Just do it. And why we don't.
Just do it.
There is a lot more to this sentence than the powerful Nike campaign. I think if I could round up and summarise all of my hard earned business advice into three tiny words, these would be them, and I am in fact taking that very same advice in writing this blog.
I am going to go on at length and exhaust these three little words, and why we don’t just do ‘em, but first and foremost, I want you to take a minute to yourself to reflect on exactly what that means to you, and what reasons (yes I am sure they are totally valid) that stop you doing whatever it is you want to do. If I were to shout at you “JUST DO IT”, what is it that immediately springs to mind, that’s on your ‘to do’ list and nigglingly not being done?
Because I know you know.
Now what is it that you think is getting in the way of doing it? Feel free to list them. Really. List ‘em. And I am not dismissing the validity of these reasons, but get em down none-the-less.
Here are some of mine.
I’m pretty sure we are unanimous in the reality that we don’t have enough time. Like actually, straight up, there truly isn’t enough time. I am with you, I do not have enough time. I wake up, throw myself into life, and squeeze every minute of juice out of my day. I go to bed roughly around 1-2am most nights and am often working on things right up to the last minute. I don’t watch TV, take bubble baths, or sadly even cook anymore. I have a full time job that is exactly that. It should be called an all time job, and that’s my company. My baby. And the physical - open 7 days a week - space that it now occupies. I have a part time job which ends up paying most of my imminent bills. I have a community I want to establish and embolden (you included). And I am taking writing courses to strengthen my blog and freelance projects I pick up for unknown reasons! Working out would be nice, as would seeing my man. We get about 6 conscious hours together a week. I also have a dog and dogs require more than you’d think. I am also annoyingly human and I love to eat, need to sleep and generally make a mess that needs cleaning up.
There are a lot of thing on my to do list.
But let me also point out something, about a year ago only three of those (serious) things were true. And I still never had time. And I was convinced of that fact too. Now I look back in both awe and horror at all the free time I had. What did I do with it? But really though...?
And I am sure, in 5 years or so when I hopefully have children and a live-in man under contract, I will look back to this time and wonder what I did with all those quiet hours at my stand, the evenings free of kids and all the lazy mornings that I would sleep in until 8. Which just goes to show, when you have to do it, you just do. So this in part IS my advice. Just. Do. It.
Now if you want.
That niggling thing not at the top of the list? Fair. You gotta do the job that pays you and feed your kids/ walk your dogs, and launder your clothes, go to that event/ networking panel, and take that call, and write to that client and finish x,y,z. You do. But the thing that popped into your mind when I first challenged you with those three little words, it’s a niggle. It’s an itch. And it’s an itch for a reason, and that’s because it’s important to you and it matters. I will not be offended if you want to stop reading now and go start. Put it to the top of your list for just a selfish hour, or 20 minutes even, and see what happens. I dare you.
I AM NOT QUITE READY
Ohhhhhhh this one is my favorite. I am actually going to do several blog posts and discussions on exactly that, as 5 things are true.
1, You will never be ready
2, I know you already know that, but… you still cling to it. You think you can still be “more ready”.
3, Ready doesn’t look like what you think it does.
4, Ready will shape shift in front of your face the second you get close to “it”.
5, You won’t have a darn clue what ready requires until your not ready self is on the field learning.
I promise. Waiting to be ready has cost me the most money and time out of everything.
WHY WE PROCRASTINATE
I’ve actually done quite a bit of work on exactly this, as I am a well versed and experienced procrastinator. I don’t mean to be. I just seem to be. I took a couple of The Handel Group courses, which I highly recommend, and they’re essentially dealing with exactly this. What it is that really stops you from achieving what you really want to. The route of all your (very valid) excuses. Because in all transparency, I have been intending to write these blogs for almost a year now. I have a stack of ideas and am never short of something to say, and yet I just haven’t done it. I have some excellent, all ready written, work from my co-writer and blog accomplice - Jodie Alexander Taylor - to read through and pick from, and I just haven’t done it. I have a shit ton of valid reasons why, and nobody is really challenging me on any of them being true, but it’s a niggle, every day that I haven’t done it, and so let’s explore what that niggle is.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HAVE ACTUALLY DONE IT?
What does that look like? So for me it was initially to start a company. To register and apply and establish. Then to get a sales ID and tax cert. Which first meant researching what all of that was and what it meant and how I did it. Then to design and trademark my branding. Then to work on packaging and a website. For six months. Then to actually TELL people I had done all that and actually have a product for them (lord help my slamming heart) to critique and possibly buy?!!! Then it was to get a physical space for them to actually TOUCH and possibly buy. And every single step of the elongated way, I was up against myself. And she’s BRUTAL.
This very blog is one of many that is soon to go live. That I am going to have to tell people I have written and let them read. (Breathing deeply into a paper bag) And then be open for criticism and peoples “helpful” advice. See you in the sandbox anybody? You’ll find my head buried there.
Seriously, what does it look like for you to actually have done that thing that you have been intending to? What would that mean? What would it look like? Taste like? How proud could you actually be? What’s the chain reaction? What comes next?
Really answer these questions.
And here you usually start to see the root of the problem, and it’s a cliche, but cliches are such for a reason… Fear.
It’s that simple, that annoying, and that powerful.
I am British. I hate being in any way vulnerable. I am pretty sure I have a good grasp on life, I have strong opinions and I know a lot about a lot. I think. I don’t really like to be told otherwise. I am also proud. And shy. And have that rampant and bothersome “not good enough” theory that lives inside my brain. (blog coming soon)
I’m quite sure you do too. But the only way to wrestle that beast is to actually get out there and consistently defy and overcome it. One damn task at a time.
To run the risk of actually getting out there and doing it is to probably put something that’s deeply important and exciting for you, right out there for the world to slay and slander. It’s to have people dash your ideas and make you feel small. It’s for something to fall on it’s face. And to go all in and have that thing that really matters to you belly flop, ouf, the very thought of it makes me slightly nauseous.
I know you have all read the quotes about being outside your comfort zone, and to try and fail is better than to live with regret, and they are all true… but right in that moment they can evaporate in front of you. And this is why I say, don’t think, just do it. Just sit down, or stand up, or pick up the phone, or hit submit, or send that email or write that blog or sign up to audition for that part or submit your book or send an email blast to everyone in your contacts letting them know what you are doing…. Whatever it is that you have been dancing around, allow yourself, your better self, that brave ballsy little human inside you, to step out and take 20, 40, 90 minutes to tackle the first on a list of tasks that get you closer to that goal, that dream.
Don’t think about it. Just do it.
Like i just did in posting this blog.
Over and out, x
- Jayne Moore