The whole ‘Start-even-if-you-don’t-know-what-the-hell-you’re-doing’ thing is one of the undisputed hallmarks of successful people across all cultures and continents.
As an example of just such an approach, here’s billionaire Briton Richard Branson talking about how his Virgin Airlines came into being back in the 1970s:
“I was in my late twenties, so I had a business, but nobody knew who I was at the time. I was headed to the Virgin Islands and I had a very pretty girl waiting for me, so I was, umm, determined to get there on time.
At the airport, my final flight to the Virgin Islands was cancelled because of maintenance or something. It was the last flight out that night. I thought this was ridiculous, so I went and chartered a private airplane to take me to the Virgin Islands, which I did not have the money to do.
Then, I picked up a small blackboard, wrote “Virgin Airlines. $29.” on it, and went over to the group of people who had been on the flight that was cancelled. I sold tickets for the rest of the seats on the plane, used their money to pay for the chartered plane, and we all went to the Virgin Islands that night.
If you want to summarize the habits of successful people into one phrase, it’s this:
Successful people start before they feel ready.
You’re bound to feel uncertain, unprepared, and unqualified. But let me assure you of this: what you have right now is enough. You can plan, delay, and revise all you want, but trust me, what you have now is enough to start.”
It’s been just about six years now since I first picked-up a paint brush. I had no idea what I was doing back then, or whether I’d be any good at it. It’s been a slow, gradual process - one that’s more rewarding than words can express - and I’m getting better and gaining more confidence with each painting I complete. To borrow Branson’s words, when I started painting I was very, very “uncertain, unprepared, and unqualified,” but I gave it a shot anyway . . . even if I wasn’t close to being ready.
Whenever you embark on a new venture, screw-ups and self-doubt are par for the course. They’re unavoidable, and besides, how else are you going to learn and grow? Sitting around on your duff waiting for everything to be ‘just right’ is code for ‘stalling out of fear of failure or looking stupid.’ Don’t let unnecessary delays fool you. More often than not, they’re B.S.
So whether you’d like to try your hand at painting, or you’re itching to bite off something a bit riskier - like, say, starting your own airline - the only good time to yank the proverbial ripcord is Right Now. Even if all you’ve got so far is an idea tossing around inside your head, that’s enough to at least get things rollin.’
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