I heard advice recently that you shouldn’t wait until you are ready. Because if you wait until you’re completely ready, you’ll probably never do anything. It made me remember how important it is to take risks, to make progress every day, and to purposefully spend time developing your next step. I know I need to practice this even more than I currently do and I encourage you to do the same. Start something now, even before you think you’re ready.
Start when the idea is just an idea.
I spend many of my days in brainstorming mode. And I come up with some crazy ideas. Some are crazy good and some are crazy terrible. But all of them are worth their time and discovery. Staying in full-thinking brainstorming mode forces me to create and develop tons of ideas and helps me move forward before I’m entirely sure of the end result.
I encourage you to spend a regular amount of time each week thinking up new, crazy ideas. In fact, I want you to schedule that time – it could be your workout time, it could be in the shower, it could be at 4am (when I unintentionally do some of my best brainstorming). You’ll start to notice that you look forward to that time and can think more clearly and purposefully with your big ideas.
Start when the idea scares you.
Recently, a friend applied for a promotion at his current job. His response when asked, “Well, they’ll either hire me or hire someone better than me.” I was impressed with this thought process and wondered how ready he’d felt when he applied. I’d bet he felt mostly ready to take on a new position like this. If you wait until you’re completely ready, you’re already too late. Too late for the job, the experience, the chance.
I encourage you to move forward when you feel about half-way ready. You should feel a little scared-excited with what you’re planning to do. Once you’ve figured out this scary step, be purposeful with your time and effort to help make this step happen. You’ll start to notice that scared-excited begins to look more and more exciting when you really make progress. And soon you’ll be right where you want to be.
Start when things will get messy.
I love a clean process, it’s refreshing to get things done and have them turn out exactly as planned. Do you know what never happens for me? A perfectly neat and tidy process. You know what I’ve learned over the years? To enjoy the mess. In fact, now I really look forward to it. I know things are going to get messy and disorganized. And that’s OK. Because eventually, the same things will get cleaner and organized and totally make sense.
I encourage you to look forward to the mess. Try to do a little something each day. My house is full of projects, my office is full of tasks and I have lists and lists of ideas to start. Each of them have their own life cycle of ideas, mess and success. I know where I am with each item because I focus on a little each day. And I know it will get messy, but I know I’ll also make progress. You may only have fifteen minutes – use it. Doing a little bit every single day will make a big difference over time.
It’s easy to wait until you’re totally ready to do anything. It’s too easy. Don’t let yourself get that complacent. Start before you are ready and you’ll start to notice how much progress you can make.