1 Way to Avoid Never Launching Your ‘Thing’

“Most people don’t have enough conviction to truly make a decision. They aren’t definitive. . .The stakes aren’t high enough.” — Benjamin Hardy

I’ve tried to start multiple businesses. I was the friend whose call you would screen because you didn’t want to go through another bout of “bouncing ideas around,” (and if you don’t have that friend, it might be you).

But every time I started yet another business — be it the tiny-cabin mobile cocktail bar, the freelance copywriting gig, the bitters company — I didn’t make it far past the creation phase.

Every time I tried to start something, I was also working a full time job. I had a steady income. I had a comfortable life.

I talked in circles about how badly I wanted to quit my job, to start something of my own. To be a self-made woman.

But the problem was, although I was starting businesses, spending loads of cash, time and energy, and telling people about my ventures, I was only committed, I wasn’t all in.

When I was only committed, it wasn’t do-or-die. If I failed, it didn’t matter — my paycheck from my steady job would still hit my bank account.

Commitment is a state a mind. Being all in is when your environment and situation reflects that state of mind.

Both are incredibly important stages, but only when you go all in will you move to the stage where you have to make your thing work. When you go all in, there’s no turning back.

Why Most People Will Never Go All In

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great” — Zig Ziglar

Most people get stuck in the commitment stage. It’s an easy stage to stay on, and an important stage to hit before you move forward.

I spent about a year and half in the commitment stage. It’s at this place, where we are committed to the idea of being an entrepreneur. We’re so committed, that we spend money on this thing, but maybe not enough that you can’t easily pay it back.

We’re so committed that we tell our friends, we design our websites, maybe we even launch the thing.

But this is where a lot of dreams die. Even when you launch the thing, even when you have the ambition, there’s still a good chance you’ll fail.

Why?

  • Because you’re still comfortable.
  • Because it still wouldn’t matter if the thing you started didn’t make a dime, you have a backup.
  • Because you haven’t created a situation where you must succeed.

The commitment phase is important. It helps you test and iterate, and make small and calculated risks before moving forward. You can still change your mind.

But too often dreams get stuck here and die.

We get stuck overthinking the thing, we lose our passion, we let the fire get snuffed out.

It’s when you make a plan and create circumstances that propel your plan forward, that we actually go all in.

More often than not, would-be entrepreneurs maintain the circumstances that support staying in the commitment phase.

They don’t go all in. They don’t create circumstances and plans that force their hand.

Going All In

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” –Winston Churchill

The day I thought I went all in was the day I quit my job, back in October 2017.

I quit with an objective: launch my writing career.

But there was a catch.

Or rather, a safety net. I was offered an opportunity to do a work exchange in Costa Rica for 3 months, where I would work a modest amount and receive room, board and a small stipend.

This was a great way for me to quit my job but still have a moderate support system while I got everything in place, took a course on writing, and launched this dream.

But, as it turns out, the day I quit my job wasn’t the day I went all in.

The day I went all in was when I returned home on Christmas Day, 2017. The day I went all in has been every day since then.

You see, I decided that I wouldn’t look for a job when I got home. Something inside me was pushing against even looking at the classifieds.

I got scared a couple of times, and I did end up applying for one job.

But I haven’t heard back and don’t expect to.

Every day that passes my need for a steady income goes up.

I don’t have a secret trust fund.

My parents aren’t insanely wealthy.

The only sources of income I have right now are a few odd jobs that pay for only the essentials, including the credit card bill I racked up going to Costa Rica.

I’ve created a situation in which I must create my first digital product and put it out in the world and actually sell it, or I’ll have to get a real job in order to move forward in life.

I must execute on my plans, or I will fail.

I am all in, in the realist way.

Every day that passes I get closer to needing a steady income.

Every morning I wake up I’m forced to grind.

Every day I’m pushing away this notion that it must be perfect before I launch it — I don’t have time for perfect.

Perfect is the lie we tell ourselves so we can keep playing small, so we don’t have go from committed, to all in.

I am no longer just thinking about my dream life as an entrepreneur, I am executing. I’m doing the damn thing because frankly, I don’t have any other choice.

Conclusion

The fundamental difference between being committed and being all in, is your situation and environment.

When you create an environment or situation in which you must execute, you no longer have the luxury of giving up, or quietly not finishing and retreating out the back.

I have invested myself fully in my goal of being a writer, and being an entrepreneur.

I want to do it from scratch, without help, so I can prove that you can do it too.

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