If I handed you the deed to the land that contained a diamond mine, how would you feel? Maybe you’d feel excited thinking about your good fortune and your riches, but after you thought about it, would you know what to do with it? Would not knowing overwhelm you? Would it make you walk away?
You’d do some research, call an expert, and figure out what one does with a valuable diamond mine. You’d figure out who has the equipment to extract the diamond, which people had the expertise to get it out, what the process is to get it up to commercial standards, and who the best buyers are for your specific type of diamond.
You wouldn’t throw up your hands and walk away just because you don’t have the technical know-how to get these diamonds out of the ground, when you know they’re valuable and people want them.
But that’s exactly what most of us are doing with our gifts.
We’ve all got raw materials, but the problem is we don’t know how to refine what we have, we don’t have the equipment to extract it, and we’re unfamiliar with the process of bringing our raw materials to market.
So we make excuses for not taking the first step.
We proclaim to be too busy, but when we find ourselves with extra time, we don’t do it.
We say we don’t know how to get started, as if that’s a good excuse.
We console ourselves with stories – we’re not business-minded, we’re not great with computers, we’re terrible salespeople, we’re bad with software.
But no one who is business minded, great with computers, great at sales or software was as good as they are today on the first day they tried it. And most people figure out what they need to know – just enough of what they need to know – in order to get the train moving.
Which is what you need to do.
It’s what I need to do, because I’m guilty too.
The days keep passing. The weeks, months, and years are all adding up, and it’s not getting any easier to be a beginner.
So today’s as good a day as any to start. Think of a small way to get started – a small way to tackle what mentally feels like a bigger task than it likely is.
For me, it’s the book about how parents and teachers can use my work to support the talents of kids. I’ve had this book concept on my mind and heart for over a year, so practically, how can I make it happen?
First, I can make a top level outline of my chapters, which I’ve done.
Next, I can outline my subtopics for each chapter which I’ve yet to do.
Then I can write a subtopic each week until they’re all done.
Notice that I didn’t get into the weeds of how I’ll manage structuring the book, getting it edited, published and marketed yet because all of that is irrelevant right now. I need to create some momentum first so I can feel what it’s like to be moving in this direction. I need to get some small personal wins first and prove to myself that I can finish it before I even need to clutter my mind with more to dos.
But this is what most of us do. We get so overwhelmed thinking about the book marketing that we don’t even take the time to get still and write. Or we think about where we’ll find office space before we have a stable block of customers. We’re worrying about things too far in the distance instead of doing what we can do now.
So do what you can do.
If you’ve been saying you’re writing a book, make an outline and write a few chapters.
If you’ve been saying you want to start a business, land yourself a handful of clients and get into a rhythm to see how you like it. Business may not even be for you. But you’ll never know until you have a taste of it.
If you’ve been talking about starting a podcast, record three episodes then figure out the rest. Trust me, all of it is a mere google search away.
Don’t be afraid of being a beginner. But don’t you dare walk away from a diamond mine because you don’t know how to extract the gems out of the ground.
Don’t be afraid to do a little on how to make your dream happen. T