The first step is to START

getting started risk Sep 28, 2022
Getting started

Newton’s first law of motion, sometimes referred to as the law of inertia, states that an object at rest stays at rest, and an object in motion stays in motion unless acted upon by another force. 

While I realize that scientific principle is speaking about physical objects, there's a lesson we can take from it related to online platform development and entrepreneurial endeavors as well. People (and ideas) that get in motion, tend to stay in motion. People who continue to remain in a resting state tend to remain in that resting state.

By any chance, do you have friends who are filled with good ideas and great intentions, but nothing seems to come of their plans? If I'm honest, it might be fair to say that there are more people in my life who have told me about the things they intended to do than there are people who have directly followed through on their intentions.

I'll give you a good example. Earlier this year, a friend came up to me and requested to be a guest expert for our Platform Launchers Members' Club. He was super enthusiastic and had all kinds of ideas that he thought would benefit our community, but I also knew that he doesn't have a track record that truly positions him as an expert. If I'm honest, the most consistent thing I've seen him do is hesitate to follow through on his dreams.

So I gave him a small test. If he passed this test, I had a series of opportunities I was going to open up to him. I simply asked him to email me a brief overview of what he wanted to share with our group. No more than one page. In fact, two to three paragraphs would have been sufficient. He told me he was going to jump right on that. Well, we're quickly approaching one year since we had that conversation and I haven't received anything from him. Sadly, that's exactly what I expected.

 

What keeps us from starting or getting our dreams in motion? I'm certain my friend isn't the only one struggling to get things going. Maybe your story has been similar to his. You've got all kinds of dreams, goals, plans, and ambitions, but they aren't materializing because you aren't taking action on them. Why is that the case? Let me suggest several possibilities.

1. You're struggling with self-doubt. This is a common struggle. Some people call this "imposter syndrome." Maybe you're struggling to believe anyone would listen to you because you're over-focusing on the people who are ten years ahead of you (and don't need your help) instead of the people who are 2-5 years behind you (and desperately need your help).

2. You think you need to have everything figured out on day one. That can really prevent you from getting started because it's impossible to figure everything out that early. In fact, there are some things you can only figure out once you're in motion. I have been surprised at how much I've been able to learn or adjust once I've gotten an idea moving. It was only after I started taking action that I was able to see some of the things I couldn't figure out at the start.

3. You're focusing on more than step one. Trying to figure out too many steps at once can be a major momentum killer. It's overwhelming. Don't try to focus on too many things at once. You'll needlessly discourage yourself and nothing will get accomplished.

 

What can help keep our momentum high once we get going?

1. Celebrate your wins. Create milestones along the way that you can get excited about. Don't wait years before you start celebrating your progress. If you're building a membership community, celebrate the fact that five people joined. If you're creating a podcast, celebrate your first 100 downloads. And keep celebrating your progress along the way.

2. Surround yourself with people who are cheering for you, not rooting against you. Years ago, it became clear to me that many of the people I was surrounding myself with seemed to be insecure and jealous. Instead of cheering with me, they tended to root against me. When that became clear to me, I began focusing more of my attention on developing relationships that were mutually edifying and encouraging. It made a big difference and helped me maintain momentum.

3. Take calculated breaks. I find that a well-timed break from my responsibilities can be a very helpful energy booster. My interest in what I'm building tends to come back once I've given myself ample opportunity to rest. I find it wise to plan these rest times ahead of time in a proactive way. That way I'm not being reactive and only taking breaks because I've pushed myself too far. It's also helpful to treat these breaks like a finish line that I can work toward.

4. Stay focused on the next right thing to do. Whatever step you're on, just keep thinking about what you're supposed to do next. It's a cleaner way to think, and it helps you make incremental progress all along the way.

So if you've got good ideas and dreams that you're wanting to see become reality, don't keep sitting there dreaming. It's time to start. Start lean and start messy. Don't worry if your website isn't perfect or your logo isn't as good as it can be. Don't worry if your podcast audio doesn't sound perfect yet. Just start what you're called to do and improve it once you get it started. If you don't feel a little embarrassed about the first version of the new things you're putting out there, you've probably waited too long to start sharing them.

-John

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