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What doing a jigsaw and running a small business have in common

Last weekend I took some time off to visit a friend and somehow ended up engrossed in a jigsaw puzzle #therapy I realised there were so many parallels between running a small business and doing a jigsaw I thought I’d share them with you. #callmecrazy #gottagetoutmore #lessonsfromdoingajigsaw

Thing 1:

Get the outline done first, and it gives you a proper scope for the whole project. There’s also a large sense of achievement in getting that first lot in order but then you start to see the MASS of pieces left to go and think FARK I haven’t even started! Breathe. Know you’ve started well. Know it can only get better from here on in, now that the boundaries are set. Get a system for going forward and the rest will flow.

Thing 2:

Do not get distracted by shiny object syndrome – AKA – randomly picking up pieces and trying to figure out where they should go or what they are smaller pieces of. Start by dividing the project into like areas, then focus on only one small area at a time. Once you start getting some traction on one area, you’ll get bored and want to start in another area – and that’s ok, as long as you stop when you get frustrated, have a rest, then refresh by starting on a new piece with fresh eyes. Soon enough, you’ll be back at the first area but the advantage of that is that you’ll never completely lose the love with any one area in particular. Just keep moving. Keep coming back to things. Piece by piece it will all come together…literally…

Thing 3:

Sometimes there are systems within systems you have to sort out so that you’re not going around in circles needlessly. Grouping things into similar areas is the first step, but then within that area, are there more systems you can set up? Systems improve over time so dedicate the time to refining them and you’ll find that the process gets quicker, more efficient and much more satisfying. (If you’re a jigsaw aficionado, hit me up, I devised a multi level system to finding the right piece the fastest #ofcourseIdid #systemsfreak )

Thing 4:

Take frequent breaks. Stand up, stretch your legs, get a drink of water and take your mind off the whole thing for short bursts. You’ll come back to it so much more eager, alert and ready to nail it than if you sit there for hours trying to push through when you’re struggling.

 

Thing 5:

You will want to give up. You will get frustrated. You will look at the whole thing and want to flip the whole table over. Co-incidentally you are also paranoid about making the wrong move (while you’re trying to take a breather) and accidentally flipping the whole table over. You’ll wonder why the Fark you got yourself into this thing in the first place and look at your friends sitting on their couches sipping wine leading normal lives and wonder what on earth possessed you.

If you seriously can’t answer that question, consider yourself packing up the game and walking away from it forever. Spend a night or two thinking about the reality of what that will mean (no more challenge, all that hard work down the drain) BEFORE you destroy everything you’ve done and walk away from it for good. There’s a fair chance you’ll wake up in the morning and remember why you started, and get straight back on the proverbial horse, thankful you had the peace of mind to relax, take a breather and reconsider.

Finished product?

Something you’re uber proud of and bloody glad you stuck at. Can anyone relate?

jigsaw

After some more Small Business Wisdom tips? I have a whole course dedicated to exactly that.

 

With the Small Business Wisdom course you will learn how to:

  • Lesson 1: create a philanthropic side to your small business.
  • Lesson 2: create your Small Business Support Network.
  • Lesson 3: hire the right professionals.
  • Lesson 4: ensure you’ve got the legal basics covered.
  • Lesson 5: decide what search engine and social media strategies you need.
  • Lesson 6:  ensure you’re communicating effectively with your clients.
  • Lesson 7: invite your clients to trial your new product.

Find out more about the course here.

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