Rule #1 – Get Started. No, really. Get Started NOW

Newsflash: everyone has a great idea. EVERYONE. Your Aunt Grettle and the guy at the next desk and the 13 year old paperboy in the neighborhood. All of them have a world-changing idea about a business or product or invention just waiting to make them bajillionaires.

So, why aren’t there more bajillionaires? Aside from the fact that some ideas might not be all that good (more on this later), some wise people would tell you the reason is simple: humans are creatures of habit and comfort and striking out in a different direction then what is conventional is often more trouble then it’s worth. We’re happy – or at least happy enough – with how things are. Changing the direction of the train is too much work once the tracks have been laid.

That’s a bunch of horse-pucky. The real reason there aren’t more entreprenuers is the fear of failure combined with the fear that what we’ll lose along the way – the opportunity cost – won’t be easily redeemed.

What if you quit your job, fail with your business, and can’t get that job back? What if your marriage suffers as you work to launch your product and you never fix it? What if you drop out of school and they never take you back? On and on. The reason there aren’t more people trying to take their idea from ‘brain to business’ is because even the most cursory look at not the risk, but the opportunity cost, of doing so would scare the bejeezus out of even the most daring person. I have it in mind to help show you how to overcome these obstacles – time, money, relationships, personal sanity, etc. – as we go on.

The second reason, which is of much less importance, is the fact that people don’t know where to start. What’s the first step? Do I raise money? Do I bring in partners or employees? Do I write a business plan? Do I learn about the industry I’m interested in entering? It’s like trying to read a road map printed in invisible ink. But, as I said, this reason literally doesn’t matter in the slightest. Why? Becuase the direction in the first step pales in comparison to the mere act of taking it.

If I had one thing to tell anyone with any idea or ambition to create something of their own out of nothing, it would be this: get started immediately. Not tomorrow, not this afternoon, but RIGHT NOW. It isn’t important what you do first, it’s only important that you do SOMETHING.

Every step along the way, even the detours and the mistakes, will bring you one pace closer to your end goal. You need to understand that no matter how much preparation you put in and how much research you do and how many experts you consult, there is not a chance on earth that you will make it from point A to point B in the shortest distance possible. If you are worried about taking your first step in the wrong direction, you should be comforted in the knowledge that there ISN’T a wrong direction in which to get started.

Similarly, the distance from “start” to “success” doesn’t shrink just because you wait to get started. Even more startling, by delaying getting started, not only do you delay success, but you actually reduce your chance of it. The person who might have been your first customer chooses a different solution because you aren’t in the market yet. The community of users you crave signs up and logs on to a different site because you still hadn’t launched. The invention you were sure would be a hit is exactly that, for someone else, because you were second to the patent office. The examples are endless.

If you are satisfied that tomorrow is a good time to get started, the chances are great that you never actually WILL get started. Find the sense of urgency in yourself and it will serve you well throughout your journey. The most important part of that journey is getting started, creating some momentum, learning where you are going and figuring out how to get there. It all begins with a single act: getting started. So get started RIGHT NOW.

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2 Responses

  1. Thanks for the excellent advice. It comes at a propitious time for me. I would add that “Restart Now” is good advice too.

  2. Hi Dale, thanks for leaving a comment.

    I’m in the middle of a transition of my own, but I assure you that if it goes as planned, “Get Started Again” will be an upcoming entry.

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