Do you have a long list of goals that you want to achieve? No matter how small or large your goals are; some of us never even start.
The main reason is that we know that the first step is the hardest. How do you even set that first step? How do you go from zero to one?
- From zero revenue to earning your first dollar.
- From zero followers to one follower.
- From unemployed to getting á job.
- From zero users to one user.
In the beginning, it’s not about finding your dream job, becoming a multi-millionaire, having 1M followers.
No, it’s about taking that first step. Your first pleasant job. Your first reader. Your first user. Your first sale.
Here are 7 steps that help bring you from zero to one.
1. Know Your Desire
Before you start anything, ask yourself: “Why do I want this?” Really — why do you want a new job, start a business, lose weight?
Here are a few bad reasons to do things:
- I will get famous.
- It sounds cool.
- It looks good.
- It’s good for my resume.
- I don’t know what to do else, so I have to do something.
- And, by far, the worst reason: It’s what other people do. Or, it’s what normal people do.
If your reason to do something is one of the above, it’s time to sit down and rethink your ‘why’.
You know why? Because those things will never push you through adversity. You need something bigger than that to start something. A purpose.
Don’t stay on the surface, but dig deep and uncover why you want to start something. You need a real desire to start something.
And then make it compelling enough that you wake up every day with fireup your ass.
No good reason to start? Don’t waste your time, energy, money.
2. Forget Everything You Know
Alright, great, you’ve found a good reason to do something.
Maybe you want to lose weight so you can play with your children. Maybe you want to become rich so you can take care of your family.
Now it’s time to let go of everything you know.
Start with a completely clean slate. Forget everything you know about entrepreneurship, music, writing, sales, marketing, dieting, health, or whatever is relevant to you.
If you want to start something, having an “I know nothing” mindset is critical to your success.
Let go of all assumptions and start taking in knowledge. Become a learning machine. And when you combine that with step one, desire, you have a winning combination.
Desire + Knowledge = Success
That’s your foundation. Desire will give you enough motivation to push through any obstacle, and knowledge will give you the tools to do it. It’s the start of all human behavior.
Plato put it best:
“Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge.”
3. Love The Unknown
Now that we talked about the foundation; let’s get practical.
People ask me: “How did you know you wanted to write 2 articles a week and start an online course?”
The truth is that I had no idea. About one year ago I left my safe and well-paying corporate job in IT. The only thing I knew was that I wanted to write a book.
I wanted to write that book for myself, as a reminder to live a life of contribution. I didn’t do it to get rich, or as a “business card.”
I had absolutely no idea what would happen after I finished the book. Sure, I had a plan, and I had a sense of direction.
But as many of us know, plans can blow up in our face. But I was okay with that.
And you know what? You HAVE to be okay with that. There are no actual fortune-tellers.
If you start something new in your life, there’s NO WAY you can tell with 100% certainty how it will end. You need to have the self-confidence to start—trust your ability to figure things out.
There is just no way of knowing exactly what will happen before you start. So get over yourself and become friends with the unknown. If you can’t fight it, you better embrace it.
4.Resist Social Pressure
Let’s say that you’re starting to make some progress. But what do you do when people in your environment don’t get it?
You might have heard this Jim Rohn quote:
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
I believe that 100%. But here’s the thing: When you start, you can’t just cross people off your list when they don’t think as you do.
However, that doesn’t change the fact that social pressure is an annoying thing. But it’s very simple, and it all comes down to this:
Do you go for drinks this Friday because your coworkers or friends ask you? OR, will you go home and start working on your goals?
One sets you a step back, the other will bring you one step closer to your goal. The decision is yours.
5. Set Deadlines
What are your timelines?
“I will do it someday.”
Yeah, by someday you actually mean never. Someday is just not good enough.
Research shows that self-imposed deadlines are meaningful, and they are effective in improving your task performance.
So, break up the thing that you’re trying to achieve in smaller, more achievable, goals.
Want to lose weight? Set a deadline for the first 5 pounds.
Apply that analogy to anything you want: Money, followers, job interviews, etc.
6. Put It In Your Calendar
But I’ll tell you one thing: Build your habits by putting them in your calendar because what’s in your calendar gets done.
If we want to achieve certain things, we have to schedule a time to actually do it. Can you become successful without any skills?
I don’t think so. Scheduling your activities is a great way to keep track of your progress. Nothing scheduled? No progress.
For me, it looks like this: Every Sunday I sit down for 20 minutes and plan out my week. I think about how much time I want to spend writing, reading, exercising, learning, emailing, working on my course, etc.
You don’t have to plan things to the minute — just write down the activities you have to do to achieve your goals.
Also, don’t expect to be great by “squeezing in” important tasks. Allocate big chunks of time to tasks. That’s how you get stuff done. I’ve never seen someone become good at something by doing it 5 minutes here and there.
For example: If you want to learn a skill, you may want to practice it for one hour a day. When will you practice? It’s that simple.
7. Prepare To Meet With Resistance
So you’re doing all the right things, great, congratulations. You’re awesome.
But here’s something you didn’t see coming: Resistance. What will you do when things don’t go your way?
There’s internal resistance. Your own thoughts, like: “Ugh, I’m too tired for this.” Or: “I can’t do this.”
And there’s external resistance. In other words, shit happens, and you think: “Why me? GOD! WHY?! I can’t take it anymore.”
That’s why you need a strong desire, remember? There are forces at play that will hold you back. Just count on it.
It has happened to me so often that I lost track. Things go well, you think you’re on a roll until something happens that smacks you in the face. Resistance is a pain in the ass.
How do you battle it? There’s only one way, as Robert Frost said:
“The best way out is always through.”
And that’s what you do: You take the first step, that will get you going, and you will stop for nothing. After that, you go from zero to ten. And then from ten to one hundred. So it goes.
Ready. Set. Go.
Image by Gustavo Devito