Husting in the evenings after a busy day at work. Long to do lists on the weekend. I’ve been there to get my business off the ground.
But as impatient as I am, I learned the hard way that good things take time. Especially when it comes to personal growth and entrepreneurship.
My default mode was to hustle non-stop. I couldn’t wait to replace my income and run my own business (“If I could just replace my salary, then.. “). Simply to be ‘just me’ and do things on my terms.
But after reading the book Atomic Habits, I figured out that there’s an alternative way. One that doesn’t involve feeling frustrated and restless all the time.
I call it the S.L.O.W. method. And it works like a charm.
The Slowpreneur way: a non-overwhelming way to build your (side) business
An honest confession: building a business from scratch can be quite overwhelming. Sure, it’s exciting. But when our inner critic takes over, doubt and uncertainty are kicking in. HARD.
That’s where the power of ‘1% Better Every Day’ comes into play.
As I am writing this blog, I’m on day 14 of my new habit. This habit is called ‘write for 5 minutes every morning after my morning coffee’. Previously, I would hustle for hours. Now my focus is on building a ‘writing routine’ for myself. A habit.
The focus lies in getting a little bit better every single day instead of hustling like a maniac. This approach has given me so much. It has enabled me to feel more comfortable with the journey, to understand my challenges better, and to feel resilient on this bumpy road.
And I’m not alone. Successful entrepreneurs know about the power of habits. But since the title ‘entrepreneur’ is often associated with hustling and hard work, I’m going to introduce a new term:
In fact, I’m gonna boldly state that all successful entrepreneurs are slowpreneurs. And that’s because they understand the ‘1% better every day’ philosophy and are implementing it in their daily lives.
An alternative to ‘overnight success’
There are lots of guru’s promising ‘overnight successes’ and ‘getting rich quick’. But in reality, this almost never happens.
If you want to build a meaningful business it might even take a couple of years before this thing really takes off. And that’s where the big benefit of being a slowpreneur comes in. As a slowpreneur you can try and experiment, and really take your time to reflect on it. On top of that, it can be liberating to not have to ‘hustle’, ‘hurry’, or ‘move quickly’.
I asked Kyle Kowalski, founder of the popular ‘Art of Living’ platform Sloww.co about his take on the subject. He told me:
“Close to 100% of people want to “get rich quick” and be an “overnight success.” In reality, close to 0% actually do. Why? Because compounding happens over a long timescale. So, virtually everyone is a slowpreneur by default. I’ve heard many say it takes 5-10+ years to build something. Even Naval Ravikant, a highly successful entrepreneur and investor, says it can easily be 10 or 20 years’’
I 100% agree. And that’s why the power of just 1% better every day is so effective. It’s a long journey, so we need a tool, method or system that keeps us going.
“Go find the thing you can commit to for 10 years,
because that’s how long it’s going to take,
minimum, to get a good outcome.”
— Naval Ravikant.
The S.L.O.W. Method
I believe that the S.L.O.W. method is one of the most powerful tools that we can embrace as new entrepreneurs. Especially if you are limited by time, energy and confidence.
Here’s how it looks like:
|The S.L.O.W. Method
Being a slowpreneur is all about the small wins. This is because as slowpreneurs we are not striving for the realisation of ONLY the end-goal. We are aiming to be 1% better every single day. This includes that we appreciate, acknowledge, and strive for small wins. Personally, I always have a bottle of champagne in my fridge that I can take out at any time that I have gained another small win. Celebrating them makes me appreciate the work that I do every day and the gains I get from doing so. Small steps ahead will finally create the desired state and celebrating them makes it a ‘fun-time’ in the ‘mean-time’.
If you are in your business for the long run, you will notice that personal growth is a part of doing business. And this takes time. It takes time to figure out WHY you are doing something and it takes time to build a fundament for your business to stand on. It also takes time to grow into a business owner. This is because we change as people as well when we go down this path. The fundament HAS to be strong, in order for you to deal with unavoidable setbacks. Going in it for the long run, means that you will give yourself the time to figure it all out without rushing yourself through it all. It will give some peace of mind, trust me.
One percent Better
What is the power of getting 1% better each and every day? Look at it from a ‘exponential growth’ perspective. You are at a certain point and you will get a little bit better. Then this improved version of you will get even more better. And then this even better version will grow even more. This is how exponential growth works, you’ll keep on improving and each improvement is bigger than the previous one. On top of that, doesn’t it give a lot of peace that you JUST have to be 1% better, every day. Instead of pushing yourself to the limits and asking too much of yourself.
Lastly, it is really important to have a ‘winning mindset’. I believe that what we send out there and how we perceive things, will get back to us. A winning mindset will not be a guarantee that something WILL happen, nor does it have to be. However, it does help with creating a healthy and beneficial mindset for your business and its growth. This is because if you ‘believe’ in something, you will be less likely to be driven by ‘emotions’. If you are already convinced that you are going to win, then your brain will be MORE likely to find solutions to actually get there. This is why I would urge you to adopt a WINNING mindset.
Implementing the S.LO.W. method
You only need 5 minutes per day.
Sure, 5 minutes per day might not sound like a whole lot, but if you repeat these five minutes for every single day, this is where you discover that the power is in the CONSISTENCY.
Business activities that you can do in just 5 minutes per day:
- SEND one WhatsApp or LinkedIn message
- WRITE one paragraph of text for website
- CALL one potential client
Can’t decide? Do the thing that you’re avoiding. Because that’s most likely the exact thing that you need to do to grow your business. Honest confession: what is that one thing that you rather not do?
Maybe you are comfortable with reaching out to potential clients and this comes natural to you. And maybe at the same time you are avoiding posting something online, because then EVERYONE can see and judge you. Is this the thing that scares you?
Then go and do exactly that. If you repeat the point in which you struggle, then at some point it will become a habit that will be on automatic pilot, and you won’t have to struggle through it anymore. The magic is in being comfortable with being uncomfortable 😉
Let go of your big goal and focus on those tiny habits. Do them, no matter how much resistance you feel. You are, in the end, what you repeatedly do. Every. Single. Day. Go S.L.O.W. and keep celebrating your wins.
Remember: 1% better every day keeps the overwhelm away 😉
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