Have you ever started something really great and then not finished it?
Does a one-legged duck swim in circles?
Ok, bad question. We have all failed to finish from time to time. It sucks the energy right out of you, doesn’t it?
I’m done writing my book Go! How to Find and Pursue Your Passionate Purpose, but I’m not “finished” yet.
I still have to:
- Make a cover
- Price it
- Get it up on Amazon
- Promote it
- Create a page on my website to give away a couple chapters for free
- Create a page with downloadable worksheets for people who buy it
- Create an email form to sign people up for my weekly newsletter and podcast
- Start writing my newsletter and making podcasts
- Write speeches to go along with my book
- Save the whales and teach the world to sing
Sometimes I look at that list, freak out, think about how I don’t know how to do everything I want to do and end up doing nothing…
Most of the time, I get back to the basics of what I do when I finish strong. I make monthly, weekly and daily plans of how I’m going to get it done. And I start doing it.
One. Step. At. A. Time.
It’s a cliché for a reason. It works.
Martin Luther King Jr. put it this way: “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
(Of course, you could also fall down the stairs and break your neck because some idiot forgot to turn the light on, but most of the time this is great advice.)
A friend of mine said something to me that keeps me pressing forward even when I’m not 100 percent sure how to do everything I will need to know how to do before my project is finished. He said, “Greg, when you leave here to go home tonight are you going to sit in your car until all the traffic lights from here to your house turn green? No, you’re going to drive up to the first red light and wait for it to turn green. Then you’re going to drive to the next red light. You’re going to keep doing that until you get home. That’s how it is with the new venture you’re working on now. If you wait until you have every detail planned from now until the end, you will never start. Do one thing. Then learn what you need to know and do the next thing. Before you know it, you will finish strong.”
When we want to do something big, bold, different, new, or creative, we’re never going to know all the answers before we get started. That’s scary, but it’s also exciting.
In writing my book, and helping my 12-year-old daughter write hers, I’ve learned a ton of stuff. (shameless plug: you can buy her fantasy-adventure book aimed at middle schoolers – The Last Hope – here) I now know how to:
- Self publish a book
- Format a book
- Outsource the creation of a book cover
- Get paid for the book
- Set up speaking engagements related to the book
- Get a book edited professionally
- Didn’t learn how to save the whales – Are ALL the whales in trouble? Is this really my responsibility?
There is nothing you need to do to finish strong that you can’t learn how to do. Someone has done it, or written about it, or made a YouTube about it. You can too.
You can finish strong. You owe it to yourself and to everyone who will benefit from what you’re creating.
What do you do to keep yourself motivated to finish strong? What techniques do you use? Please let me know.
“My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished 2 bags of M&M’s and a chocolate cake. I feel better already.”