“Start before you’re ready.” ~Steven Pressfield
I have this tendency to not begin something until I can have every detail fully planned out in mind for a flawless execution. For the most part, I can do this and it works fine for me. Then there are times that I have no idea how it is going to end up, like starting a business, building a website or refinishing a closet. I get overwhelmed with the possibility that what I do will fail. When I look at others that are starting a business, I can see what this looks like from a 3rd person point of view. I see them spending days on coming up with the right business name, getting the right logo or building the right slogan. Albeit, while this is fun, this produces nothing. What they should be doing is beating the streets and catching up on all the fluff as they go along. Easy for me to say looking from the outside in right?
Kids who procrastinate to get started on their homework are a good example of this. Before they begin doing their homework, they sharpen their pencil. They put the tip to the page and it breaks off and then sharpen it some more. If the wood is not shaped properly, they spend even more time sharpening it. They are not actually working but just procrastinating instead.
Building a blog is a perfect example of this. There are bloggers that consume their time working on the look and feel of their website instead of filling it with content. By not filling it with content, they are just merely sharpening the pencil. Content is what provides value to the blogger’s audience. Content is what search engines care about, not how pretty the site looks. Content is a blogger’s reason for being, so that needs to be the primary point of focus. Start writing rather the website is ready or not.
On this site I am using the base self-hosted WordPress 2015 theme. I have not installed any fancy plugins, or dressed this place up too much. I could easily bog myself down with customizing the site, I have committed to writing. Once I got started again this year, I am charging ahead to learn as I go.
Over the past year we decided to rip out the carpet and install wood flooring in the closet. Carpentry and house work of this nature is a real challenge to me. It is hard for me because it is easy to mess up, it is expensive, and it is not a perfect art. I put off working on the closet because I was planning, reading and trying to learn how to do everything perfectly to minimize on the amount of waste I would have. I kept putting off the closet and was paralyzed through over analyzing how to do it.
Eventually, I finally got the courage to overcome this fear and just attacked it. I really screwed some stuff up, it did not come out completely perfect, I made mistakes. The corners where my baseboards come together do not match perfectly, and one of my door trim pieces do not match at a 45 degree angle. But it is completed, to an untrained eye it looks fantastic! Though all of this, I learned a lot about doing baseboards, door trim and installing wood floors. I became a better handyman by just starting, before I felt ready. After all is said and done, I feel good about making so many mistakes.
My take away, be less of a perfectionist and just do it.
Image by Rob Shenk