“If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening my ax.” ~Abraham Lincoln
by Guest Author, ARMEN
If you ask someone who is progressing forward with their passion about the time period when they started achieving results, they will likely be able to tell you about the day they started, and how that was the branch-off point where they started to see possibilities. This point in time has a few characteristics about it that make it something you want to reach for now as opposed to later. I have labeled this the “Day One” of the process, and discuss here why you want to cause this day to arrive for your future self’s appreciation.
Use Every Entrepreneur’s Hindsight As Your Foresight
Until you start on your passion(including failing and making errors), you will not have your Day One. Your Day One is the day you will remember as the first day you finally started towards your goal. You will always wish this day had happened before it did. If you haven’t hit it yet, you can see the urgency it presents. In a way, you are using the hindsight of others’ experiences for your own foresight here. You have often heard people say “I wish I had started sooner”, speaking about anything they enjoy doing in the long-term. Your current “now” will be that “sooner” if you take in mind the following points:
Time Isn’t Your Issue
1. Realize that time has no effect on you. You are not going to have more of a chance to create material later on. The right people won’t magically show up to help you out, since if you don’t show them your steps toward your interest, they will have no idea that you could use help. If you don’t have enough interest to do it now, you probably won’t have that interest later, since our personalities are fairly fixed in place.
Researching Ideas Sounds Beneficial, But Isn’t Too Useful
2. Quit researching about methods for the activity until you have already started the activity, or at least stay out of the “ideas” phase where loads of ideas are in mind but none of them are being acted upon. A member of a law firm who wants to branch out and create a new office in another county 40 miles away would do better to drive to the other county to assess it as a home for the new business, instead of having the idea of going there stuck in his head for 3 months, with uncertainty in place. 10 minutes of action is worth countless minutes of idea processing.
The lawyer who actually drives to the other county and judges a certain location as suitable or not for a new office would remember that day as the day he found his future office location. Hindsight would later tell him he would have more business in his new office if he had went physically searching for it earlier.
Waiting For Support From Others Is The Longest Wait You Can Imagine
3. People are not going to support you until you do the heavy lifting. Your Day One won’t arrive until you assume the main portion of the efforts for it. If you are waiting for another person or group of people to get to a point where they want to help you or team up with you to create the way to work on your interest, your Day 1 won’t arrive. I read somewhere that the way it works is that you put out 100% of your effort amount, and other people respond in assistance with less than 100%. You don’t get back effort equally, but that is good because the creation then remains in your control.
Time Spent In The Inactive Idea Phase Is Mostly Lost
Abraham Lincoln said “If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening my ax.” Although this quote is about how preparation can lead you to be far more productive in the long-term, notice that he said he would spend the six hours of preparation sharpening his ax, as opposed to planning how he would chop down the tree or thinking of ideas about other ways to do so. The six hours of preparation was active preparation, similar to going door-to-door to find clients, e-mailing current companies in a field and asking what is missing, reading a current ecology book to get a sense of what information you need to write your own, etc. The key point is to get out of the ideas phase and on to testing ideas with other people and making an imprint on your environment, online or offline.