Just Start

That’s all you gotta do.

You just start…

That’s my life philosophy right now and I can pinpoint 2 influences that long ago inspired this way of thinking…

1. Benny Lewis.

Here’s Benny’s advice on how to learn a language… in a nutshell:

“Start speaking it.”

Don’t know how? Who cares? Start anyway. Start speaking it horribly, badly. Make shit up if you have to. What’s the first word that comes to mind? “bueno”? Great start there. Start talking to someone, anyone – in Spanish. Go to that flower shop where that lady speaks Spanish. Start talking to her. If you fuck up, she’ll correct you and help you out along the way. You’ll be learning as you go. That’s how any wish starts turning into a skill.

2. Derek Sivers

In Derek’s book Anything You Want, he talks about building whatever it is that you want, and starting with whatever you already have. Want to start music recommendation service online? All you need is a piece of paper, a pen, and a phone. Call your friends and ask them what music they like. Then write down what else you’d recommend for them. Then post it online – on your own WordPress site or even a Facebook page (free!). Now you’re on your way and you’ve started. Your idea is already taking shape and you’re ahead of all the rest of the entrepreneurs who are still only talking about their “next big idea”.

Obstacles into opportunities

“I don’t know how to do it” is often the first obstacle to overcome. You simply have to start looking at obstacles as opportunities to learn something you previously didn’t know how to do.

So for instance the question above could be restated as “How can I start learning how to do it”. Ok, now you have something to work with. What’s next?

  • “Who has already done it?”
  • “How can I reach them?”
  • “Are they available for a talk or interview?”
  • “Can I read a book they wrote about this?”

NOW you’re getting somewhere. You buy a book. You make a phone call. That old obstacle is somewhere in the past. You’re already on your way into the future. You’re already doing it, already in the flow of things, already getting to where you’re going.

Example time

Here I am – in LA – I want to create the coolest studio for creative people to come hang out, talk about what excites them, & what they’re working on + a lab to experiment and play with ideas and objects – a comfortable, gorgeous environment (like Neuehouse or The Joule) to play in and connect with artists and technologists and have fun. I have close to nothing right now, no studio space. So what? I’m doing it anyway.

Oh, and I decided I want to become the best connector of (already amazing) people connectors. A connector connector (if you will) – or connector² (if you won’t). I don’t know how I’m going to do it. Yet I am already on my way because I started.

Both things are already coming together. I’m learning as I go along.

A Look Back

… to an hour ago.

This blog post started with an idea… “Just start”… I had nothing more than just that. “Shit, how am I gonna write this thing?” I said to myself. Then words started flowing. Now we’re done.

Before I leave you, watch this clip:


It’s my favorite part of the almost 4 hour series. It’s the turning point of Andy’s entire career.

P.S. This is a raw (now) a somewhat more polished first second third fourth fifth sixth seventh eight ninth tenth eleventh twelfth thirteenth fourteenth fifteenth sixteenth seventeenth eighteenth nineteenth twentieth twenty first twenty second twenty third twenty fourth twenty fifth twenty sixth twenty seventh twenty eighth twenty ninth thirtieth draft. What will be your first draft of the thing that really matters to you?

Posted 10 years ago on 28 May 2014

About Parker

Parker Benjamin is the owner of DMAD and has been writing for the web for over 10 years. He is passionate about design, Wordpress, travel, language learning, fine dining, and online marketing. Note: Some links on this site are monetized by affiliate programs - see disclosure for more details.

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