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The 5 things holding you back (whether you know it or not)

Updated: Sep 15, 2023

Maybe you’re acutely aware of the things that are keeping you from launching your idea—whether it’s financial, motivational, or personal.

But many times, entrepreneurs get stuck without knowing why. They get trapped in a hamster wheel of constantly moving without seeing any evidence of progress, leading them to wonder, “What’s holding me back?”

If this is you, let’s assess the possible reasons your innovation is a failure to launch—and how to get it to take off.

1. Busyness doesn’t always equal progress

Somewhere along the way, the westernized view of success began equating to being busy.

We hear it all the time:

“Sorry for my late response—I’ve just been so busy!”

And a common response to “How are you?” is typically, “Good, just really busy lately.”

When did busyness become the social tally of a life that is successful, productive, and controlled? On the flipside—when did creating space and free time in your day become a mark of laziness, or a lack of productivity?

Let’s get this straight first thing: the level of busyness in your life is not an indicator of how successful you might be.

If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re probably a very busy person, and for good reason. But if you’re being honest with yourself, are those hours dedicated to busyness always necessary? Are they fruitful?

One way to gauge your level of productivity to time you’re spending is by setting constraints. When you limit your focus to a set amount of time (say, 20 minutes to a task, rather than an hour) you’ll be amazed at how much you get done. Setting constraints keeps you on task, rather than spending hours being “busy” on something that can take you less time when you get really focused.

Speaking of focus...

2. Where does your focus lie?

Along with being busy is the lie that multitasking = productivity. In reality, the opposite is true. When you channel your focus on one task at a time (constraints!) you’ll be more productive in less time.

We get it: when there are a million things on your to-do list, it’s hard not to divide your focus juggling each one.

Here’s a pro-tip: make a list of everything you have to get done—just brain dump whatever is at the forefront of your mind. Then, reorganize your list by priority level. The first task is the highest priority (or whatever is stressing you most), and the list goes on from there in descending order. Cross out each item as you go, and you’ll find that not only will you feel more accomplished, but you’ll have completed each task with more intentionality.

3. Time to face fear

What are you afraid of? (We get that’s a loaded question.)

Is there something that keeps you from going all in?

Maybe it’s the amount of money you’ll need to invest, or time, or the question that plagues all entrepreneurs: What if it’s a total flop?

The last thing we all want to do is face that fear head on (avoidance, anyone?). But the most powerful thing you can do in those scenarios is to engage with it.

Be really honest with yourself: what fear is holding you back? Speak it out loud, write it down, and let yourself feel the fear in order to then remind yourself that you are safe and your success is possible.

Once you engage with that fear, you’ll find that it’s much more manageable to overcome than the lies you may be believing.

4. It’s all about authenticity

Often in the quest for success, it’s easy to get caught up in the numbers. Getting sucked into the gritty details with our heads down is a place every entrepreneur knows too well. But oftentimes, the obsession with getting everything just right keeps us from participating in what matters most: connection.

In today’s world, authenticity matters more than ever. Most consumers seek brands and products that they feel are genuine in their approach. They want to feel that the company cares at a human level. More than marketing techniques, authenticity is at the forefront of brand success.

Do yourself a favor by looking up from your spreadsheet and making eye contact with your barista, the cashier, or your significant other. Connection matters—for you and your ideas.

5. When in doubt, delegate

You know what’s really underrated in our society?

We tend to think that asking for help makes us appear weak or codependent, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Here’s a slice of humble pie for you: you can’t do it all on your own. No one can. Believing that you don’t need help is a gross overestimation of your abilities, because no one is an expert in absolutely everything. However, each of us do possess a unique ability, skill, or passion that we can share with one another.

Maybe you’re great at coming up with solutions to common problems, but when it comes to numbers, you’re stuck. Or maybe you’re a marketing whiz, but coding is an entirely different language to you. Don’t force yourself to figure it out on your own—reach out!

More likely than not, you know someone who is a genius in the areas you aren’t. Not only does asking for help get you better results faster, it strengthens your network and connections. Everyone loves to use their skills to help a good cause, and you may be surprised at how excited people are to take you up on your requests—even if it’s just for advice.

At the end of the day, know that your idea is worth investing in. And oftentimes, the solution to getting unstuck is much more simple than you may believe.

Get curious. Dig deep. Journal it out. Ask questions. Talk to a trusted friend. And most of all, know that your Project 10K team is here cheering you on.

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