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What's holding you back?

Updated: Jun 20, 2023

by Debra Collier-Harris, M.Ed, Ed.S, IWT Co-founder

@mrscollierharris @strategictrainingandconsulting

Debra Collier-Harris, Ed.S, M.Ed

Is there something you’ve been wanting to start, but haven’t? Have you pondered the idea of entering a different career field? Do you have dreams of starting your own business? Are you one of the many people with an entrepreneurial itch that you just can’t seem to scratch or shake?

If so, what’s holding you back? For some, it’s finances, doubt, or unsupportive friends and family members that dissuade them from taking a leap. For others, it may be a lack of direction, access to mentors, or community resources that hold them back. Whatever you do, don’t lose hope, or sight of your dreams. Goals aren’t achieved overnight. I believe t

here are two integral components to achieving success, your thoughts and actions. Surprisingly, YOU are in control of both. The realization of your goals is highly dependent on YOU.

Your thoughts and perspective must breed positivity. You must have an “I CAN DO IT” mindset. As I think about friends and family members who've attained their goals, I realize that despite facing obstacles along the way, they always held a winner’s mentality.

So, what’s a plan without action? Just a plan. Take the appropriate steps necessary to reach your goals. If it is enrolling in continuing education classes, then let’s get signed up. Don’t have money for workshops, to pay for a logo, or to buy supplies or materials to start a shirt business? Get a side hustle! If it’s a side hustle you’re trying to start, be resourceful. In pursuit of my goals, I've been strapped for cash many times. However, it has been in these moments, that I've became extremely resourceful. I've done photo shoots with an Iphone, and created my business logos and websites. So, if you really want something, you’ll find a way. I’m going to lay out 4 critical steps that will help you achieve your goals.

1.) Start with a vision.

Make a Vision Board. A vision board is any type of board or poster where you display images that represent what you would like to accomplish in your life; what you want to do, have, or be. Vision boards are great tools that help you visualize your goals. I am an art and crafts type of girl, so I like getting a poster board, magazines, scissors, color paper, and markers, with a group of girlfriends, a glass (or couple of glasses) of wine and talk about our goals. However, it doesn’t have to be a vision board party. It can be a party of one (you) in your car on lunch break, writing out your goals in a notebook or in the note section of your phone.

2.) Make a plan.

After pinpointing your goals in your vision planning session, the next step is to dissect them. Try to make your broad goals specific. It’s best to create SMART goals. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Sensitive. SMART goals help you plan accordingly. Your plan may not be very concrete as you are obviously chartering in new territory. List small steps that you will need to take and things you will need to accomplish on your journey. Be sure to include deadlines. Let's say you want to enter the real estate field. In your plan, you would select a date to take the test and then create a realistic study schedule. You may also want to include dates to take practice exams.

3. Find an accountability partner.

An accountability partner is a person who helps you keep a commitment. This person MUST support you and breathe life into you and your goals. Their advice is real and comes from a genuine place. So, please don’t pick one of your pessimistic friends or Debby Downers.

4. Find resources and get plugged in.

A new business or opportunity is highly unlikely to fall into your lap! Researching and networking is paramount to growth. I spend a lot of time searching the web for personal professional development training that will help me get to where I am going. So, workshops on business marketing and business taxes appeal to me. Trust me, if you search thoroughly for what you need, you will find it. There are several community resources (many of which are free) dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and small business owners (sometimes specifically women) thrive. Free and experienced business mentors that can assist you along your journey.

If your goal is not entrepreneurship, there are resources and training that will help you sharpen your skills and give you a competitive edge. If you don’t have time to travel, there are many free webinars accessible from anywhere with internet connection. So, no excuses! Go get it!

"Vision. Plan. Action. As you accomplish each of these, it narrows the space between you and your dreams.

-Debra Collier-Harris


SCORE (Nationwide)

Peope Fund (Texas)

Small Business Development Center (Nationwide)

Baker Ripley Entrepreneur Connection (Houston) (Bilingual/Spanish Program)

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