I've got a little bit of a sappy post for you today, but hear me out...
Have you ever found yourself sitting in traffic, totally bored + frustrated, before finally deciding to take a different route to avoid waiting for traffic to clear? I don’t know about you, but even if I end up being in the car for the same amount of time...it feels faster to me to be at least moving.
There’s something about the forward momentum that makes you feel like you’re making faster progress...even if you end up in the same place, in the same amount of time. I always end up less annoyed or frustrated by the time I reach my destination.
I was thinking about this the other day as it relates to launching a new business. Even though I made plenty of mistakes and detours while launching my own businesses over the years, if I had waited until I had all the answers...I never would have started, and I never would have learned. It was the act of starting that made me feel like I was getting somewhere, and helped me learn. Despite the “mistakes” I made along the way, putting things in motion before I had all the answers was more valuable to me + my businesses than waiting for the all the answers, or the right moment, or all the money, or whatever other excuse I could come up with.
I’ve never felt 100% ready to launch a new business or take my business in a new direction. I never felt like I had all the answers up-front. I never felt totally convinced I was making the “right” call with what I was doing, and I certainly never felt like we had enough money...but I started anyway.
Forward momentum is more valuable than being “right” or “ready”.
I didn’t want to sit in traffic, so I kept moving forward.
You’ll never feel totally ready, and you’re bound to make mistakes. They say it takes 10,00 hours (yep...ten thousand!!) to be an expert at anything. When you open your first business or venture into new territory, you will most certainly not be an expert and you will not have all the answers. You’re supposed to be learning through this process...it’s inevitable!
As you begin moving forward, you will begin learning. Eventually, it’ll be like a snowball rolling down the hill. Even if you wanted to, you won't be able to stop your forward momentum at a certain point. This thing will grow as it rolls and picks up speed, and you’ll be holding on, amazed you made it this far, and learning all the way.
When my sister and I opened our bakery’s first storefront last fall, I felt totally out of my league. It seemed like everyone we encountered had it ALL together and knew more than us (and truthfully: they did) ... from our Realtor to our general contractor to the woman who issued our business license to the vendors we were working with to purchase ingredients and supplies … we were in WAY over our head. One night, I shot up in bed from a deep sleep and thought, “I don’t want to do this anymore!!! I don’t know what I’m doing! I can’t do this!!”
But, guess what?!
I kept doing it. We kept showing up. We kept figuring out issues one at a time. Every day, we put in the time. Little by little, piece by piece, we got it done.
Once you put it in motion, you just have to keep doing one little thing every day. Launch your website. Build your branding style guide. Talk to a few potential customers. Organize your launch plan. Vet some new ideas. Put one foot in front of the other.
Don’t wait until you have “all the answers” or feel totally prepared. You’ll be waiting a long time … and you’ll never begin! Don’t remain stagnant. Take the leap now, and start that forward momentum.