What’s been keeping you from doing the thing you’ve been putting off forever?
Is it time? —Make it a priority, I say!
Is it that you don’t feel ready? —Will you ever be ready, I say?
Is it that you don’t know what you’re doing? —What’s stopping you from learning or figuring it out, I say!
What’s the worst thing that can happen? —The real question is, what is possible that you never even considered?
But seriously, why do we spend so much energy avoiding things, when that same energy could go into making things happen? It’s one of the mysteries of life. And yes, so many of these excuses are legitimate. But you also have to start thinking deeper, and figure out what small changes (maybe a morning routine?) you can make to help get you where you want to be.
Here’s my short list of why you need to stop over thinking things, and start putting your ideas out into the world.
Plant seeds now, for later. You never know who may help you in the future, or how. Don’t have the first time you need something from someone be an ask. The internet makes it easy to build connections as we go, and removes much of the hierarchy of how things were once done. The more you write / create / share on a certain topic, the more you’ll get known for that thing. And you never know what that may lead to.
Fail early, fail fast. This mantra in the field of UX is a way to encourage you to try ideas early on to help you figure out what works out before it’s too late. You don’t have to have everything completely fleshed out, just a MVP – minimum viable product. Consider what’s a simpler version you can put together quickly, while you continue to work on your grand plans being the scenes? If you discover something isn’t working as expected you can tweak it, pivot, or change direction completely without having blown your entire budget, time, and energy.
Write your own rules. Just because everyone else is doing something a certain way does not mean you have to. In fact, writing your own rules is a great way to stand out. I’m a huge proponent of experimenting (and having fun) to see what works. If I wasn’t you wouldn’t ever be reading this post right now.
Uncover what you didn’t know was out there. The internet is not all rainbows and unicorns, but it can be magical when you make it work for you. Imagine being able to discover a whole new world you never knew existed until you happened upon a post someone wrote with exactly what you need to hear. There’s probably someone out there looking for something that only you can share.
Remember, it starts small. Changing the world is awesome, but to make a difference, it can take just touching one person, or taking a small step forwards. You never know what that silly (or serious, or important, or random, or …) thing you put into the world may lead to. You’ll surely never know until you try.
We can think about doing something forever. But it’s not until you actually do something that you can see what is possible. Also, spoiler alert: life doesn’t always go as planned. That’s not always a bad thing. Magic can happen too. ✨
When I started my blog in 2007 I often wrote about Paris. Little did I know I’d end up here 2 years later, and still be here to this day. Now, just weeks into writing about business, new opportunities keep manifesting in ways I never imagined. Along the way, I’ve come to realize so many incredible opportunities I’ve had, people I’ve met, and friends I’ve made, have come from that very simple act of putting things out into the world. Collectively it all adds up. But first you have to start.
Don’t do something with an explicit idea what will happen next. Be open to what doors it opens. The more you put into the world, the more you’ll realize if you’re on track, and if it’s truly aligned with your own goals and mission. Along the way, ask yourself if you actually enjoy what you’re doing, or if you’re doing it just because you’re good at it, or because that’s how you feel it “should” be done.
Another bonus of taking action is that the more you prioritize putting whatever it is out into the world, the more it will become a habit and second nature for you. In short, it’s a win-win-win-win 🙌 You will become the go to person for gnomes & swimming pools, UX design, or whatever it is you do.
Yes, it takes time. We’re not looking for overnight success stories here. Be the tortoise 🐢, not the hare. We’re in it for the long game. And that’s the exact reason why your moment is NOW. Stop making excuses, and start putting what you do out into the world.
Sharing/posting your intentions publicly is one way to help get things done, so I invite you to share what you want to be putting into the world in the comments.
Remember, you don’t have to be overly ambitious. Start small. Then ask yourself: what’s the one small thing you can do today to help get you closer to that goal?