Are you feeling “not ready” or are you procrastinating?
I see a lot of you (aspiring business owners) doing this:
You’re waiting until you’re “ready” before you take the next leap.
A dear client asked me about the “thin line between readiness and procrastination.”
Based on my experience personally coaching hundreds of business owners, I can almost certainly tell you this:
You are being fooled by your own brilliant mind. Your feeling of “lack of readiness” is actually procrastination.
I never feel “ready” —
- When I started writing this article, I was scared that I wouldn’t have enough to say.
- When making my videos, by the time I click “record” I feel like I could’ve spent another hour (at least) thinking about the topic.
- When I launch a course, I never quite feel ready… but I remind myself that whatever I already know will be at least somewhat helpful to the students. We are usually much harsher on ourselves than our students / clients are.
The founder of Linkedin, Reid Hoffman, famously said this:
If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.
This article explains his thoughts:
If There Aren’t Any Typos In This Essay, We Launched Too Late!
I feel embarrassed often… because I create often.
- Every book that I publish, I feel at least slightly embarrassed by… but the reality is that if I waited until a book was “ready” I might never publish. Thankfully I do publish, because book after book, each one is getting better. I can always re-publish and re-launch a 2nd edition later… and I will!
- Every course that I teach, I’m embarrassed by, but I also get feedback that year after year, each version gets better.
The creative process, the reality of building an authentic business, requires this continual practice:
Transforming Fear into Love.
We are being called to recognize when we are feeling afraid in the creative process, and instead, reinterpret that emotion. Turn “fear” or “lack of readiness” into one or more of these…
- Curious self-exploration
Transform Hesitation into Action.
If I am creating something, and I feel hesitation, I now interpret it as a signal to take action, to just do. To take the next step. To write the next sentence. To click “record” on the video. To press “publish”.
It is a daily creative practice: transmuting fearful hesitation into loving action. Bit by bit, piece by piece, we are becoming more courageous, and wiser through experience.
But the doubt, the “lack of readiness” never goes away. We simply get better at recognizing it, and transmuting it into creative action.
I encourage you to start today.
Bias yourself toward action, doing what you are “afraid” of, knowing that it is actually excitement, passion, service… and just write, speak, publish, launch, etc… do the thing that puts your work into the marketplace.
Even though our lack of “readiness” in a creative project is procrastination, there is a real conversation to be had about “readiness” is in regards to the marketplace:
It’s Not About Your Readiness, but Your Audience’s…
Building an authentic business happens in stages:
- You build (and further nurture) your ideal audience through authentic, consistent content — for example, through articles you write or videos that you make.
- You then notice what topics your ideal audience most resonates with, and you make more content on those topics.
- Based on one of the resonant topics, you then create — lightly, with as little work as possible — a product/service/program.
- You then simply — without much ado / pressure on yourself or them — launch it to your audience. Don’t think “this better work!” but instead, hold the primary expectation of learning from your audience’s reactions and feedback.
- You then take their feedback and you re-launch the thing with more effort and care the next time!
Keep repeating this basic process until you have a thriving, authentic business.
Notice that each step requires you to step into your creative self-expression. This will naturally cause you to feel “not ready”.
You simply see it as an opportunity to transmute that emotion of fear / not ready, into love. Turn hesitation into action. Launch the next thing (whether it’s publishing some content or creating a product) with love, curiosity, and self-exploration.
Remember: by waiting until you’re ready, you are delaying what’s inevitable anyway.
It doesn’t matter how long you wait, how much you prepare, you will still have to face the inevitable feeling of “What if this doesn’t work?”
This is why it is better to launch sooner, so that you can gather the market’s feedback, which then allows you to launch an improved version.
If there’s one thing to fear, it’s this: You’ll run out of time.
We all have an ultimate deadline — the end of our life — to actualize our most authentic, creative self. This requires a lot of experimentation and creation. If we are creating an authentic business, we all have a deadline too — running out of funds before our business takes off.
Building a successful authentic business requires learning a lot about your audience, and about yourself. To do that, you need to put your creative work out there, in the marketplace, again and again.
Revisit the 5 steps I outlined above. Where are you at?
Day by day, hour by hour, transform doubtful hesitation into creative action. Transmute fear into love. By taking action to publish or to launch, in order to gain real-world learning in the marketplace, you are using your time wisely.
Originally published at www.georgekao.com.
by the author.