THINK ABOUT IT: getting off your ‘but’

UPDATE: I found the video that inspired this post!

Last week I watched a video about the Sean Stephenson, author of Get Off Your “But” and though I haven’t read the book itself, I think the title is pretty freaking awesome and it applies to today’s THINK ABOUT IT topic, moving forward past fears.

People have asked me how I stay motivated, move forward, and generally grow Jess LC. And the answer is that I just keep going and eventually progress is made. Anything you do for 9-10 hours a day, five days a week, is bound to grow.

Except when I get stuck.

Getting stuck happens to us all. Sometimes we get stuck because we don’t know what to do next, sometimes we don’t have the resources or time to move forward, and sometimes we freeze from fear. It happens to everyone – absolutely everyone.

The difference between successful and less successful people, as Sean Stephenson mentioned in his video clip, lies in how long we stay stuck. He calls the reasons we get stuck our “buts.” And our buts leave us sitting… on our butts.

The question is: how do we get off our buts?

Here’s how I got off my but yesterday:

In the next few months I will be debuting jewelry at some pretty big-time retailers which have specific vendor requirements. In order to work with these companies, I need to make sure I follow their protocols. If I don’t, I’ve heard stories of charge-backs and penalties that decrease my check. Not fun, right? So I felt the need to do everything exactly right. But since I felt intimidated by the process, I avoided opening the Excel attachments with the information because I thought it might be hard to understand or execute perfectly.

Avoiding the task actually caused additional stress. I knew I was procrastinating, and that made me even more frustrated on top of the fear I felt about the contracts. Needless to say, my anxiety around both orders increased. I found myself with a little nagging voice in my head saying, “But I don’t know what to do. Geez, if only I had a boss to show me how to do this, my life would be so much easier. All my friends with bosses get taught how to do new things. I don’t get that at all. Blah. Blah. Blah. But. But. But.

Then, I calmly and firmly responded to that nagging voice, “Get over it, Jess. It’s true, you don’t have a boss. But every time you’ve needed to learn something, God has put someone in your life with the right information. The same will happen today.

So after swallowing that reality pill, I called my friend, Kristin, and told her about how I was avoiding the next steps to working with these new retailers. She listened and serenely told me that I had a ton of things on my plate and these new partnerships’ delivery requirements were adding stress. She said that I just needed to drop off the orders in my hands at the post office, go back to the studio, write down everything I have to do this week, and then divide it up day by day.

Hearing her objectively assess the situation and give me direction helped immensely. She acted as my “boss” and told me what I needed to do next. So I promptly went home, wrote down all my tasks, and started checking them off. And when I got to those shipping requirements, I printed them out and read them. Sure, I still have some questions. But I know that I can call the buyers at the companies and they will help me do things correctly.

Like our posteriors, the longer we sit on buts, the bigger they get.

So let’s go bust some ass, shall we?

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  1. Jacki

    Great post! I’m going to amazon right now to have a look at the book!

  2. Kylie

    This is a great post, Jess. I am right there with you, as I’m just starting my business. It seems like I have a hundred questions every step of the way, and this just isn’t like my day job where I have a building full of people and resources to ask. This is a great reminder that I need to break down the tasks I don’t know how to tackle into smaller steps.

  3. Kelly

    Great post! I use this approach for my work stuff, it keeps me moving forward.

  4. Jill

    Ha! I love it… I def need to bust some A#@ today… thanks for the reminder! 🙂

  5. Your last line is funny and so true – the longer I put something off out of anxiety the harder it becomes.

  6. Jill

    Just sent out some very important emails… this was the little push I needed today! Thanks girl!

  7. Joy

    Hey Jess,

    I had invited you to see Sean last month for a Lifebook event. Can’t remember if it included a link to a video. Anyway, if you still need help with shipping/billing issues let me know- I might be able to help. The hard thing was to get the “in”, you will laugh at how you got distracted by this later 🙂

  8. laura

    this is the exact same thing that i did with my trade show (refused to open my show manual due to fear), and it has added even more stress!! i’m paying for it now, but it’s a lesson learned. thanks for your honesty 🙂

  9. Kim

    Here’s a quote I’ve been referring to a lot lately to keep me moving forward:
    “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage.”(Quote attributed to Dale Carnegie)
    It may help you too.

  10. Ohh I have a FEW buts to kick this weekend I think 🙂

    I had to chuckle though, because REAL bosses (employer bosses) aren’t really all that useful in the way you describe. Sometimes they are (the few and far between), but in my experience, one is not taught to do, only “encouraged” to be “creative” or “take leadership” and then told that it was done “wrong” and they wanted it “this way” – that would have been nice to know when you were STARTING. I’d much prefer a “boss” like your friend who can help break your task into managable bites. Sounds perfect.

    Sorry to sound a bit jaded, but that might show you why I need to get off MY buts and get motivated to charge forward with self-employment!

  11. dayle

    This was eye opening! I can relate to this for sure. I have a lot of buts I need to address. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Loved this! I so needed to read this post! I am a but-aholic. I will consciously make good effort to ignore my feelings of failure and will try harder.
    PS – You have a great friend that helped you get off your “butt”. 😉

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