Just Get Started…

With this first post, that’s exactly what I’m setting out to do…to just get started…

For several years, I’ve done a great job of consuming content…reading popular blogs, following insightful people on Twitter…you name it.  I felt pretty good about it too, I was learning a lot about topics that interested me (personal finance, business/economics, personal development, etc.), but I recently recognized that I wasn’t doing much of anything with it.  I’d read posts about setting and achieving ambitious goals or living an unconventional/nonconformist life, but that’s where it ended, I was just a passive consumer of information.    

Fortunately, three well-timed blog posts changed all of that (I’ll discuss the third in an upcoming post)…

1)  Ramit Sethi had these insightful/powerful words to offer on Consuming v Producing in a recent post on I Will Teach You to be Rich… 

  • They consume and consume and never give back.  Worst of all, they’re simply looking for their fix, that new piece of shiny information that makes them feel good about learning something new.  But taking action?  Forget it.
  • …I want you to invest in yourself, first with time.  If you like what you read here, follow through with it. Stop consuming and start producing.

I’d be lying if I said those words didn’t sting a little bit…actually, they stung a lot…because they were true.  Ramit was describing me with those points.  However, this time, I decided it would be different. 

After reading his post, I went to WordPress, created this blog and started drafting ideas for posts.  While I certainly have a long way to go to prove that I’ve changed my ways and that I’ve fully embraced a ‘producer’ lifestyle, it’s a key first step. 

2)  April Dykman, in a recent guest post at Get Rich Slowly, talks about the value of getting started with ‘Underachievement and the All-or-Nothing Mindset’.

  • The difference was that in the past, slacking off a bit usually meant I’d drop the whole thing.  If I can’t do it perfectly, I won’t do it at all.  That was my attitude, and it stopped me from getting [started] too many times to count.
  • …perfectionism is harmful, it sucks the fun out of life.  The all-or-nothing mentality paralyzes you.
  • The only thing [an] all-or-nothing mentality [does] is hold [you] back…

Again, these words hit me hard…they also described me all too accurately. 

While I often had grand plans to implement many of the things I was reading/learning about…I took action on very few of them.  Why?  Because I thought I’d never have time to execute them perfectly, or that I’d make a big mistake along the way. 

April’s post made me appreciate the fact that it’s far more important to start than to be perfect, that the biggest mistake we can make is in not starting, in not challenging ourselves and in not trying something new.

These two articles profoundly challenged/changed my mindset and gave me the final push I needed to start this blog and to start sharing my writing. 

Is this blog perfect?  Certainly not.  It’s a completely uncustomized WordPress template with limited functionality, but if I were to wait until I was smart enough on WordPress to develop a slick site, it would probably be 2012 and I wouldn’t have put pen to paper at all…not a very good outcome in my mind. 

Even though it’s not a perfect blog (nor will it ever be a perfect blog), it’s mine…and it feels great to have started!

The next time you’re thinking about your goals and find yourself saying ‘I’ll get to it someday’, or ‘I’m not ready’…just get started, you’ll be glad you did…because someday = never and you’ll never be 100% ready.

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