As we move into this New Year, we're often called to think about change. It often starts with exhorting you to think BIG. What's your vision? What's the big picture? What is your overarching purpose moving forward? All of that is awesome, and has its place. I'm thinking, though, that it can all feel so overwhelming. So I recommend a different approach as you begin this New Year.

Rather than mapping out your whole year, let's first focus on just one thing you want to do differently. One thing you want to change in your business. Business requires us to change, and often, to change fast.

Responding to customers is a prime example. You hear about something that your customers need, and you quickly move to put a solution, an offering into place. That's one of the ways you offer real value: to listen, and respond promptly to meet the need.

Change can be a scary prospect. Sometimes it doesn't seem scary at first. It just seems exciting and new. The scary sets in later, when you realize the scope and impact of the transition you are making.

When it feels scary, it's tempting to stop, or not even start. Stepping into the unknown seems daunting, and at best, ill advised. The thing is, you will never get to the full potential, or even anywhere close to the potential, of what you envision, dream of, doodle about, until you take that first step. This is where the self-help mantras can start to kick in. Leap and the net will appear! It conjures up the image of instant safety as soon as you step forward.

In my experience, it doesn't quite work like that. What does happen is that when you do take that first step forward, everything changes.

Years ago, when I started my corporate consulting business, I could never have imagined being a business coach. As I took the first step of responding to my client's needs by first informally coaching people on starting their own business, I just wanted to be helpful, to share the joy of what I was doing.

Being a coach shifted the way I saw my work, and myself. The way I could offer value expanded, and morphed. Then people started to want to pay me to do the same thing! Wahoo! What a great deal - my delight in offering value met their need.

Eventually, my choice to take that first step led to me formalizing my practice into the business I have today. And it would never have been possible if I hadn't stepped forward initially.

It's quite an amazing thing. When you take that first step, the whole landscape shifts. You see things you would never have seen before you started on this journey. Opportunities open to you. People appear for you to collaborate with. This isn't quite magic, though it can sometimes feel that way. It's really a natural law in operation. Rules of the universe, so to speak.

When you open yourself to the possibilities that are within you for your business, and you choose to act, you see, realize, and connect with more. That added vision, knowledge, and understanding is then the place from which you take your next step. And so it continues.

So as this New Year begins, keep it simple. Find one thing you want to change about you or your business. Got it? Now define the first step you can see right now, from your current vantage point, that would move you in that direction. Not a whole project, just a one-action step. Break it down if your first step isn't one action. Got that? Okay, good.

I bet you know what's next. You're right. Take the first step. It's the doorway to everything.

What is the most pressing change you want to make in your business? What's your first step in 2014?

Author's Bio: 

Ursula Jorch, MSc, MEd, mentors entrepreneurs starting their businesses and seasoned entrepreneurs in transition to create the business of their dreams. Her coaching programs provide knowledge, support, clarity, inspiration, and a community of like-minded entrepreneurs to empower you to reach your goals. Start with a free guide and other valuable info at