There are a million cliches out there about ‘taking the first step’. They are all played out, yet all of them strike a chord that I think most of us feel in our hearts. The hardest part is starting. Think about your New Year’s resolutions this year. How are they going? Not great…hey. We wake up every day with incredible intentions and go to sleep with a pang of regret and a solid belief that tomorrow is a brand new day!
Ok maybe not all of us, and to varying degrees. Even the most productive, hustle-mad-visionary out there still knows that she could have taken more steps, done it better, achieved more, despite the fact that she is still smashing it! What about the rest of us?
As I get older and I begin to look back on the last 10
years of my life with a small amount of hindsight (and insight), I can start to see just how incredibly powerful the magic of ‘starting’ is. Most relatively sane people would not have advised me to quit a solid 9-5 in London at the crux of the GFC to follow a whim and start a business which had:
- No funding
- $0 in savings
- No strategic plan
- No experience
- Very little talent
But I did.
And it has paid off. The sheer act of jumping off that cliff forced me to fly, very quickly (uh-oh the cliches are creeping in). I didn’t fly very well; actually looking back it was a joke. But I had a small dose of self-belief and a very supportive girlfriend and I just kept going. The fuel that burns that fire is the knowledge that I am doing these things for me. I do not think many people realise how powerful the motivation is of achieving against the odds when people said that you were crazy or that it would never work.
I don’t think that I am particularly brave (stupid more like it) nor had a huge amount of innate talent in business or design. The one thing that has got me to where I am now is momentum, I have never stopped walking and rarely look back or doublethink a step. I just keep on taking risks and hoping for the best. Many times I have failed, but you learn not to touch the fire once you have been burnt (i.e. don’t start a company in Thailand with no funding, no clue about business in Thailand and no manager on the ground).
This principle does not apply to business only. I use it in my life all the time. I love starting new hobbies, trying new things, putting myself out of my comfort zone. What is the worst that can happen? In the wise words of Mr Dylan:
That he not busy being born is busy dying