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Start Small, Think Big: Bird by Bird!

How did it get to Friday again?

As someone who loves to read, I go through a lot of books, recently finishing one called Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott. Not only was it funnier than you’d expect, but, as promised, provided some great advice on well….writing and life. To write a novel or a short-story, Anne’s advice is that you’ve got to start somewhere and even if you hate 100% of the first pages you write, you’ve got to keep going, creating, refining, re-writing. The book won’t write itself!

In the book Anne tells the story of her childhood. During the summer holidays, her little brother had been given a large assignment for school focused on drawing and documenting a large group of birds. Having left it until the night before the new term to start the project, daunted by the task ahead and close to tears, his father put his arm around him and said “bird by bird buddy, just take it bird by bird”.

Since I started Life Body Health one of many things I’ve learned about myself is that I have a tendency to overestimate what I can achieve in one day and this week was no exception. I set myself a long list of things to finish from writing an unrealistic amount of marketing content, updating my website and copy, to designing social media campaigns, business development materials and of course, business development itself. Did I get it all done? Not quite!

Whilst the writing part is one of my passions, it always takes longer to produce an article or observation piece than I think. I equally love the people, sales and creative design side, even building promotional materials and visuals for campaigns.

When it comes to familiarising myself with new technology platforms however and uploading all the information to showcase these visuals, I’m all of a sudden three hours down, pulling my hair out and ready to throw my laptop at the wall at any given minute. Why does it never do what you want and then crash just as you think you’re nearly there?! Did it even publish? Why has one of the designs gone sideways?

This week’s been especially frustrating because it’s also month end and as was always going to be the case, all the business reconciliations I’ve been procrastinating on doing finally caught up with me. As I sat for the whole morning on Tuesday with mild self-hatred, digging out old receipts and trying to remember what the hundred or so payments were for, I vowed from that day forward to add all receipts onto my accounting system as I go (so far so good!).

Whilst it may sound like I’m down on my week, the truth of it is that I wouldn’t change any of it! Being the driver of my own destiny, the person with 100% accountability and decision-making authority and creative input is something I have always wanted. In my current role of CEO, the job involves everything from idea creation and strategic planning, to marketing, finance, operations and admin (aagh!!). Some of these things I’m good at and enjoy and others… well I’m trying!

So although sometimes it may not feel like the most productive day or week, when I think about where I am now versus where I was, what I’ve achieved in the last month and especially the last year, well that’s thanks to all the little things that I’m doing day after day, all adding up.. bird by bird.

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