One of the ideas David Allen talks about in his great book Getting Things Done is the “ready state of a martial artist”.
And that’s a state where you’re not constantly just reacting to what’s urgent but know exactly what to do next and can take something new on your plate if the need and/or opportunity arises.
And you should always focus on opportunities rather than needs.
(Most of your needs are not real, by the way, but this is a story for another time…)
It’s just great to be able to test something fast when the opportunity presents itself. And the opportunities come and go fast if you’re busy out there, networking and building!
Here’s a related tweet that caught my eye the other day. I highlighted the important part for you:
You’re a curious mind. You wouldn’t be reading this otherwise. You have multiple interests, and that’s just fine. In the world of a builder, it means opportunity is in every direction! But letting analysis paralysis prevent you from starting is not fine.
Pick a topic you’re curious about and start creating.
If you overthink your topic forever, you’ll lose three valuable things:
- Momentum (you never get the ball rolling)
- Interest (you never dive deeper to your topic to fuel your curiosity)
- Time (you spend all the available bandwidth on thinking and not doing)
Just pick something, pick anything, and start building!
And there’s a kind of meta level to all this discussion about your topic, too. You can be curious about a given technology or approach, and the topic is secondary! Maybe your curiosity is to simply learn the ropes of digital marketing and the related tech stack, not the topic itself!
Nobody is going to stop you from playing it SUPER safe with the topic. Start an email list to share curated tips about any of the evergreen niches and you cannot fail. Give people weekly tips on weight loss, saving money, relationships, etc. “But mom I’m not an expert” – oh shut up. Just do it. Do your research, cite the sources in your emails, and it’s all good.
And as a result…you’re moving!
Toward the elusive ready state of a martial artists
Here’s something I don’t talk enough about: it’s not that easy! Yes, it’s simple and you can just take one step at a time. But, let’s face it, succeeding online is not easy if you’ve never tried anything. Just from the technicalities standpoint alone:
- Ideating a product
- Creating a product
- Building a landing page
- Growing an audience
- Building a site
- Starting a newsletter
- Building the habit of sending newsletters
- Writing content
- DMing people
- Getting traffic
- Converting some of that traffic
- Dealing with haters
There’s so much to learn!
But only if you’ve never tried anything.
So, start now!
The topic doesn’t matter that much when your goal is to just prepare.
Trust me, one day the perfect opportunity will appear in your life.
Something that you’re passionate about, it boosts your professional credibility, it’s something globally trendy, you have a great gang of people to share your journey.
…but since you haven’t been learning ANY of the technicalities of building online, you’ll have a hard time starting anything.
And you give up.
Let’s put a Spin on it!
Let’s just focus on moving. Doing something. Doing anything.
Even if it first seems like pointless.
You know the feeling I’m sure.
“This is going nowhere.“
it’s like you’re just just spinning your wheels.
You keep making the right moves, but nothing moves.
But that’s an illusion.
You are moving – you are constantly moving closer to the elusive ready state of a martial artist.
Here’s a great way to think about it, by my buddy PJ Milani:
When you create something online, you always move.
Making money is the goal, but it’s not the only metric. Your daily actions count too! Without those, you can forget about the goal. It’s just not going to happen.
It’s that simple.
Always be building something:
- A side project
- A skill
- Income stream
- Creative muscles
Let’s end this with a small self-reflection task:
What are you building?
And if you’re not, why aren’t you?
I guarantee there will never be a better time build than now.
And it is always now.