I don’t think it is by accident that I have been writing about quitting and commitment lately. I volley between these two things constantly (often in the same moment). Run. Stay. Do. Quit. I’m in. I’m out. It’s like I am sprinting back and forth between two goal posts and it is exhausting.
And then I stumbled upon this article, which seemed to land like a divine message. Thank you, Seth Godin. You are the guru of failure, the angel of starting, the ally of risk-takers. And your wise words are perfectly timed.
So here I am, at the front lines of this “thing” I am creating which is the biggest “thing” I have ever embarked and probably the riskiest. This “thing” which has never been done before. This “thing” which feels impossible and yet inevitable at the same time. And every time I try to turn away from this “thing”, it comes at me as if it has a life of it’s own.
You know what I am talking about right? It’s that thing you’ve been thinking about doing? The one that feels too big. To risky. Too hard to pull off. You think of every reason you should not start…”I’m too busy”. “I don’t know how”. “I don’t have enough support”. “I’m not ready”. But it never goes away because it is YOUR thing.
Seth says, 'if you’re afraid of doing something that is a good guide to actually choosing to do it because it is an indicator of something of value to you'.
“The hard part about business today is knowing how to take a leap. Only when you can put your soul on the line and your heart on the line are you going to be able to get over the resistance and start doing work that you’re truly proud of.” Seth Godin
And THIS is the moment when most everyone is going to quit. Or worse do it soon. "Soon is the excuse we tell ourselves when we are afraid to start". It sounds and feels like “starting”, but it is really being stuck in fear.
Perhaps the one who doesn’t quit, the one who leaps without feet, the one who starts without knowing…perhaps, that is the person who gets somewhere. It may not be where you thought you were going (that is the practice of non-attachment), but it will lead you somewhere. And even if it leads you to failure, perhaps that is somewhere greater and more beautiful than where you are now.
My professor, Marshall Ganz, says “if not now, when?”. We have to begin before we are fully prepared or we will never start. Perfection is the enemy of complete.
If you are scared, it’s because you want it.
If you are questioning, it’s because you are invested.
If you are making excuses, it is exactly the right time to start.
If not now, when?