The Secret to Starting Anything
We’ve all got interests and passions. I want to learn Portuguese, how to dance, and how to play the mandolin. I’ve got a dozen dynamite business ideas rolling around in my head. What about you?
Whether it’s beginning an exercise program, performing some work around the house, or starting a new business – getting started is the most difficult thing to do. Actually learning Portuguese is easier than starting to learn Portuguese. Learning to dance is a lot easier than actually getting on the dance floor to begin with. It’s the lack of starting that kills most tasks and projects.
So how do you get started? You just do it. But you don’t have to do it all right away. You just have to get started. If you’re learning a new language, buy Rosetta Stone and practice three minutes a day. Or if you want to lose weight, just put your shoes and shorts on and walk outside. The purpose is not to immediately become an expert but to simply start. Form a habit and build from there.
Make it easy to get started. If your goal is to start running 60 minutes a day, you’re never going to start because that’s too hard. Pick small, easily attainable goals. You can never make them too easy. When I started learning Portuguese, I spent a week just opening Rosetta Stone. I never actually finished a whole lesson for a week. But eventually I got into a habit of practicing, and eventually I was able to commit more time to the lesson. Don’t discourage yourself by making starting too hard.
Also make sure you ignore the competition. Don’t look at the other guys at the gym and be intimidated by how much more weight they lift. Don’t compare yourself to your friend who speaks fluent Portuguese. And definitely don’t look at your competitors and think about how well funded they are, how experienced their staff is, and how great their product is already. If people did that, Apple would have never started. Steve Jobs would have just kept cowering in the shadow of IBM. Instead focus on what you’re passionate about and do that independent of everything else going on around you.
Start simple. Ignore the competition. And do it now. What are you going to start today?