How To Overcome Starting Trouble & Avoid Procrastination

Dan Sullivan
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“Starting trouble” is a new phrase that’s being used to describe a phenomenon that many entrepreneurs are familiar with. No, it’s not about getting into trouble (although entrepreneurs may also be familiar with that). It’s essentially another form of procrastination—the idea that starting a project is often harder than the project itself, so you put it off and never make any progress.

I’ve been talking about this phenomenon for years, and I call it “getting ready to get ready.” One of the biggest things that holds entrepreneurs back is the feeling that they need to be “ready” before starting something new.

This inevitably leads to procrastination, and it holds entrepreneurs back from making major progress in their businesses.

So let’s take a look at how to overcome starting trouble and why this idea of “getting ready” for a new project is ultimately a waste of your time.

How I discovered this.

Over the years at Strategic Coach, I sometimes find myself having the same conversations over and over again with entrepreneurs in the Program. One of those conversations goes a little like this:

“I knew about Strategic Coach 15 years ago, but I kept putting it off. My biggest regret is that I didn’t join back then—I would be way further ahead if I had just joined when I had first heard about it! I had friends that did and I could see them growing, but it took me another six to seven years before I joined. I knew after the first workshop that if I had been exposed to this six or seven years ago, I would have been so much further ahead.”

My sense is that this happens because people feel like they need to be “ready” before they start something.

It’s like when you hire a housekeeper and feel the need to clean the house before they arrive. Or when you feel like you’re not ready to hire a consultant for your business because you need to get a few things in order—when, in reality, you’re hiring the consultant to help you get things in order!

When we look at how to overcome starting trouble or overcoming procrastination, I believe this concept of “getting ready” is crucial to understand and get out of your head. It’s one of the primary root causes of procrastination, yet it’s completely unnecessary.

I know this because I used to do it too. But one day I realized that this excuse of “getting ready” was just another form of procrastination, and it was holding me back in many ways, both in my personal life and in business. The day I decided to stop getting ready and start jumping into new things was the day I started overcoming procrastination, and I’ve never looked back.

So if you want to learn how to overcome starting trouble, the first step is to stop getting ready.

No one is ever ready.

The key to overcoming procrastination is understanding that you’ll never be truly ready to start a new project. Because until you actually start, you’ll never know how to get ready for it!

The reason so many people say they wished they had joined Strategic Coach earlier is because within the first hour of their first workshop, they developed a completely different view of their lives.

Only after that first hour did they understand the changes they needed to make and how to get ready to maximize their success. They realized they didn’t need to get ready to join Strategic Coach, because they had no idea what to get ready for. It was just procrastination.

Want to find out if Strategic Coach is right for you? Book a 30-minute Discovery Call with one of our Membership Advisors.

And this “getting ready” phenomenon is found in many other walks of life and business.

Need to write something? Well, you need to do research to “get ready” to start writing … But is that really the best strategy? If you haven’t started writing, how do you know what to research? By jumping right into the project, you can quickly find out what you need to research and how to write the piece. It’s a much more efficient process.

This goes for anything else. Need to create a system for your business? Jump into it and start doing it without a system! That way, you’ll know how to create the system correctly the first time, because you’ll know what needs to be done.

The hardest part about overcoming procrastination is that initial starting point. We never feel like we’re fully ready, and we can never start until we’re fully ready. It’s a catch-22 that just leads to further procrastination.

Once you realize that you’ll never be ready, it becomes a lot easier to get over that initial starting point. And as you probably know, everything gets easier once you actually start a project. Getting over that first hump is the key to overcoming procrastination.

Overcoming procrastination through teamwork.

I’ve had to work at overcoming procrastination in my own life, and one way I’ve done this is by turning my projects into team projects. If I have a project that is entirely on me, it’s daunting to get started. I dread it, and that leads to procrastination.

But when I’m working with a team on a project, that means I’m completing only one part. That helps alleviate my procrastination in three ways:

  1. I know I only have to do part of the project, which is much less daunting.
  2. It forces me to add a deadline and complete my portion by that deadline so I’m not holding everyone else up.
  3. It allows everyone to use their own Unique Ability.

When I go into a project like this, my goal is simply to get the ball rolling and focus on completing the first 80% of the task. From there, I can hand it off to someone else who will use their Unique Ability to complete the rest.

As with many of our Strategic Coach concepts, teamwork is one of the fundamental ways that any entrepreneur can work toward overcoming procrastination and avoid starting trouble. When you go into a project with a team, it removes many of the roadblocks and reservations that usually lead to procrastination. You learn how to complete the project by getting the ball rolling. Plus, it makes everything easier and more enjoyable because everyone is using their own Unique Ability.

Just start!

If you need help overcoming procrastination in your business, I think there’s one lesson we can all learn from this post. Just dive in and get started!

You don’t need to get ready, and you don’t need to do the entire thing yourself. Once you dive in, you’ll learn how to get ready and how to tackle the project. Otherwise, your time spent “getting ready” will likely be wasted.

And like nearly everything else in your business, Unique Ability plays a key role in overcoming procrastination. When you and your team are working only within your areas of Unique Ability, there’s no need to procrastinate. You’ll be energized to get started, and you’ll enjoy the entire process.