I’ve got a little bone to pick with a piece of extremely common advice I hear from successful entrepreneurs.
I hear this advice everywhere.
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The advice goes a little something like this:
You just gotta get out there and do it!
Just do it.
Get after it.
Make it happen.
This isn’t going to happen to you, you gotta make it happen.
Dive in, get your hands dirty.
This advice is everywhere. Comedians, entrepreneurs, professional sports-people… So there’s got to be some truth to it.
But if I’m honest, this advice has never been that effective — it’s never helped me get my hands dirty and dive into something I aspire to do.
And I think we can fix that.
Here are 3 ways we can improve this advice to make it more effective for anyone who want to step out of their comfort zone and get something done.
1. You’re gonna suck at first.
Listen, when we start things we suck at them, ok?
It’s because we’re learning. We’re not masters yet, we’re learners.
I think, for myself, there’s a lot of resistance, analysis paralysis, wrapped up in this “you’re gonna suck at first” thing.
It makes sense, right? NONE of us were trained in how to suck gracefully.
We don’t have people in our life we really admired because they’re so bad at things.
“Oh man, Dale’s the best — he just sucks at EVERYTHING!”
BUT I think there’s a little bit of an invitation here to be okay with sucking at the start.
“Hey, I’m going to start up a business idea I can’t get out of my head and it’s gonna SUCK SO BAD at first, but just hang with me; it’ll get better with time.”
Doesn’t that just sound a lot more humane?
Doesn’t it put some of your fears in check when you realize it’s OK to suck at first, that everyone does?
The first thing we can add to this “just get out there and do it” advice is:
You’re gonna suck at first… Be okay with that.
2. What you’re trying to do is actually quite difficult.
My goodness, I feel like we’re really unfair to ourselves about this one.
Nobody preparing to climb Mt. Everest is ever, like:
“You know what, I am just really in my head about this whole thing right now; I should just get out there and do it.”
NO! Because climbing Everest is really fk’n hard!
But, we say that kind of thing about our own endeavors all the time, not seeing or realizing that what we’re trying to do is actually quite hard.
I think this is a big reason why we waffle and flounder about, resisting action so much: because we haven’t sat down, taken inventory and saw this project in it’s true light as a pretty big undertaking.
Because when you realize something’s a real large task, you can break it down into little chunks And start making progress.
But we don’t do that. Instead we’re just really hard on ourselves for not being further along than we are.
Which doesn’t help anyone.
So, here’s another thing we can add to that “just get out there and do it” advice:
What you’re trying to do is quite difficult… Honor that and go gentle on yourself.
3. Luck plays a big role.
It just does. Luck plays a big role.
And we discredit that.
If you don’t like the word “luck” you could think of it as “serendipity” or “happenstance.”
It’s lucking out and being in the right place at the right time.
It’s an important influencer who just happened to be a friend of your uncle.
It’s a connection or a hook-up or an asset you lucked out to have.
It’s “this door led to that door and then, OMG I didn’t even see that coming, which put me in this position and led to that thing which opened the door to where I am today!”
These kinds of things play a role in everyone’s success.
Now, we don’t like that we can’t control luck, it just happens where it happens.
We’d rather say that if you work hard it’ll all work out and those who work harder get more success.
Which is true in a lot of ways. You certainly have to work hard… That will always be an ingredient.
But I think seeing luck also as an ingredient makes us a little more honest about whatever success comes our way.
There are things you can’t control that will play a part in your success. So let’s add that as well to our “just get out there and do it” advice:
What you’re trying to do will require some luck… Work hard and know that not everything is in your control.
This really is the best advice.
“You just gotta get out there and do it” really is the best advice. BUT we just need to augment it in a few ways…
- You just gotta get out there and do it… AND you’re gonna suck at first. Be OK with that.
- You just gotta get out there and do it… AND what you’re trying to do is quite difficult. Be gentle with yourself.
- You just gotta get out there and do it… AND you’ll need some luck along the way. Work hard and be open.
So, maybe next time you hear that common advice, you can remember these three things we’ve added today.
When I hear it this way it certainly connects a bit deeper, makes me feel a little more gritty and brave.
Hopefully you too. Thanks for reading!
PS. if you like the spirit of this post and you want to build a business of your own (on the side or full time), check out what we’re doing at Fizzle with the 9 stage roadmap. Watch the video »
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“3 Ways to Improve the Best Advice Ever”
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