Surely you’ve heard something like “just do it” or “just start,” but in many cases, starting is one of the most challenging tasks in life. In this post, I will share my own experience and struggles when starting and finishing projects.
It used to be easy for me to start and work on multiple projects. I remember staying up late often to work on these projects. Starting these projects was easy then; completing them while challenging was possible in most instances. For example, I developed a website where startups and small businesses could sign up, add their location, and then be shown on a map. Before that, I created a meetup group where I helped people find co-founders for their startups, and both were quite successful.
Those are just two examples, but over the years, I also started a successful blog back in the mid-2000s to talk about anything related to startups and technology in Austin, TX. The blog became a Meetup group that grew to over 3,000 people, and more than a hundred met monthly.
However, over time, I stopped working on these projects for different reasons. And while I thought of new projects and ideas all the time, I ended up with zero projects at some point. And I remember thinking. It’s okay. It is time to focus on my job and dedicate 100% of my time. Well, I got too complacent over the years. Working on a project besides your day job is healthy, and your day job could benefit from this.
Starting new projects is difficult, and there’s always an excuse, such as I need more time, my idea needs to be better, or I need to know where or how to start. The reality is, at least in my experience, that fear plays a significant role here—fear of not feeling capable enough, not competent enough, or not experienced enough. But guess what? Starting doesn’t require any of those things.
Start anything, work on it for some time, and then start something else. Ideally, you’ll finish what you start, but you’ll learn much from that experience even if you don’t. For example, writing my thoughts about an idea is a good start that works for me. The next thing I could do, depending on the project, is to manually create something to help the project, a social media account, a web page, and a list of items to complete. And if you need customers for your new project, start talking to potential customers, one at a time.
If you feel stuck and unable to start or move forward with a project, it may be time to think about why you feel that way. I fear wasting time on something that might not work, but deep down, I know there is value in starting and working on new projects. At the minimum, it is a learning experience, but it takes work to convince yourself of that.
Fear is the reason many dreams never come true. Of course, fear is not necessarily bad, but if you let fear drive your decisions, you’ll end up with many regrets and missed opportunities.
I started a new project a few months ago, the first one outside my regular job in many years. I am taking it slowly and am excited about the journey without overthinking the end result.
Not fearing the outcome of a project or an idea is my goal, and I am not comfortable feeling comfortable anymore. Maybe it’s my age, or my project ideas aren’t as exciting as before. Nevertheless, I will continue to do what I can to keep things interesting with these new projects.
I posted a tweet days ago mentioning that my goal this year is slowing down when traveling, eating, talking, etc.
This does not mean I want to be lazy. On the contrary, I want to focus on each task and give it all my time and dedication as I am doing it. This, of course, will include my new project. Cheers.