Taking The Leap Of Faith Requires One Thing
Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
After years of being chained to the desk, I knew something had to change for me, and although I knew what my path was, I was still afraid to pull the trigger because I didn’t have every single detail planned out.
The MLK quote above is something I preach in my in-studio classes, as well as on the site. As a guy that left a six-figure job to start his own company, this quote kept me going through the hard times, the times where I was uncertain of what to do next, the times when I didn’t know my ass from my elbow.
The biggest reason people don’t live to their full potential is simple: We are conditioned to think that plans have to be static, mapped out, fully prepared, and concrete before we move forward. Nothing could be further from the truth… a la Rework by Jason Fried. By the way, read this book immediately.
You can spend years planning a business, and I have some very disappointing news for you: 95% of those plans will have to change within your first month of your journey. The map is not the territory. I repeat, the map is not the territory. I’ve seen Chicago a million fucking times on paper, and after recently visiting there, I realized I didn’t know what any of the streets were, or where to find the local landmarks…. admittedly, all I was interested in was the world-famous pizza and local beers, but you get the point.
Once you get into your new venture, you quickly realize that business, like life, is organic and not linear. You must be agile, willing to bend, and open to ideas from others.
With this logic in mind, there is no point in waiting until you have it “just right”, because that is a mark that can’t be achieved, because “just right” changes every day. It’s like trying to shoot an arrow at a floating bullseye; you’ll never hit it unless you are extremely lucky. Rather, map out the first few feet to the bullseye, and when it changes its location, you change your direction. And I don’t mean just once, I don’t mean twice. I mean be ready to shift your focus at a moment’s notice. Be ready to abandon every idea that you thought was the next “holy shit moment”, and start from scratch.
Back to my point, all of this shifting, dancing the strategy tango, and being responsive is truly the fun part of running a business, but it only happens after you take the first step. The staircase will be there, or you’ll create it along the way, but it starts with action. Until then, your amazing idea will only be that, an idea.
We’ve all head the phrase “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”. Your idea is likely a good one, but your plan to get to the finish line will undoubtedly need revising. So what to do? Use your idea, and execute about the first 5% of your plan. Stop there and ask “Ok, now what?”. Figure out the next 5% and execute. There is no hard-and-fast rule for success. It’s like we each have our own personal success Rubik’s Cube to solve, so take it one piece at a time.
For any of you out there impassioned about starting business of your own, I encourage you to get curious, very curious. Start asking questions about the steps it will take to get started. Reach out to others to find out how they did it. Ask an annoying amount of questions. Take the baby steps, and after you’ve graduated from crawling, then walk. Everyone seems to want to sprint to be a millionaire. I know plenty of millionaires, and I can tell you none of them did it with out doing the grunt work themselves.
Be light my friends,