The First Fifteen Per Cent

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How many times have you heard someone say “I’ve been meaning to?”  I hear it all the time.  “I’ve been meaning to:  start a new marking program, hire a CSR, take a vacation, create a cross marketing campaign, lose weight,” and so on.

In fact, there are things I’ve been meaning to do for quite a while.  How about you?

I think the reason we haven’t isn’t usually because of a shortage of time.  I think it’s either a shortage of commitment or a fear of not doing it well and consequently failing.  Successful entrepreneurs are skilled and disciplined with taking risks in spite of their fears.  They know that even if they don’t possess the means to do something well, they can develop it.  They understand getting started is the key.

I find the comment from Edward Deming, the management guru, who said that “85 per cent of the results of an enterprise depend on the first 15% of the work incredibly encouraging.”   I think his statement is supportive of both of the issues I named above.  It’s encouraging to think that if I can just start (15%) something, completing it will be relatively painless.  It’s also encouraging to know that if, after starting (15%), failure looks likely, I can stop without having invested a lot of time or money.

The key to conquering the malaise, guilt, and lack of progress that meaning to and not doing something is in getting started.  Start, and if it’s a worthwhile project, you will finish it successfully.  Try it for yourself.  What do you need to put 15% effort into?

 

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