Recently, I was talking with a friend about a project they wanted to start. We spoke on the phone for over an hour about her idea., her She was full of passion behind it, and knew how far it could possibly reach. As I listened, it became clear that organization was not her biggest obstacle. She knew what she needed to do, she just struggled with starting. Sound familiar?
If you’re like me, you live in a world full of possibility. You’re constantly comparing things and wondering how much they have in common. Whether it’s video game streaming, powerlifting, or podcasting, there seems to be endless potential for creative and innovative ideas. Unfortunately, having the idea is the easy part. Getting started is more difficult.
There are a wide variety of reasons starting a project is difficult. Near the top of the list is that starting something makes it real. Instead of being an incredible and life changing idea, it’s now a barely formed reality that takes an immense amount of time and care to craft into an incredible and life changing reality. With no guarantee of success, that amount of work can be daunting.
Big Goals, Big Dreams
When I started podcasting, I had no idea what kind of reception I would receive. I couldn’t help but dream that somehow it would go viral and become a huge, culturally defining resource for the music world. Of course, that was never going to happen.
I’m someone who dreams big. A big dream gives me an endless amount of motivation and energy to devote to the projects I’m passionate about. Because of this, I’ve experienced a great deal of disappointment throughout my life when things don’t happen as quickly as I want them to. Whether it’s learning a skill on the trumpet, or growing a podcast, my high expectations often lead to feeling down in the early stages.
Look For The Small Wins
Although my podcast didn’t explode immediately, there was a positive response. When you’re so focused on numbers as a metric for growth, it’s easy to overlook the real impact a project is having on people. There were only a few, but I did receive some messages from people about how much they enjoyed the podcast.
These are the “small” wins. The little wins that encourage you to press on but are too often overlooked in the moment. Anyone who has built something from the ground up will tell you that the early days are full of living in the future. Questions such as, “Will this project be successful?” or, “Will anybody care?” are common questions to wrestle with in the beginning, but dwelling on them isn’t productive. Savoring these small wins will help you create opportunities for bigger wins later
Connection Is What It’s About
Eventually, you learn that these small interactions are actually what it’s all about. One person connects with another through created content. That’s a win. But it takes awhile to see and embrace that as the true goal. When you have big goals or dreams it’s hard to appreciate the little things. Once you’ve had enough small wins, they start to show you the true value of what you’re offering, giving greater clarity and motivation for long term consistency.
“If world problems seem too big to tackle, think small. Step by step. Small wins build confidence, and lead the way to big change.” – Rosabeth Moss Kanter
Editor – Will Baker, http://www.willbakermusic.com