The Value of a Fresh Start

As we’re coming into the New Year, it’s always worth taking a fresh look at things and considering the ways that you can refine what you are doing, scrap things that don’t make sense, and of course try something new.

No matter where you fall on the spectrum from keeping your life the same to totally upending it, it’s worth figuring out a couple of ways to give yourself a fresh start in the coming year.

Maybe you kicked some serious butt in the past year and accomplished almost everything you wanted to get done. A fresh start is a good reminder that nothing is given in the coming year, and that one good year doesn’t guarantee anything in the next one.

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Focus on Goals, Not Distractions

One of the biggest challenges I face in being productive each day is the dizzying array of distractions that exist on the computer or on my phone. We live in interesting times given just how many distractions are seconds from our eyeballs at any point.

This can easily eat into your productivity if you aren’t careful. Even though I actively work on avoiding these distractions, they can still sap at least an hour from my day.

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It’s All About That Process

If you want to do something, anything well, you need to put effort into it. This much, you probably heard from your parents time and time again.

But figuring out how to exert the effort needed, well, that’s a harder one. And unless your parents were psychologists, they probably didn’t have a great answer for you. Of course plenty of time, the effort (and progress) come easily. But it obviously becomes easy to struggle when you hit a rough spot no matter how excited you are about something. We’ve all hit those roadblocks on any long-term goal.

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Make Your Goals Into Weekly Ones!

Throughout building a goal tracking platform, one question among many was “what timeframe(s) should we support?” Our initial bias was to include all of them: daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, and custom. This seemed like a good idea at the start: people obviously want to do some things every day and other things are New Year Resolutions.

While it is true that the timeframes can differ, we’ve discovered a clear winner when it comes to what timeframe gives you the best chance of sticking with a goal: weekly!

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How To Make Your Side Hustle a Reality

You want to be an entrepreneur. You have an idea, but not enough time. How do you make it go from zero to reality?

Look around, and you can always find hot tips about how to take your idea for a supplemental income from zero to reality in a few quick steps. We’re going to share a dirty little secret: that stuff is click-bait – that’s not how the world works.

Yes, many of those pieces contain some good info. But they are also designed to sell you an idea you really want to buy. Namely: that a few quick secret shortcuts will have you raking in the dough and living on the beach in no time.

Here’s our alternative hypothesis: steady and consistent progress is the best path to achieving success with your side hustle. That’s not a sexy answer, but it’s the most likely way for you to succeed.

Develop a System

The key to consistent progress anywhere is to have a system in place and making your side-hustle happen is no exception. Consider one of the following plans that one of our users shared with us:

  • Plan work for the week (done weekly, reminder on Sunday at 7pm)
  • Do a 2-hour deep dive on key issue (goal: do once per week)
  • Reach out to 5 sales/partnership leads each week
  • Do at least 5 hours of development work each week
  • Ensure work inbox is clear (done daily, reminder at 10pm each day)
starting a side business in WeAchieve - an example from one entrepreneur
WeAchieve quickly shows you via a star ranking which steps you are “on track” for (5 stars) vs. which you are behind on (less stars). This gives a quick view of where to focus your attention!

With this setup, the user needs to track 2 numeric metrics (# of leads reached, and hours of dev work) along with checking off three habits (planning the week, clearing the inbox, and doing a deep dive).

Of note – one good think our entrepreneur is doing here is focusing on the inputs (tactics, as we’d call them). While tracking sales and customer growth is great (and can be done in WeAchieve as well), the inputs are immediately controllable and impossible to create excuses for. It’s easy to rationalize why you didn’t get any new customers in a given week, but there’s no excuse for not reaching out to five of them.

Why Tracking Matters

Tracking this may seem like unnecessary overhead. Why not just do all this is a common refrain you’ll hear. But the reality is that humans are pretty good at cheating. Without cold, hard, numbers to track your progress, it’ll be easy to excuse missing the deep dive one week because you are grabbing a couple beers with a friend. It’ll be easy to excuse waiting a few days to reply to an e-mail because you are tired from a long day of work. And so on. While you may start with good intentions, there’s an inevitable draw toward distraction.

life gets hectic, and charts will fly at you when this happens as an entrepreneur

All that to say: you need a system and it needs to be quantified. Without that, you don’t stand a chance of holding yourself accountable in the long-run. With it, you have a way to be honest with yourself about exactly how much you do or don’t do each week. Even with the system in place, you will still encounter challenges: fatigue, conflicts, and complacency can still eek in. But you’ll have tools to combat it rather than accepting your fate.

Naturally, the above plan is illustrative. For your business or side hustle there’s going to be different actions to take. One benefit of WeAchieve is that it is infinitely flexible. Not only can it handle whatever you want to track now, it’s easy to deprecate some old habits and add new ones, with a simple 0 to 5 rating that constantly gives you a one-number summary for how well you are adhering to your plan.

train tracks representing staying on track to meet your goal as an entrepreneur

Our goal with WeAchieve is to make it a lot easier for aspiring entrepreneurs to make their products a reality. We can’t do that for them, but we can provide the tools needed to drive projects forward.

Are you starting a product? We’d love to hear about it! Let us know, we’d love to feature you in an upcoming post!