Do you feel like your job isn’t what you should be doing? Perhaps you have a side hustle that you wish could be your main hustle? Or you have an entrepreneurial itch that just won’t go away?
If so, you’d probably like some help in making your business dreams a reality. Someone who can guide you through the journey from beginning to end.
That’s why I’m happy to have Chase Reeves joining us on the Building a StoryBrand podcast. He’s the founder of Fizzle and their mission is to help you earn a living independently doing something you care about. He’s going to outline four steps to start you down the right path.
First, Chase will guide you in what to choose. You need to find something that lights you up so you have the motivation to get through the entrepreneurial journey.
Then, he’ll show you how to bring your business ideas to life by reverse engineering your goals and setting daily intentions.
Finally, he’ll help you stay on course by remembering why you started this journey in the first place.
Follow these simple steps and you’ll discover there’s wonderful wisdom in them. They will spark your business dreams to life and make your entrepreneurial journey a success.
#1: Find Out What Lights You Up
Before you jump at the next great business opportunity, define what success means to you. Chase says this is a very personal decision.
Usually people equate “success” with wealth and respect. But there are many people, Chase included, who have achieved that without feeling successful. (See entrepreneur Chalene Johnson’s advice on this here – it’s at the 12 minute mark.)
When figuring out which direction you should go, he warns, “Don’t feel pressured to deliver somebody else’s idea of success.”
Choose something you care about. Chase uses religious terms from his pastoral training — it’s important to find your “calling,” or vocation. To do that, you have to look deep inside your heart.
“When your vision flows from what’s inside of you, and you know what you want on a deep down level, everything changes,” he says.
To find clarity about your vision takes time, though. Chase points out that it’s pretty rare for people to wake up in the morning and know what they’re going to do. When he was figuring out his own direction, he initially headed down the wrong path. He thought he wanted to be a stand-up comedian.
Though he loved being in front of people and saying funny things, there were aspects about stand-up comedy he didn’t like — like leaving his family in the evenings or standing in line to get on stage.
If it’s just about money, you’ll end up empty even if your bank account is full.
Instead, he co-founded Fizzle to help people start their own businesses. He challenges audiences through his online courses and makes them laugh with his YouTube videos — and he gets to go home in the evenings to be with his family.
The entrepreneurial journey is going to have trials and tribulations. You’ll need a lot of steam to gain momentum. The key to making it through the difficulties is having your whole heart involved.
“If you can’t feel it now,” Chase says, “You won’t feel it later.”
Make sure the entrepreneurial path you’ve chosen has purpose and meaning to you. Find something that lights you up. If it’s just about money, you’ll end up empty even if your bank account is full.
#2: Set Goals and Reverse Engineer Them
Once you figure out what lights you up, set goals and reverse engineer them to make them happen. At StoryBrand, we teach you to give your customer a plan. Without a plan, customers are more likely to give up and miss their chance at transformation. When you’re motivating yourself, you should give yourself a plan to pave the way to accomplish your goals.
First, picture attaining the goal because there are no results until that happens. In writing, you start with the climactic scene in mind. At StoryBrand, we call it “putting the ball in the end zone.”
Next, Chase says, “Work backwards from the final product.” For example, he makes YouTube videos where he reviews bags. Reverse engineering the process would look something like this:
- Publish the video and send out a tweet about it.
- Edit the video.
- Make a custom music track.
- Record the video.
- Set up the lighting and audio.
- Pick a bag
And before that,
He’s all the way back to the beginning.
Often, lack of motivation is actually a lack of clarity.
Chase has done a favor for his brain. He’s paved a path through a confusing field. He says he uses this process for each of the YouTube videos and for many of the projects he’s involved with at Fizzle.
Often, lack of motivation is actually a lack of clarity. Your heart wants you to do something but your brain doesn’t know how to make it happen. The clearer you get, the more motivated you’ll be.
# 3: Set Daily Intentions
In writing, if you don’t put something on the plot, the story doesn’t move forward. Similarly, you need to keep your business moving forward by setting daily intentions. Rather than just making a big to-do list, though, Chase suggests taking some time in the morning to journal to create a positive mindset.
He says, “The important thing is to find all the ‘shoulds’ out there and change them over to ‘I get to’s …’”
Chase’s journal process looks something like this:
- He lists what he’s grateful for.
- He reminds himself of his vision.
- He contemplates on a few affirmations.
- Finally, he writes down his intentions.
This process motivates him in a powerful way.
“When I get my heart and my frequency vibrating with the gratitude and the affirmation stuff,” Chase says, “then I look at all the things that I said I wanted to do, and I see the reverse list of all those things.”
At StoryBrand, we’ve designed a tool to help you be productive each day called the StoryBrand Productivity Schedule. It also has a process for creating a positive mindset and clarifying what you need to do. I fill out this one-page worksheet at the beginning of every working day and it channels my productivity.
Another way to keep your business moving forward is to focus on accomplishing one big thing and doing that thing first. I call it “earning my keep”. If I get in the writing shed by 7 am, even if I write for an hour, I walk out knowing that anything else I accomplish will just be extra because I got the main thing done right away.
Chase agrees. He adds to this idea with some research on the most important, common productivity advice that’s ever been given:
The day before you leave the office, write down the two things you have to do the next day.
Essentially, you’re “passing the baton” to yourself. You’re also framing your thoughts to start problem-solving for the next day while you sleep. Many literary, music and scientific breakthroughs have come from the dreams of their creators.
One of my favorite quotes to help me prepare for writing is:
If you tell yourself you are going to be at your desk tomorrow, you are by that declaration asking your unconscious to prepare the material. You are, in effect, contracting to pick up such valuables at a given time. Count on me, you are saying to a few forces below: I will be there to write.
— Norman Mailer
Sometimes, you need to accomplish things as a team. With more moving parts, this can be challenging. At Fizzle, they use an online software, Trello, to help their team execute things collaboratively. Chase likes it because it’s graphical; it arranges things in columns that cover ideas they want to do right now, future projects to do within the quarter, and what they’ve already accomplished.
If you’re going to run your own business, you need a daily process to accomplish things that drive your business forward.
Focusing on the goals they’ve reached as a team is an important part of the Fizzle team’s process. They analyze what they learned and decide whether they should do it again. Sometimes, as visionary creative leaders, we act like we’re in a contest to get things done. It’s important to reflect on, even celebrate, what you’ve attained as a team.
If you’re going to run your own business, you need a daily process to accomplish things that drive your business forward. Get your process down and make it a ritual. As the leader, you’ve got to execute or there’s no points won.
Step 4: Retain the Why
When you’re your own boss, it’s easy to get stuck in the visionary stage. It’s tempting to just talk about things or brainstorm new ideas. You can forget why you are in the business and get lost doing tasks that don’t really move you toward your goal.
At StoryBrand workshops, you learn that your goal is to help your customers transform. Chase keeps this goal in mind in a really interesting way. Each week, he researches someone whose life is being changed by Fizzle.
“I want to hear from them, because they’re the experts,” Chase says. “They’re the ones that are living the story.”
Then, he brings this story back to the team as a way of stoking the fire. Hearing stories of transformation drives Chase and his team to focus on helping their customers.
Take time to reflect on why you became an entrepreneur and remind yourself how you are changing people’s lives.
“When I know who my customer is and I know the usefulness of my tool to my customer, I get motivated to do things,” Chase says.
Take time to reflect on why you became an entrepreneur and remind yourself how you are changing people’s lives. Doing this regularly will keep you and your business moving in the direction you intended.
Starting a business isn’t a sprint. It’s a long-haul. To stay motivated, connect to why you’re running this race. Listen to your customers’ stories of transformation and you’ll find the will to keep pushing forward.
Starting a businesses is more than just making money. It’s about self-discovery, self-actualization, even self-transcendence. When you work at something you care about, you’ll not only transform your own life, you’ll transform others too. If you tap into the deep wells of finding what lights you up, reverse engineering your goals, setting daily motivations, and remembering why you’re an entrepreneur, you’ll have the necessary steam to keep your business moving forward. So be encouraged and keep taking these steps. You’ll see your business, yourself, and your customers grow.