It’s a rare duck that can start an endeavor for global domination and make it happen overnight.
Be it starting your own business or completing your first triathlon, most people don’t hire 5,000 employees on their first day or get to race the world championships in Kona on their first go.
As a result, I would propose that we mere mortals remember that it’s ok to start small.
What I Really Mean
When I decided to give triathlons a shot, I researched different distances (finding the shortest one!), bought the book “Triathlon For Dummies” and convinced a friend (my wife) to race it with me. As I began training, I could barely swim 25 meters in a pool without feeling exhausted. It was daunting.
When my wife decided to start her own business, she researched the different options to get started (finding the cheapest one!), read up on how to get an Etsy shop going and got a friend (me) to support her along the way. As she posted her first listing, she had no idea if any sales would actually come through. It was daunting.
Where To Start
I’m sure we’ve all been in a similar situation. We look at the end goal and say, “Man, I think that’s more than I can handle”.
Really, what we need to say to ourselves is, “What’s one little thing I can do to move the ball forward?”
Then go do that.
Breaking a dream up into manageable pieces gives us clarity and focus. You finish Phase 1, get to celebrate and then put Phase 2 squarely in your crosshair.
Whether it’s becoming adept at multiple sports for triathlon, understanding basic business principles to start your own endeavor, beginning a regular exercise routine, changing your spending habits or whatever – you have to learn foundational disciplines and then apply them regularly to hone your craft.
It’s Like Novocaine
What it boils down to, really, is process. Things need time to develop. We, more often than not, need to actually figure out how to get from Point A to Point G. And we do that (read: make that up) as we go.
In Remember The Titans, Coach Boone’s assistants are leery of his six-play playbook before leaving for training camp. He simply replies, “It’s like Novocaine; just give it time, it always works.”
Now I’m not saying that every dream we ever have we will work, but rather that we have to keep in mind that it takes time. Setting ourselves up for measureable successes along the way is how we keep motivated and keep a dream alive.
See It Through
For me, this all meant racing a Sprint triathlon in a pool, then a Sprint triathlon in open water, then an Olympic distance and then a half Ironman.
In my wife’s case, she started with a basic calligraphy services concept, got feedback, added products, got more feedback, added her own e-commerce site, got more feedback and now has people interested in wholesaling her work.
In each instance, there were days where we messed up, had something flop, made a mistake or didn’t meet a goal. But we learned from it, took advice and encouragement from others along the way and kept moving forward.
Step, after step, after step.
And the best part is, we’re not done yet.