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by Dave Balch, "The Stay-at-Home CEO"™

(c) 2002, A Few Good People, Inc.

It’s hard to get started.

That could mean a lot of different things, so let me talk about a few of them.

For one thing, getting started in the morning can be pretty difficult for a lot of folks: just getting to that first cup of coffee can be the biggest challenge of the day! Try this: at the end of today, try to save something for tomorrow that you are really looking forward to doing. Then, when your eyes open and that dreadful feeling of "I don’t wanna get up!" starts to flood over you, you might remember the fun thing you saved for yourself and jump out of bed with enthusiasm. (Or not!)

It’s also hard to get started when you have a seemingly overwhelming pile or list of things to do, such as a stack of bills, letters, or emails that you have to deal with. Here’s a tip: ‘trick’ yourself by deciding that you will only deal with, say, 10 of them and then give yourself a reward. For example, you’ll just answer 10 emails and then treat yourself to a short European vacation! Hmmmmm, maybe that would be a little extreme… how ‘bout a short walk in the sunshine or listening to your favorite CD track? Here’s what will happen: you’ll do that first 10 and you’ll say to yourself, "That wasn’t so bad, I’ll just do another 10 and then have my treat." Before you know it, the task will be done and you’ll really enjoy that treat that you’ve earned.

When I started this article, though, I was thinking more about starting a new project. That might mean a new product or service, a new advertising campaign, a new marketing strategy, or buying a new computer. Whatever the project is, it involves a number of steps and taking that first one is tough.

For example, you’ve decided that you need to revamp your marketing strategy. There are so many things to decide! Who should you target? What’s the best way to reach them? What is the message that you want to send? How will you test it? How much should you spend? How are you going to document the plan you come up with? What will it look like? What should it include?

Where should you start? Which of those questions should you answer first?

The answer may surprise you. Here it is: it doesn’t matter.

That’s right! It doesn’t matter where you start. JUST START!!

Just write something down or type something in. It doesn’t matter, JUST DO IT! There is a fundamental principle of the universe that is at work here and that is this: it’s much easier to change SOMEthing than to start with a "blank sheet of paper".

You know that no matter what you start with it’s probably going to change before the project is finished. And just about everything you do at first will give you new ideas about some aspect of what you’re doing. Therefore it doesn’t really matter where you start because the first thing you do will probably change and be rearranged anyway.

So start… NOW!

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