“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.
Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
– Howard Thurman
You have this big project you want to start. It will change your life. Well, maybe it will. You don’t know yet because you’ve never done anything like it before. But it seems that the only way to find out is to give it a shot and see what happens.
The problem is, even thinking about taking some real action towards your goal scares the crap outta you. It’s as if you were a child again, lying in the dark waiting for the monster to crawl out your closet. You’re terrified.
Yet there is this feeling in your gut that tells you that this might be an awesome adventure and lead to opportunities that you don’t even dare to dream about at this point.
Here’s the thing: You’ll never be a bestselling author if you don’t write that first book. You’ll never land your dream job if you don’t do the soul searching to figure out what you want. And in my case, you’ll never make a living from your blog if you don’t start blogging. Simple, eh?
But how on earth could little you dare to do something so bold, so big and so effin’ scary?
“This is too big for me”
That’s exactly what was going on in my head when I had decided to start a blog last spring. I wanted to write a blog that matters, that changes the world and allows me to make a living doing what I love.
This project scared the crap outta me.
Who was I, the broke 20 year old college student, to dare say I wanted to change the world? What if no one would care about what I have to say? And how on earth should I be able to deal with all those technical HTML weirdness that comes with blogging?
All I had was a burning desire to write about the topics that fascinated me most: “lifestyle design” (create a life on your terms) and “personal development” (grow as a person to live your best life) and world change.
Yeah, those were vague ideas at best. So…
If we’ve never done anything like it before, how dare we think we can make this work?
How can we be so foolish to even take the first step?
These kind of doubts arise naturally when you decide to do something meaningful. They have stopped countless people before you.
I don’t want you to be one of them.
Your dream is worthwhile it’s bold, brilliant and innocent. Taking the first steps and then sticking to it is hard, but you and your dream deserve it.
I’ve learned a thing or two about starting big scary projects as I launched Bright Little Socks. Today I’ll be sharing with you the key lessons I learned so you can go out there and create something meaningful.
The 5 essential steps to starting any meaningful project
Do you really want this?
Sometimes it’s easy to think that we want to do big bold thing x because we know it would make our daddy proud. The thing is, if you don’t really want this yourself, you’re going to burn out pretty quickly.We don’t want that. So take a moment (feel free to grab my best friend, Mr. Journal) to reflect on your WHY behind starting this project.
Don’t reinvent the wheel.
It’s unnecessary and takes more blood, sweat and tears than needed. No matter how out of space your idea is, there’s probably someone who has done something similar before.
Find the person who has done what you dream about and see if she has a process you can follow. If not, ask amazon’s book section.When I got serious about starting a blog in 2012, I bought a course on the exact topic by Corbett Barr. He had done what I wanted to do, so all I did was follow his action plans because I knew they would inevitably lead me to launching a decent blog.
Bottom line: You don’t have to do this all on your own. Find someone you can model and do it.
Limit the time you spend in research phase.
Maybe you’ve escaped into books and blogs to learn everything you can about your topic to be as prepared as possible. The problem is that most of us never stop preparing. Spend two weeks researching, find someone whose process you can model and then get to work.
Set deadlines and tell people.
It took me two months after I had setup my blog domain to finally commit to a launch date. Deadlines are scary things because they somehow make the project seem more real which can cause panic attacks.
Needless to say I had to push back the launch date twice, but without the deadline, I’d probably still be talking about launching my blog someday.
You can also tell 3 people you trust what you’re about to do, and of course tell the people you want to get advice from (only take advice from people who have done it before). This will give you a sense of accountability.
Just do it.
There’s no shortcut that allows you to skip this step. You’ll feel scared no matter how prepared you are. You don’t need to have it all figured out at the beginning. Clarity comes through action, not from thought. Get that? So take the first step, no matter how small it is. Then take the next one. If you fall behind and let the project slide, accept it and get back to work.
When I launched my blog on October 9th 2012 I was terrified. I had to take about 3746 deep breathes before I found the courage to remove the maintenance plugin and reveal it to the world. And guess what happened? Not that much. Then slowly people started noticing. I got my first comments, my first email from a subscriber and I could start to see where this project could be going.
Finally launching a project often feels like the end of the journey, but it’s really just the beginning.
You don’t need to have it all figured out. Clarity comes through action. So go take the first step.