It’s often said there are many starters but few finishers. I’m not so sure this is the case. I think there are many who never start. They never step outside of what is comfortable to them to really go for it. Lao Tzu’s famous quote, the journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step was right on spot for what I want to look at today.
Many times we want to do something, start a business, new direction in a business, start over whatever the case may be. We get tied up in the details and the minutia of excuses that come along with a new start or change. Lets face it we can get very good at making up excuses that fit our own narrative and then we are even better at selling it to ourselves and then to those around us.
If we are completely honest the excuses come from one area, fear. Fear is the great paralyzer and our minds are very good at hiding fear inside of excuses and we hide excuse inside of obstacles inside of justification. We become experts at this.
I’ve had some pretty good ideas in my life. One day while going fishing I purchased some oyster shoes. Some call them clamming shoes. They were yellow, hard plastic shoes you can wear in water, in the yard, they have traction for standing on a boat but they are ugly to look at and my wife Beth hated them. She used to make fun of them every time I wore them and I would tell her that one day someone is going to figure out how versatile these shoes really are and they are going to become a trend. 10 years later Crocs started to show up in surfing and beach stores and 12 years later they were everywhere.
The thing about it is, I recognized them for what they were and I knew with everything in me that if people got the chance to wear these shoes they would love them. I never did anything about it and someone else did. At that time, I had another business, 2 young kids, very little money and the list goes on. You see what I did there, I told you exactly what I told myself at that time and I never started. If you look deeply into what I said you will see fear. Fear of failure, fear of trying, fear of what others might think and even fear of the challenge itself so I did nothing.
Fear is the great paralyzer and like Napoleon Hill wrote in the Think and Grow Rich, action cures fear. Action is starting and action is also finishing. Frankly you can’t finish if you never start.
Next time you have an idea take action. One action I like to take is what is referred to as the Ben Franklin close in sales. I take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On one side of the line I write all the reasons this idea would be a good idea and all of the reasons it would be a bad idea. Pros and cons. If the cons out weigh the pros then I scrap it. If I can’t see many reasons this would not be a good idea I take action and begin down the path to completion.
I am not a planner by nature but when you take action you should lay out a game plan of what it looks like when its done. Everything should have a proverbial finish line. Lets say you want to start a new business. You need to determine what that business looks like when it is fully operational and successful. At the point where you would sell it. It is important to note, a business that requires you to work in it every day is nearly worthless to anyone but you. So consider what it looks like without you. Then you work your way backwards to specific milestones and then you simply have to put a date on the milestones.
Take action today because no one is guaranteed tomorrow.
To your lifelong prosperity,