Will Smith’s new autobiography ‘Will’ is excellent. He shares a story about a lesson he learned from his dad when he was 11 years old.

His father needed a new brick wall constructed in front of his shop—12 feet high and 24 feet long to replace the old wall.

He wanted Will and his brother Harry to build it and at the time the task seemed overwhelming and impossible. And they had to keep building the wall regardless of the weather, school holidays, weekends or how they were feeling.

One day they decided to complain to their dad that the job was impossible, and his dad said, “stop thinking about the wall, there is no wall, there are only bricks, and your job is to lay this brick perfectly and move onto the next brick…don’t worry about the wall, your only concern is one brick.”

That is the same in life and business; what may initially seem like an impossible task, your concern should be the very next step. Do that perfectly and then the next, not how arduous, difficult or impossible the goal may be.

As Will said, when I focused on the wall, the job felt impossible and never-ending, but everything got easier when I focused on the brick.

You may want to be a confident contributor in meetings, afraid even to put your hand up; the thought is there, but your mind is blank, and your brick may be to put your hand up and make one point. And then the next time, put your hand up again. Keep doing that and in the future, you may be chairing the meetings.

It’s the same with doing presentations. Just the thought of standing up in front of a crowd may make your heart palpitate; your brick may be to join a Toastmaster’s class and go through the ten speeches one at a time until you become a confident speaker. That is what I did. I used to look at the Toastmaster for the evening in awe and then slowly but surely (as I built my bricks) I was doing it also.

You may want to increase your rates, but making the jump to asking for that new fee could be scary (in your mind at least) because you believe your clients may resist, but one brick at a time would be to increase it by 5% and then another 5%, and soon enough, you will be charging the fee you want.

When your goals for your business or life seems overwhelming and daunting, are you paying attention to the wall, and how impossible the task is or are you laying one brick at a time?