Take a first step. Figure out the rest later.

“Ship often. Ship lousy stuff, but ship. Ship constantly.” —Seth Godin

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Diving in head first not only goes against conventional wisdom, but it goes beyond most people’s comfort zones.

We’re always told to plan, to be level headed, to be prudent, to be structured. The only problem is that our fear, doubt, procrastination, worry, perfectionism, definitions of success (add as necessary) trick us into staying put. But we believe that our delay is really prudence.

The irony is that it often takes doing something first before we can figure it out.

Not the other way around.

We wait for the epiphany or the permission or the consensus from the committee.

We wait for the degree or the store front or the perfect date on the calendar.

Waiting and delay kills the energy needed to launch into that activity. Delay is the perfect open door for energy-sucking doubt to creep in.

Do-first-figure-it-out-later is not a good idea if:

• You could lose your shirt because shipping it required a lot of money

• You could lose enormous amounts of time by putting the cart before the horse

• You’re not clear about who you are and what you have to offer

• You’re not in sync with your values, intentions or interests or those of the company you work for

You usually know as much or more than you need to know for taking that first step. You are more likely to discover better ways to enhance that service or product by first trying it out than you would if you had planned, planned, planned. You now have new information to go on that you didn’t have before.

The truth is, there’s a lot of schlock out there. Delayers are usually the most conscientious ones. They care about making it right. So if you’re delaying announcing that workshop you haven’t fleshed out, or offering that new service that lacks details, or testing that product on a group before it’s perfect, just know that your effort will be better than most. Offer a discount if it makes you feel better.

The key is movement. Movement triggers other actions, ideas and improvements.

So, what’s on the ship list? What step can you take?

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(Image credit: Flickr creative commons / skipnclick)

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