Two weeks ago Murray and I were visiting my dear friend Celine up in Big Sur.
We had always been sisters of sorts with some uncanny parallels: We’re both 37; half Asian, half European; graduates of Brown University; with family in California, Thailand and Costa Rica.
But that’s where the similarities stop.
Celine’s 6-months pregnant, living in an old off-the-grid homesteader’s cottage in the Los Padres National Forest without internet and a full 15-minute walk through the redwoods from the nearest road. She’s working as a gardener at Esalen and about to marry a modern-day Paul Bunyan who splits logs and turns wood.
We spent two blissful days together hiking, hot-tubbing, and picnicking… we even engaged in the extreme sport of axe and knife throwing into the pile of lumber in their backyard.
I started getting curious….
Here she was 5-weeks away from getting married and 3-months away from giving birth – two of the biggest events in any human’s life, and she was… carefree.
So I asked her the Big Question that was racing through my mind…
I asked her: “Are you ready?”
And her answer taught me a LOT about life and business.
She looked at me and said: “As ready as I’ll ever be…”
The truth is:
- You become a parent by having a baby.
- You become a world traveler by buying a plane ticket.
- You become an artist by making art.
- You become a coach by coaching your first client.
- You become an entrepreneur by making an offer.
You don’t become any of those things by preparing to take action — through researching, packing your suitcase or buying supplies.
The common denominator of all these things is ACTION.
You become the person you want to be by taking action.
There is no if, and or but. You become what you want by taking action.
The irony is that the more work you put into trying to get ready, the further you get from simply being ready. It’s so easy for preparation to turn into overpreparation, for planning to turn into overanalysis – to allow your mind to create blocks and challenges that aren’t really there.
Every big thing I’ve ever done in my life involved a leap of faith.
No amount of preparation ever prepared me for hosting my first Summit.
No amount of preparation ever prepared me for stepping out on the stage and speaking to several hundred people.
No amount of preparation ever prepared me for leading my first Mastermind.
I just did it. And a part of me knew what to do…. And the feedback that I got, which is so important to learning and growth, allowed me to course correct, iterate and improve…
So make the mindset shift from: “I’m not ready” to “I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.”
And the best way to make this shift is by taking action. That’s why I wanted to invite you to join me in Live Your Message LAB… the over-whelm-free way to take action in your business every day so you can grow it beyond what you ever thought was possible. You’ll get monthly step-by-step business growth experiments and all the coaching and community you need to make it happen!
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You’re absolutely right Marisa. I know many a time I have been hampered by overly preparing I and have actually accomplished more just starting.
Great insight! 🙂
Your friend Celine has a great attitude and proves that materal comforts are not the only way to have a great life. I got lucky enough to meet (and interview for the local paper) an elderly couple in 1982 who lived on a mountaintop in a cabin they built themselves, without plumbing or electricity. They were long-time peace activists who kept their income below taxable levels so they wouldn’t have to pay for war. When I met them, I think they were 59 and 71; I stayed friends with them for the rest of their lives. In her last years, long after Wally had died, Juanita did finally move in with friends in town and acquire a cell phone when her health no longer let her live alone in the cabin. The thing that impressed me during that first visit and every subsequent encounter was the joy they radiated.
BTW, I didn’t go to Brown but I hung out there during the year I lived in Providence–and kept Big Mother Coffee House open for the summer when the students wanted to close it, mostly so I could have a steady stream of live music. I auditioned and booked two months worth of live acts while meanwhile making my first attempt at starting a writing business and doing volunteer work on safe energy issues that led to my first book and the beginnings of the writing career I eventually did build. It all circles back!
Or should I say, “spirals up.” I see my current work <a href="http://goingbeyondsustainability.com"showing business how to profit while turning hunger and poverty into sufficiency, war into peace, and catastrophic climate change into planetary balance as a logical if not direct outgrowth of that work and many other steps in between.
You have an amazing background and story Shel! I totally agree with you that there are other important things in life and material success is not the only way to happiness. 🙂
Marisa: taking leaps of faith – necessary but not so easy sometimes. All the preparation can lead to procrastination (I’m a pro at it)and a lack of honest action. Working on it!
Totally! Over-preparation is a cleverly disguised form of procrastination… 🙂
This is spot on. I was beginning to see through the facade of my delaying tactics but now I have no excuses left. It’s time to show up.
Yeah baby! It’s time… 🙂