Start before you are ready.

You can get most of the things you want to do in your life. You only need to start.

You know that this is very true, right?

There are many things that I wanted to start but never got the courage. And as I am growing older, I feel the hesitation is getting stronger. It is as if I am telling myself that I can do today, tomorrow or next week what I failed to do in 20 years.

In 2007, I wanted to start a podcast. It was only in 2016 that I gut the gumption to start one. I posted a few episodes on a website which is no longer existing. The episodes had a few hundred listeners. But I felt I was not ready.

I stopped.

And since then, it has always been my itch to start a podcast. I listened to podcasts almost every day for hours. And I am constantly reminded that I failed to start. I failed because I was convinced I was not yet ready.

I started my teaching career before I graduated from college. That was in 1996. Many of my readers have not yet been born. During that time, I tried to write a book about Effective Teaching. But then, I felt I was not ready.

I stopped.

And for more than 22 years, I tried many times to start writing a book.

Last year, I was invited by a group to write a book for researchers. They want something like Chicken Soup for Researchers. They gave me sixty days to finish writing. I accepted the challenge.

I tried to start. I did my research for 10 days. Then on the eleventh day, I stopped.

I tried to come up with my first draft. But I felt I was not ready. I struggled for twenty days. I tried to start but I couldn’t. My inner jerk was too strong that I was afraid to sit down and write.

How can I author a book for researchers in 30 days when I was not able to write a book for 22 years?

Yes, I felt like an impostor.

I have always tried to be true to myself. It was a daily struggle. I want something done but feed myself all the reasons not to do it yet.

Thirty-eight days after I accepted the challenge to write a book, all I came up with was an outline of a book.

I finished writing the book two days after the deadline.

Yes, I finished writing a book of more than 100 pages in 14 days.

I followed the advice of someone I knew so well. He has done many things before, things that others never imagined he could do. He has reached many places he never imagined he could reach. I was reading a short post: Start Something Today and this got me into writing.

You see, my friend, my problem is not my dream. My dreams aren’t too big for me. My dreams aren’t too big for others too.

I stopped again and again because I was only trying to start. Trying to start is a play-safe move. I was testing the waters, finding out if I were ready. And my inner jerk constantly said I was never ready. If I were to wait until I am ready, I won’t be able to get things done.

I hope you learn from my experience.

But here’s something that I want you to take-away: Start before you are ready — and don’t stop until you are done.

For me to write that book that I finished in 14 days meant that I had to sit down and write for six hours. I decided that the researching part was over. All I need is to go all in and help people. The best step to write a book is not trying to write but to write. Daily. In the number of hours you want. Until you get done.

I want to publish three books in 2020.

I am still afraid.

Fuck fear. That’s one lesson I learned from watching the Witcher. It doesn’t sound good for others, but it resonates with me.

Jef Menguin

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