It’s a common theme that I hear from just about anyone who has achieved any of their goals, or asked themselves how to get ahead in life. Step one: just get started. Get moving, and you’ll figure it out as you go. It’s one of the scariest things to do, but also among the most exhilarating.
So often we wait to do or change something until we think the timing is right. More often than not, the timing never ends up feeling exactly correct, and so that affords us the perfect excuse to sit back in our comfort zone as life continues to tick along. Either that, or the planets do finally line up, but when that moment arrives, it seems so sudden that we don’t think think we’re ready for it. We haven’t built the muscle or habit of seizing and/or creating opportunities. And so, we all have stories of how some things slipped through our fingers.
Dreamers Wish. Achievers Act.
Everyone I talk to who has accomplished something I admire has a similar tale: they just get started and trust themselves to keep taking the next step and figuring it out as you go. Whether it’s a musician, like my recent podcast guest, Chad Price, realizing he could sing and deciding to reach out to a major-league Producer to get his first album underway, or an accomplished business person like David Ciccarelli, who at first signed a book out of the library called “Website Development for Dummies.” Well, that “dummy” is now the CEO of a global web-based business, Voices.com. And Price got that album done (it’s called “In This Dream” and it’s fantastic), working with the Producer he desired, despite the fact that he was a complete and total newcomer to the music scene. He didn’t let what he didn’t know stop him.
So what’s holding you back?
I will admit, just getting going and “putting yourself out there” can be tough at first. I’ll give you an example. This video:
I’m not very proud of that video. But I’m glad it’s there. I’ll tell you why.
I just recently started really trying to populate my YouTube feed with content. Important stuff, right? Well, maybe to me. But I’ve been meaning to put a “welcome” (trailer) video to my YouTube channel for a long time. I just had never got it started. So I set out to change that.
Preparation, or Paralysis Through Analysis?
I ordered a lavalier microphone to go with my smartphone so I could get good sound. I set up a backdrop and positioned some lights to help make it look professional. I created an opening for the video with a clip of my music and an image of the my Kevin Bulmer Enterprises logo. I also made a slide to go at the end of the video that showed all my social media channels. I scripted out my video and went to work.
Here’s what happened:
The mic didn’t work. I sent it back. I decided I’d sacrifice the sound quality for now, light the thing as best I could and capture it with my smartphone anyway.
Take 1 – It was decent. I recorded it with my smartphone. I edited it with the intro and extro and custom music opening. It wasn’t perfect but I was pleased enough. So I rendered the project into a video and … the audio on the finish product was full of pops and clicks. I turned to Google for solutions. I rendered the project twice more with different settings. Same result. I concluded the video editor did not like the audio from my smartphone. So gave up on that.
Take 2- I used a different video camera, one with a very good external mic. I re-did the video and put it into the my editing template. This time the audio rendered perfectly, but the video quality was dark and dreary compared to my smartphone footage. I thought it looked awful. So I gave up on that idea.
Take 3 – I finally thought, “To heck with it. You don’t need the intro and wrap up. You’re making excuses. Just get started.” So I took in the brightest room in my house – my kitchen, held my phone up in front of me and did this video. Satisfied I had something workable, I reviewed the footage, only to conclude that the echo of the kitchen sounded distant and poor. I gave up for the day.
Jump For It …
The next day, I decided I was thinking about it waaaay too much. I was burning too much daylight. I wanted to just get going. The only thing stopping me was my own expectation and my projection over what other people might think.
But really, who cares what they think? So I trimmed the video I just described and stuck it on YouTube. I got started. Even then … it took me all of what I just described before I finally got going. Eesh.
The good news is, the more you’re used to jumping into the pool, the easier it gets to go in again. But you’ve got to jump that first time.
Well, I’ve jumped. With this site. With that video. With moving toward the life I desire, step by awkward step.
So tell me, what are you doing to do to, today, to get started? Please comment below and let me know.
Good luck! I’ll see you in the deep end.