy, but will result in setting up a successful platform from which you can attack and make bigger progress.

This philosophy applies in business and blogging as well. In fact any task you take on. If you want to make the hard yards, the most important thing when you hit the resistance is to keep your feet moving, never stop them, just small steps, keep driving forward. If you ever stop pumping your feet then the defense is going to get on top and start pushing you back. Once you are going backwards then you are always going to be on the back foot and struggling to make progress.

How does this apply in Business though?

Any time you hit resistance in a project it’s necessary to remember this philosophy. Let’s take the example of blogging. So many bloggers know the feeling of suddenly hitting the wall. It’s why so many blogs die and fizzle away. You can’t think of what to write or how to boost visitor numbers or another problem. You stop. Once you stop you find it’s difficult or in fact “impossible” to pick it up again.

The solution here is to realize you have hit some resistance and then make an action plan on how to progress. The action plan needs to involve lots of little steps you can take forward. You want to keep moving.

So let’s take our blogger. They hit a wall. They can’t think of any solutions. Here is my 6 step solution to making the hard yards.

  1. Identify the problem: write down what it is – you can’t solve anything you aren’t clear on
  2. Write down 3 little things you can do right now: to keep the momentum and continue making progress, no matter how small. And do them
  3. Write down what’s on the other side of the obstacle: You need to know what you are aiming for
  4. Brainstorm ideas: ask “what if I____” or “how could I____?” questions. i.e. what if I wrote 100 comments every day on other blogs for a month?… how could I develop an easy method to write new material AND make it fun? Create possible solutions
  5. Seek Advice: look for answers from people who have been in similar situations. I always check the copyblogger or problogger websites when I am looking for that nugget of inspiration on blogging or ask for help on websites or in forums… you never know who will be willing to give some great adviceAGAIN.. create possible solutions
  6. ACT: Keep experimenting and keep moving forward. You will succeed

The key:

Keep testing, keep experimenting and remember that baby steps add up.