They say getting started is easy. Not when you have a project that has been growing in your head for too long. The beginning becomes a dreaded thing that you keep pushing off. Always ready with an excuse as to why you will do this one day, but not today. You want to start a new business, YouTube channel, or maybe a newsletter. But not today.
There are many challenges that keep you from getting started with your next great idea. Many of these you can should try to identify early on and get them out of your way.
Not having the right reasons to start
Many projects die young. One of the main reasons for a premature death of a project is that the people give up. They never had the drive to see it through. They forgot what got them excited about the idea in the first place. The purpose escapes them.
Define your purpose before launching any project, business, or idea. Why should you sacrifice your time and energy on this? Write it down and revisit this often. This will help you find the motivation to get started and more importantly help you maintain the discipline to carry one once you do begin your project.
Motivation vs discipline
Projects fail when they depend on the mood of the creator. Motivation is great to get started but you have to walk into a project with the understanding that it will take a lot of discipline to see this through. Intentions will only take you so far. Plan your project in a way that works around your resources. Your resources are your time and energy. When is the best time for you to work on this project? Lock that time in and just commit to the work.
Don’t dream it, schedule it
Plans and dreams are amazing. They give us a dopamine rush as we fantasize of what it will be like turning this amazing idea into a real thing. Sadly many ideas stay in this phase.
Schedule the time to turn this into a reality. Want to start a Youtube channel? Allocate an hour a day for creating videos. Want to write a book? Make sure your diary has an hour locked for writing. We somehow always come up with an excuse to push things. Kill your excuses. Life will always get busy. Ask yourself “If not now then when?” If you don’t think you will have the time to start this in the next week then kill the idea. It is obviously not a real priority for you. Your Purpose or motivation to start is not strong enough to prioritize this over other things.
Waiting for Perfection
Don’t spend too much time cooking up the perfect plan or product. Here is the truth. Your product will never be perfect. In the words of Reid Hoffman “If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”
Sony’s first product was a failed rice cooker. It failed at the main purpose it was built for. The rice was overcooked or undercooked most of the time. Yet they kept on going and kept on improving.
Understand that what you put out is not the final chapter in your story. You hold the pen and can keep on writing.
Don’t Build the whole machine at once
Speed is key. You want to learn from your failures early. Don’t build a full machine and spend months or years on it to later learn that your audience has moved on and no longer want your product. Don’t wait till the full machine is ready to go out to the public. Learn from how tech companies go out and launch their products. People start sharing their expectations or feedback on the prototype early on. This helps you build a product that your audience wants.
Your first audience or users are usually early adopters. They are usually more forgiving. Embrace the imperfections and just ship. Improvements and additions can come in later.
Focus, focus, and focus
Great ideas come from creative people. They usually have more ideas that come to them often. Find the right idea and then be ruthless. Kill all others for the benefit of one. Focus on one project at a time. There are many layers and elements that you have not discovered about your project yet. Many challenges will come up. You will need a focused mind to help you overcome these challenges. Think of this as pruning. The branches you cut will help the tree get stronger.
Focus on one idea at a time. Launch it before moving on to other projects.
The longer you wait to get started on your project the less likely it is to see daylight. Get something out there even if it is not perfect. People have higher expectations of themselves than others expect of them.
It is fine if your project is not perfect. At least it exists.
p.s. Every week I send out a newsletter that aggregates the top news in marketing that you should be aware of. I add my insights and take outs to save you time. I didn’t wait till it was perfect to launch it. It exists here.