Stop Being Fuzzy. Move Forward. It Matters.

What keeps some people moving forward while others struggle at the starting line?

I’ve had quite a few friends and colleagues ask me lately, ” What’s different?”  They see me getting things done and putting more out there and want to know what’s changed.

Yes, things have changed.  I’m changing.  My goals and vision are becoming more clear and I’ve been doing a heck of a lot of personal work with coaches, and continuing to follow and learn from brilliant people.

I don’t know the answers, but here’s what I know is true for me:

You’ve Got to Have Goals

Without goals you’ll be spinning your wheels. Busy, but not productive. Moving, but not in the right direction.

You can’t plan a trip if you don’t know your destination. And the plan matters. Immensely.

Know your goals. That helps you know which of the thousand tasks on your “to do” list are the priorities. And it allows you to gracefully let go of what doesn’t move you towards your goals.

You’ve Got to Know Your Why

I thought I knew my why.  I work from home to help support my family.  But that’s only part of my why.

Last year I realized there was a lot more to it.  A bigger picture that I’d been… uncomfortably avoiding.  Because it challenged me.

I didn’t want to accept that I could make a bigger difference because it scared me.  What if I fail?

Then I realized if I didn’t try, that would be even worse than failing.

When I’m tired, discouraged, or tempted to give up… I remember my why.

It’s me.  About 11 years ago.  Sitting on the floor of an empty kitchen, holding a crying, hungry child and not knowing how to fix the situation but promising myself that I would find a way to create a business of my own and never be in that position again.

When I think back to that moment and remind myself that there are others in that spot now who I can help either through offering resources here on my blog or through making money so I can support organizations like KIVA, the Mocha Club, and Oxfam, I can fight through almost anything and keep moving forward.

I can’t give what I don’t have.  My business has to work.  Failure is not an option.

If I want to empower you, I have to stay empowered myself.

Know the Bigger Picture

I’m building a business.  My own little empire.

In my kingdom I get to choose what products and services I offer and who I support.

I choose to work with entrepreneurs and small business owners because we are the ones changing the world.  We are the ones supporting our families, reconnecting the local economy, creating new jobs, giving to the world around us, and making a difference.

I can create success for myself while I support others in creating their own success, and together we all make a bigger impact–and that’s my big picture.

What are your goals? 

What’s your why?

What’s your bigger picture?

Image Credit: ilolab/StockFresh

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29 Comments

  1. Hey Michelle,

    I agree, clarity of vision and goals is definitely important in determining what you are doing and where you are going. But many of us spend a lot of time just getting that clarity.
    Hajra recently posted… Will they call you over for a bloggers party?My Profile

    1. I spent hours and hours this year working on goals and plans to get there. More time than I ever have before. But I’m already seeing the difference. Worth the time. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Three Quick & Easy Ways to Get More Traffic From TwitterMy Profile

  2. Thanks for the inspiration, Michelle. Combining definite goals and a positive outlook can work wonders. Got to get started working on my list!

    Cheers,
    Marc

    1. Yes, get that list done! It’s amazing how motivating it is.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Graphics, Themes & Colors: Fun Tools For YouMy Profile

  3. Great post Michelle! Absolutely need to have a goal or a vision without which you are most certain to fall by the way side and get nowhere. Your story is compelling but I would say not a far cry from many of us who have just decided that failure is not an option!
    Sad to say way too many people allow their difficult state to discourage them, but like you said, you just had to make things work! Fear of failure is also a big impediment as you mentioned! Very inspiring post Michelle! Thank you for sharing!
    Rusty recently posted… We Are Masters Of Our Own FateMy Profile

    1. I know so many who started out in the same situation. It’s making that first decision to change things and taking steps forward to succeed that makes all the difference.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Stop Being Fuzzy. Move Foward. It Matters.My Profile

  4. Great advice Michelle. When I don’t have goals I am like a rudderless boat lost at sea. The thing about goals that many forget is that once you reach you goal you need to have a new goal in its place so that you can keep moving forward.
    Justin Mazza recently posted… The Secret to Getting What You WantMy Profile

    1. Such a great comparison — I like that. Goals are our rudder.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Stop Being Fuzzy. Move Foward. It Matters.My Profile

  5. I am getting better at the goals part, still working through my whys (there are so many) but I am very very clear on the big picture. It should be easy because I do know that, but the whys still get me. It’s the personal growth that comes with it! And it’s great to have cheerleaders, mentors and coaches to help you along the way!
    Kimberly ~ Gypsy recently posted… Please Check Out My New Page ~ Special Friends of Gypsy’sMy Profile

    1. Oh man, isn’t that the truth. The personal growth is such a big piece of succeeding as an entrepreneur–and that’s the toughest part.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Stop Being Fuzzy. Move Foward. It Matters.My Profile

  6. Hi Michelle,
    This is a wonderfully inspiring post –

    I’m at a point in my business where I need to take a big step forward and reading your post helped me narrow it down more.

    My goals are much the same to provide for my family, but also to get my message out –

    My why is also nestled in with my goals – spread my message of success, in spite of limited resources and any other limitations we face.

    Thank you so much for sharing!
    Christine Brady recently posted… How to Increase Your Sales for Affiliate Marketing SuccessMy Profile

    1. Christine, thank you for sharing that — I’m glad this was helpful for you.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Three Quick & Easy Ways to Get More Traffic From TwitterMy Profile

  7. Only a few short years ago I was existing (not living,) on $500 a month government assistance and wanted to end my life. Dragging myself out of that pit was the hardest thing I have ever done but I did it one step at a time, one moment at a time while fighting my fears and moving forward despite the physical pain. My why is knowing I can never again be a victim or allow circumstances to direct my life; I will be the one who decides what I do and how I do it. I also want to be an example and show others they can change their lives no matter what condition it is in and give them hope for something better.
    Caroline recently posted… Tech Tip – How to Update WordPressMy Profile

    1. That’s wonderful, Caroline! You’re an example of pushing through, looking beyond where you’re at for the moment, and making things happen. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Graphics, Themes & Colors: Fun Tools For YouMy Profile

  8. Michelle, I’m a first time visitor to your blog and I’m blown away so far. Anyway, definitely great point: HAVE A PLAN! Many people live their lives without a plan, a goal, a destination. Having a plan is the first step in implementing it! No plan? No execution!!!!!

    1. Welcome, Alex, thanks for stopping by. :)

      Right — and executing that plan is key!
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Stop Being Fuzzy. Move Foward. It Matters.My Profile

  9. Great post, Michelle! I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately (as you can tell from my own blog). You really do have to have goals and know why you’re doing what you’re doing. Just don’t use not knowing as an excuse to not get started at all! :-)
    Amethyst Mahoney recently posted… How Much Money Do You REALLY Need?My Profile

    1. I agree — we’ve got to jump in and then just adjust as we go.

      Loved the downloads for planning income & goals in your link — helpful. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Three Quick & Easy Ways to Get More Traffic From TwitterMy Profile

  10. thanks michelle for sharing this.
    understand your tears – even better.

    my goals – guess i have set them up, but sometimes i am a bit confused how to reach them.
    not knowing exactly how to walk!

    my why: like carlonine.s
    but not 5 years ago – caroline i am glad you have made it!!! – still there.
    dependent on governmental money – i want to get out, desperately!
    finding independence again and success.

    i am already successful on a certain level – since i have started to built my world.
    since i am able to do the work i am doing from home.

    but there is still so much to do.
    now i am joining you with the tears!
    helen bogun recently posted… 48 QuestionsMy Profile

    1. That first step is the biggest–making the decision to make a change. From there, just one step at a time. I will never tell people it’s easy, because as we both know, it’s hard work. But it’s possible, that’s the great part! :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Graphics, Themes & Colors: Fun Tools For YouMy Profile

  11. Exactly-we got to have a big picture ahead of us. If we don’t, we cannot move forward. That is why there are some people who struggle at the starting line, while others go smoothly through their way. I sometimes find myself being fuzzy, but it is something more related to my personal lifestyle and not to problems with concluding what I want to achieve and how I want to organize my goals.
    Great post, Michelle!
    EleonoraEOF recently posted… Hungry Girl 300 Under 300 Review by Lisa LillienMy Profile

    1. Yep, that big picture view, knowing those goals, is what pulls us ahead!
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Stop Being Fuzzy. Move Foward. It Matters.My Profile

  12. This is an amazing article! I’ve recently sat down and clarified my goals and what I want to do. It’s AMAZING the focus and energy that provides. Thank you so much!
    Mary recently posted… Daily Devotional Energy: Cultivate The HabitMy Profile

    1. Hi Mary, yes, it really is energizing!
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Do You Know Who’s Talking About You on Twitter?My Profile

  13. You know what, this is a brilliant post – I don’t know about everyone else but I have sat there thinking to myself I have to make it, there is no option – and you are absolutely right if you don’t have goals you will never reach your destination – I wish you all the best my friend

    1. Thanks, Pc. Got to know where we’re going if we want to get there.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Do You Know Who’s Talking About You on Twitter?My Profile

  14. Hi Michelle,
    another great post from you! yes, i agree that we all have to follow our goal and move forward no matter what happens. Life is only one, and we have learn to take the best of it.
    EleonoraEOF recently posted… Now Eat This! Diet Review by Rocco DiSpiritoMy Profile

    1. Thanks, Eleonora. One life, there’s another great thing to get us focused!
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Do You Know Who’s Talking About You on Twitter?My Profile

  15. I agree with you. These are the things that I take note when I was stuck in the starting line. It’s really hard to move forward if you don’t know what’s your goal of doing so. Very nice advice!
    Angel Collins recently posted… With New Jobs Comes New Safety TrainingMy Profile

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