“If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you are not sure you can do it, say yes. Then learn how to do it later.” — Richard Branson
Yes, we should start before we are ready. There is a difference, however, between starting for surviving and starting for thriving. Because for some of us, our survival is no longer under constant threat, many more of us have the opportunity to focus on thriving. Yet, many people also focus on thriving with perfection, rather than thriving falling and getting up. The problem with this is that we are left with a society that is scared of its own potential.
“No” as a starting place for anything polarizes, prompts defensiveness and shuts down innovation, collaboration and connection. When we lead with no, we spend our whole lives wondering what yes could feel like and we self sabotage or own growth.
Therefore, we should start, and we should start now.
the power of positivity
Half the effort of getting somewhere is believing you can get there. Zero self doubt is worth as much as any fancy college degree. It is not uncommon to learn that some of the most successful CEO’s and innovators of our time are college or high school drop outs. We are not saying that school is a waste of time, We are saying that if you are sure about what you want and you have some sort of vision for how to get there, by all means give it a shot. We are intuitive beings, who more often than not know what’s best for us.
Be open to opportunities and trust in yourself. Society has discouraged us to trust, it has made us dependent in a system set in place to control and manipulate and profit from our self doubt. We can take our power back without being extreme, all we have to do is say yes more and get started on that dream or that project, break the chains.
While serial worriers spend time justifying why the timing of something isn’t right, go getters are already doing what they aim to do, even without resources.
do it. even if it seems outlandish
Figure out how to take the first step. Don’t dwell on why you shouldn’t do it, just figure out how to get started. Successful people start before they feel ready. They figure it out. There’s no better way to learn than by doing it. While Richard Branson is an extreme example of how this works, he’s still a great example.
Branson has started so many businesses, ventures, charities, and expeditions that it’s simply not possible for him to have felt prepared, qualified, and ready to start all of them. In fact, it’s unlikely that he was qualified or prepared to start any of them. He had never flown a plane and didn’t know anything about the engineering of planes, but he started an airline company anyway.
You’re bound to feel uncertain, unprepared, and unqualified. But let me assure you of this: what you have right now is enough. You can plan, delay, and revise all you want, but trust me, what you have now is enough to start. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to start a business, lose weight, write a book, move abroad or achieve any number of goals… who you are, what you have, and what you know right now is good enough to get going.
A lot of us start in the same place: no money, no resources, no contacts, no experience. The difference is that some people — the ones who win — choose to start anyway.
most people have no idea what they’re doing
As Reddit.com co-founder Alexis Ohanian stepped on stage to speak to a crowded NYC hall at 99U’s Pop-Up School, a slide behind him read: “I have no idea what I’m doing and that’s awesome.”
If the co-founder of one of the most popular websites on the internet has no idea what he’s doing — what does that say for rest of us? If you start to pay attention and ask questions, you will see that most people are on the same boat as you. Trying to figure out how to make something work for them. No one was born knowing, and no one can master the art of living because we change as humans and our needs and priorities will always change. Remembering that nothing in this world is fixed reminds us to continue reinventing ourselves and learning as we go.
We have been trained to act like professionals, to sound a certain way, but the complexity of life affects us all the same. Deep down, we share many of the same fears and insecurities. Again, don’t be intimidated by titles or resumes. Focus on starting, for you. Because the people you look up to have done the same.
don’t forget to focus on where you want to go
Starting before we are ready is the theme here, however, let’s not forget to focus on the goal. We’ve all heard the famous “but I don’t know where I want to go”… But we think you do know. Deep down you know. Listen to yourself and skip the distractions, it will bring clarity. Don’t get stuck on specifics, just make sure you’re going somewhere. Starting before you’re ready means being open to not having all the answers right away. As long as you remind yourself of why you are doing this, you can come back around and keep moving with positivity and trust.
If you find yourself stuck, going deep in your own introspection remember to get out of your head by immediately helping someone else. This will remind you of why you do what you do. Keep learning, be generous, be brave.
have the courage to “suck” at it
I’m one of those people who up to today still thinks I suck at most of the things I do. But I’m ok with it because I don’t suck all the time. And neither do you. Starting before you are ready requires courage to suck for a while. But the rewards that come when you no longer suck at something are worth every ounce of pain you may go through to get there.