Getting ready to get ready is a common if yet unidentified, procrastination technique. Are you stalling your progress by hanging out in “get ready” mode for too long? What does it look like? We’re sharing all you need to know in this week’s episode.
The Danger of Getting Ready to Get Ready
[01:05] Deirdre Harter: So many people stall their progress by getting ready to get ready. Have you ever experienced that or know someone who did?
Whether it's scheduling a master class, launching a new service, or even hiring a business coach. I think that this is something that all of us, as entrepreneurs, fall into because we really want to put our best foot forward, and we want everything to be just right, and we want to put ourselves out there in a way that we can feel good about.
But there is a danger to this getting ready to get ready, and that is that you can erode your confidence. You can also lose momentum, and in most cases, you're leaving money on the table. Your mindset takes a big hit when you train it to stay in a holding pattern because you're telling yourself you're not ready. And the truth is, you're more ready than we think we are all the time.
The Number One Reason People Get Stuck in Getting Ready to Get Ready
[02:00] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: Yeah, those are such good points. And what happens is it's scary to do something new. So we think, “Well, I need to get ready. I need to get more ready than I am,” and it's a trap. And so, let's talk about reasons people get stuck in the getting ready to get ready syndrome.
The number one reason is fear. And fear shows up as many different things. It can show up as procrastination. Procrastination on taking action and learning. Like, until you take action, you don't know anything. And what do I mean by that?
I mean that let's say you have an idea for a product or a service, or you're going to launch a workshop or something that you're going to put out into the world for the first time, and you want to learn everything that you possibly can about that thing before you take action on it. Well, that's deceptive. It seems like learning is going to give you all of the answers, right? But it's really not because you're not going to learn until you take the action.
That's what we're talking about here, this getting ready to get ready. What Deirdre just said is exactly right. The truth is, we are more ready than we think we are all the time. So fear shows up as procrastination, and procrastination can show up as allowing busy work to wipe out priorities or not prioritizing.
Sometimes we can finish a day and be like, well, I've been doing stuff all day long, but by the end of the week or the month, it's like, well, I didn't get that one thing that I wanted to get done. Do you ever have that nagging feeling when that happens? I know it's happened to me before, and that's because you're allowing yourself to get sucked into busy work. And yes, you are doing things, but are they the right things? And are they moving the needle forward? Are they getting you to where you want to go? So that's one way that procrastination shows up.
Another way is making excuses like; it's not the right time, my audience isn't big enough, I don't have time, et cetera. We can talk ourselves into all sorts of reasons why we need to put it off, and that's just simply fear deciding what we're going to do, and we don't want to do that.
The other way fear comes into play is through perfectionism. It's vulnerable to put yourself out there, to put something out into the world that you care about and that you want to help others with. And one of the ways to help soothe or ease that feeling of vulnerability is thinking, well, I'm going to make it perfect. I'm not going to put this out there until it's exactly what I want it to be. But again, that goes back to when we don't take action; we don't learn.
When you put something out—we like to say there's a minimum viable product. When you put the minimum viable product out, meaning that it is as good as it needs to be without going into perfectionism mode, and then you run with it and take action on it, you are going to learn ten times what you would if you sat back and tried to learn more or tried to make it perfect. Perfectionism is an illusion. There's no such thing.
The other way that fear shows up is through impostor syndrome. I have to wait until I do this, that, or I become this, or someone says this, or whatever the reason is you don't believe that you have what it takes because fear is eroding that confidence. And sometimes what people do, we see this a lot in the online space, is people will get overly certified. They will get every certification. They might already have three certifications, and then they think, well, I've just got to get this one more. But that's kind of buying into hope. It's not really buying into a solution. So the certifications, they're great, training is great. We're not saying that it's not good, but when we get overly certified as a defense mechanism or a way of procrastinating because we feel like we're not good enough, then it's not helping at all.
And that goes back to the whole thing about taking action. We want the minimum viable product. We want to launch it. We want to take action. We want to be in conversation with our audience to know exactly what it is they want and getting another certification? They're not really going to care if you have three certifications or ten. All they care about is that you can serve them, and they're not going to know that until you put yourself out there.
Awareness As A Tool To Stop Getting Ready to Get Ready
[06:26] Deirdre Harter: It's such a good point, and we may not think about it. We all hear about procrastination and perfectionism, and imposter syndrome, and we talk a lot about it, but you want to see, can you catch yourself doing it? And sometimes procrastination isn't always for one reason. Sometimes it's just because you're not looking forward to doing the thing that you know you have to do, right?
There can be instances. I know with a lot of our clients, they're a little bit resistant when it comes to submitting their profit and loss report every month because it's something that you have to face. But the thing that's most important here is to be able to recognize when you've fallen into fear-based behavior when these things are showing up, and it is based on fear. When you can recognize it, that's when you can do something about it. So if you catch yourself, one of the things that Carmen and I do every week, and we help all of our clients do, is we have this weekly CEO time where we're going through and planning our week, and we're planning our priorities. And this is what helps you not procrastinate, or it helps you not let the busy work wipe out everything that you should be doing that's really going to make a difference in your business.
And when you look back at each week and see, what did you say you were going to do? And did you get it done? And if not, why not? And sometimes there's a perfectly good explanation like something else became a priority—that happens. It's not set in stone. Every week we can start off on Monday morning, saying, here are my three priorities. And then all of a sudden, by Wednesday, something really important comes up that we really do need to put that at the top of the list. That's just being a CEO and owning a business.
But we have to also recognize if we're pushing things off because we don't feel like we're ready. And you can catch yourself doing this if you begin to start justifying your reasons for not doing the thing. So when you look back and go, oh, I didn't do this and I didn't do this, if you start justifying and you start saying, well, it's because of this, that and the other, and if that because wasn't because something else truly became the priority, then this could be an indicator that you're falling into this fear based behavior.
When you practice awareness and realize you're doing this, one great question that you can ask yourself is, is this true? So whatever the reason is, once you say it either in your mind or out loud, then ask yourself, is that really true? I know the big one for me is that I don't have time. I didn't have time to do it. And when I really ask myself, is this true? I'm thinking, no, it usually isn't true because there were other things that I did that probably weren't as important as that. I maybe just got kind of sucked into something. You know how that goes. You get an email all of a sudden and then you're off on checking out the new thing that just came into your inbox. We always have to get down to what is the real reason.
Another indicator that you may have fallen into this is that you aren't reaching the goals you set for yourself. Now, I don't mean the goal you set last week, and you missed it. We're talking about over an extended period of time. If you are habitually not reaching the goals, the bigger things that you've decided to do. I know for a lot of entrepreneurs, one thing when it comes to marketing is going live on video. That's a scary thing if you haven't done it before if you haven't done much of it. But when you know that it is really important and it is critical to your marketing and for your audience to get to know you that you need to do it. And if you continually set the goal that I'm going to go live, I'm going to record this video, I'm going to put it out there. And if you just keep pushing it off, then that is an indicator that really it's fear-based behavior that's driving this. And again, awareness is the first step so that you can address it.
Another way you can recognize this is that you keep trying different things once and then moving on to the next instead of sticking with it and then tracking it, measuring it, and optimizing what you're doing. And this is so easy to do. We see it all the time. It's so much more fun. You try something, you're like, well, that didn't get the results that I wanted. And so it's so much easier to go, oh, but I just heard about this thing over here right now. The latest thing is Threads, right? Everybody's like, oh, go over here to threads. So it's like if you've been not getting the result on one platform, you're like, oh, there's this whole new platform. Let me go over there. And it's not to say that that can't be part of your strategy, but again, we want to look at is this just you kind of pushing off and chasing the new thing because it's easier and more exciting than really digging in and asking some questions about exactly why didn't it work and what can we do about it? And let's do this long enough to really know, is this the strategy we should be following? And is it really working for us?
What Can You Do About Falling Into Fear-Based Behavior And Getting Ready to Get Ready
[11:34] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: Yeah, that's such a good point. Plus, it's what you just said, Deirdre. It could be part of your strategy, but a lot of the time, when people are trying a different thing, they do one thing, and then they go on to the next, and they try something else, and they think, oh, here's a new thing, I'm going to try that. That's not creating a strategy. That's just jumping to the next thing. So that's the difference there.
Let's talk about what you can do about it. Let's say you have recognized that you're falling into fear-based behavior, and we all do it. We are not here to say that we never do it at all. It's something that, as humans, we deal with fear all the time in many different areas of our life. So being aware is your first step.
Start looking at what you're doing, which is what Deirdre just talked about, practicing awareness and realize what's my go-to habit when I am exhibiting fear-based behavior. You just have to kind of be an observer of yourself is really key. So take a moment to reflect and get real with yourself. Ask yourself why? Why haven't you done the thing? What is holding you back? Asking ourselves questions like this, people kind of just tend to justify and move on because we don't want to look inward, right? We don't want to face the fear. We would rather just sweep it under the rug and move on and say forget it.
But if you ask yourself, why am I procrastinating? And then you might have an answer. And then, well, why is that? And then you might have an answer. There is a method of identifying what is true by asking questions several layers deep. So if you ask yourself, Why? And then you come up with an answer, and then you ask yourself why about that? And then you come up with an answer, and you ask yourself another question, maybe is it true or why? Or whatever the next question is, it makes sense. You will get to the root of the problem. So the same thing happens with why haven't you done the thing? Do you know what is holding you back?
And it's perfectly okay to say, I'm afraid. It can be as simple as I'm afraid. If we talk about the example that Deirdre gave about going live when you haven't done that, it is a scary thing. So you could genuinely just be afraid, and you know that you're afraid. But we also know that it's not going to do us any good to keep procrastinating and to keep ourselves from doing it. A lot of times, it's like we just have to jump into the deep end, do the thing, and then realize that, oh, it's not as hard or scary as I thought. Just like with anything else in life.
Another thing you can do when you realize that you're in fear-based behavior is to set and track goals. So if you keep setting dates for something, a workshop, for example, or I'm going to launch this thing at the end of summer or whatever, and you keep not running it, that is a sure sign that you're procrastinating or you're in impostor syndrome or perfectionism. The dates are there to help you meet them.
First of all, you should hopefully be setting a date that makes sense. Whatever you're launching, whatever you're doing, whatever you're trying to put out, you set the date to help yourself get ready. And then there's promotion time. So when you set a date, hopefully, you are also promoting that thing, whatever the event is or whatever the thing is. If it's something internal you're setting a date for, well, then you still need to know what are the steps to ramp up to that date. So there are always steps to ramp up to whatever the thing is, whether it's a public-facing thing or a personal thing. And those dates are there to help be like the checks and balances. Here's your deadline. You need to make this. And if you keep having to push it out, then we need to take a look and find out why.
If that starts happening, the third thing you can do is get the accountability system that you need, whether it's a mentor, a coach, or a business colleague, to learn how to iterate your way to success. And this goes back to the minimum viable product. We want to put something out there that is just enough for people to understand, to be able to join in, to see what it is, to get a transformation. It does not have to be the Cadillac of all things. It just has to be your little commuter car in this instance. We want to put the minimum viable product out there, and then we want to iterate our way to success.
That means that we're going to do the thing. We're going to set the date, we're going to launch the thing, we're going to be in action, and we're going to learn from that action. So when we launch something, if you got only one person attended, or twelve people attended, you're going to get feedback either way. Did it resonate with the people? What could you have done differently? Why or why not did something happen?
You've got to do the thing in order to collect the data, to be able to know how to iterate your way to success, and how to maximize your results next time. And if you do something and you only get one person, don't worry about it. You got someone. Someone thought it was valuable, so you can build on that.
Sometimes we think, and I think that's where fear comes in a lot, is we think, oh my gosh, I can't do it because there's only going to be one person. Well, my gosh, that gives you such a great opportunity to serve that person to the best of your ability and learn exactly what it is that that person wants and needs. We can't just discount it. If it's just one, we all start from zero, and we grow from there. And if we keep putting it off, we're never going to grow. And that's kind of what we're trying to get at here. You can't go from zero to 100 if you never take that first step and do it for one in the beginning.
It's all part of the process. It doesn't mean if one person signed up this time, that forever and ever, you're only going to have one person. It is a success when you put it out there, whether one shows up or maybe people just watch the replay. Whatever it is, you just have to do it so that you can then iterate your way to success.
Let's look at an example that we can relate to here. If someone wants to create a waitlist or wait until they launch something months into the future, we hear this often. We've heard this lately because we're recording this in July. We hear this excuse of, I can't do it in the summer because summertime is slow, they say. But business doesn't stop in summer. People might be out enjoying the weather, and they do go out and do things, and they have less attention on their computers, possibly in the summer than they do in the fall. But it doesn't mean that everything comes to a screeching halt unless that's what you want to think it means.
Part of it is we have to look at what are we telling ourselves and what are we believing? If you're never going to run anything in the summer ever again because summer is slow, well, then that could be a strategy. You could say, I know that business slows down in the summer, so I'm going to take the summer off. So great. But that means the rest of the year, you better make up for the time that you took off in the summer. And what we know to be true is that in order to keep the momentum going and to build and iterate your way to success, you need to keep doing the thing all year round. We're not in the type of industry where we can take months off at a time. There's got to be something going on to be nurturing your clients, your audience, and everything else.
We just want to throw that out there. Like when you find yourself, if you hear something like, oh, there's a summer slowdown, or oh, this happens, or whatever it is, if you believe it or you don't, you'll be right. So we have to be careful with what we put into our heads. If I'm going to believe that summer is going to be slow, then that's the energy I'm putting out there. And even if I try something, I'm doing it half-heartedly because I'm thinking, well, summer is slow anyway. It's not going to work. So you have to be careful about how you're setting up your mindset.
Now, we built Encore Empire by running workshops, and our Facebook group, in the beginning, was 50 people, 40 of which were friends and family. Deirdre and I invited everyone we knew to seed the group so we wouldn't start from zero. And we followed a system that recommended not running workshops until you had 300 people in your group. But we did it anyway, and it worked. And that's just kind of to show an example of what people say you “should” do or what you start believing is true.
You can do things that go against what people are saying or what you're seeing. Everyone isn't just stopping purchasing in the summer just because some people are saying summer slows down. We want to make sure that if you believe in what you're doing, you do it anyway. We ran our workshop with 50 people in our group. Our first one, when the person that we are following said, you need to have 300, and it still worked, so it can work for you too.
Doing It Scared To Stop the Getting Ready to Get Ready Cycle
[20:06] Deirdre Harter: And one of the mindsets that we had back then is we were looking at it two different ways. Number one, we were using the minimum viable product strategy. We were going to put it out there, and it was going to be good, but it wasn't going to be the best thing ever. We knew we would be able to iterate, but we couldn't iterate and make it better till we ran it. So that was one of our goals for the workshop.
And by the way, this is kind of an aside tip, but every time you're going to put something out, run a workshop, launch something, launch a program, you should be very clear about what's your intention with it. What do you intend this to be or to do, or what kind of experience do you intend to have? And you can have more than one intention. So our intention was we want to test out this workshop model. We want to have a dress rehearsal to get it all down. And we wanted to serve. We wanted to serve anyone who wanted to attend with us. And we also wanted to open up a coaching program for anyone who wanted to take it a step further. I can say we achieved all of those objectives just by running it.
Was it perfect? Absolutely not, in fact, when we look back on it, compared to where we are today and what we do in our workshops, it was, like, so elementary. But you know what? It was still valuable. And we actually were able to launch our first coaching program with our first few clients from that. It just goes to show you that it's really about what you set your expectations to and your intention. Would we have enrolled more if we'd had 300 people? Probably. But we didn't have to wait for that. And this is the whole point of what we're talking about today. We don't have to keep getting ready to get ready. We can just go out there, and by the very nature of acting, that makes us ready.
Now, one of the other things that Carmen and I have done from the very first day that we started Encore Empire inside of our Facebook group is Weekly Live Learning, and this is where we go live every week. We live stream inside the group. Nowadays, we are also streaming on LinkedIn as well, but we wanted to give value, so we come with business strategy. Some of the complimentary topics, like we're talking about here on the podcast. It's just another way because some people love podcasts. Some like to actually be interacting with you in a video format. So that's why we do that.
In the very beginning, and for quite a while, Carmen and I would be the only ones there every week. I know my mom attended a couple of times, and some of Carmen's friends would pop in, but even though there were no people we didn't know yet, we kept going because we knew that people were watching the replays, or at least they had the opportunity. And our job is not to force people to do anything. We can't force our audience to watch replays and interact with us, our responsibility is to make it available, to give them the option to do it. And if we aren't putting it out there, then we're not giving them that option.
When we ran that first workshop, we had three people register. Now, I know we've heard a lot of this from our clients who are just starting to run their first workshops. They're feeling so disheartened, like, I only had a couple of people show up, but it was the same for us. We had three people that signed up, and two showed up. But those two that showed up were our first two clients in our program.
Ever since then, we've run a workshop every eight weeks without fail. And regardless of whether or not people attended or whether or not they engaged, we've just done it. We've made the commitment to do it. And so that consistency is really one of the big things that has built our business to the point that we've built it to.
Carmen mentioned the summer and how it's really easy for everyone to just kind of go, ah, it's the summer. And we keep hearing this over and over. They're like, well, everybody's going on vacation. Well, number one, who's everybody? And not everybody takes off the whole summer, right? We've got about, what, two and a half, three months that's considered summer. So that's quite a long time, and yeah, it can be real, but if we wait a few more years, it might prove that summer is not a summer slowdown.
Carmen and I thought the same thing. Our first couple of summers did seem to be pretty slow, but then all of a sudden we'll get a spike. Like we had a virtual roundtable last week, and we had, I think it was 17 or 18 ladies join us. And I know in my mind, my expectation was not to have as many there because it's this idea that we keep hearing that, oh, it's a summer, it's slow. Everyone keeps saying it, so we start to believe it. But yet that proved us wrong because we had more there. We had more at the last this month than we had the month before. And we weren't that far into summer.
Time is always a factor, and time can be days, weeks, months, or years. And our perception is our reality, and we can talk ourselves into anything. So this is where we want to really kind of take the assumptions out of the equation. And instead of going, oh, it's summer, everything's going to be slow, we can flip the script, and we can tell ourselves summer is going to be the best time of all. And why would it be?
So you have to come up with reasons. You can think of all the reasons summer is not the best time. Well, let's do another column on the paper and list out all the reasons that summer could be the very best time. I know a couple of things that come to mind for me is that if it is a little slower business-wise for a lot of entrepreneurs, well, guess what? This is an excellent time to work on your business instead of in your business. So since Carmen and I teach business strategy, and that's what we help our clients with, and it's what our workshop is about, this should be a great time for us because this is exactly when people could be working on the business because they're not as busy working in the business. So you have to find your own reasons why. But I can guarantee you that every single service provider here, coach, consultant, that's listening, you can find reasons why summer is the best. And that can be part of your marketing messaging. You go against the whole general concept of, oh, it's summer slow and we should all not be working very much and go, you know what? This is the best time of all. And here's. Why. Yeah.
The Power of Consistency to Resolve The Need to Get Ready to Get Ready
[26:57] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: And one of those reasons can be that maybe what you do helps people prepare to be a better version of themselves down the line. If the result they get happens in three, six, or twelve months, then now is the perfect time to start. If they want to have that result before the holidays hit or whatever it is.
We work with a lot of branding strategists, and so some of the branding packages that they have, take a long time. So if someone wants to rebrand and the package takes, or the process takes six to nine months, well, now is the time to plan for it. If you want to be rebranded by 2024, right now, you're already a little bit behind the eight-ball.
A lot of times, we don't give ourselves enough time ahead of time for these big things we want to have done. And if you're someone who is offering a service that does take a long time for the transformation, or for it to be complete, well, you need to really start planting those seeds. Six months. Nine months. Twelve months ahead. And say, hey, if you want to be ready for 2024, well, now is the time to get on my calendar or get on my waitlist or whatever it is.
And another thing I'll say that Deirdre mentioned was that we run that workshop no matter what, whether anyone attends or not. Now, people attend all the time now, but guess what? Why do they attend all the time? It's because we have consistently run it every eight weeks for going on three years now. So people know to expect it.
That's also a piece of this when you're doing yourself a disservice if you keep postponing running something until you “get enough people,” because it doesn't work that way. You have to run it to attract the people. And so when they see that you're serious and if they keep seeing that, oh, I'm going to run one. Oh, I'm going to postpone it now. Oh, I'm going to run one. Oh, I'm going to postpone it. Well, what message are you sending to those people? Because people are watching all the time. So that's something to consider. It's not just your fear that's affecting you, but it's also sending a message out to the people who are watching you because there's always more people watching than we think.
And regarding the live learnings that we used to do where no one was there, those also come in handy because those are assets then. And when people join us in our Facebook group, and they answer our group entry questions, and we find out what they're struggling with, well, we can say, oh, great, we have a resource for you, and send them to one of those pre-recorded videos that at one point was a live learning.
Getting into action allows you to build assets. It allows you to build momentum. It allows you to build consistency and show your audience that you are here for real and you're here to do the thing. They don't care how scared you are. They just want to know that someone's there to help them. And if you keep letting fear get in the way, well, then you're sending a signal that's going to say that you're not the person to help them.
We hope this helps. We know that fear is something we have to deal with, and it is a lot to deal with. But hopefully, some of these tips and what we've discussed today will help you kind of navigate that.
We have an exciting new Master class open that we want to invite you to. Join us for the Planning for Profit Masterclass, where we'll help you identify your business's baseline metrics and show you how to use the six cash and profit generators to leverage the power of compounding and growth in your business. This is a 90-minute Masterclass. We do this every eight weeks now. So the next one, as of this recording, is going to be in August of 2023. And we invite you to join us by heading over to encoreempire.com/p4p, which stands for Planning for Profit.