There is never a good time to do anything
Messy action is better than no action
I have launched this newsletter at the beginning of what is going to be an insanely busy time for me at work, especially with Expo 2020 around the corner. My daughter has just started school, my son’s personality is coming through at 18 months old, and I’m having nanny troubles.
Sometimes I do feel, “what was I thinking launching this now!?”, but then the reality is that there is never a good time to do anything, especially as working mums. This is where the idea of messy action is a game changer.
I learnt about ‘messy action’ in one of my courses with Jess Glazer, and in a nut shell it’s about not waiting for anything to be perfect to get on with it; it just delays doing anything and you end up not doing it at all.
For example, I had stopped exercising at home because when I do, my son sits on my mat in between my legs; he picks up my dumbbells; he thinks my three-kilo medicine ball is a football and often hurts himself with it; and he climbs on top of my stomach when I’m doing crunches. However, getting a bit of a workout in is better than getting no workout at all, and not having the chance to get to the gym lately, I’ve learnt to exercise around him and it’s become a really fun game! It’s a ‘messy’ workout, but hey, it gets done and it’s a great time with my son.
I think messy action is also great for getting feedback or testing the waters if you are working on a project that is a side-hustle or passion project. You haven’t spent so much time getting it done “perfectly” before you put it out there, just to find out that no-one is interested. Putting it out there in a ‘messy’ way will give you some direction on what you really need to spend your time on to make it work.
Take this newsletter as an example. I’ve spent so much time rolling in this idea: market research, coming up with a name for it, a logo, a plan, a content calendar, a website, finding an email list software and learning how to use it; so much time and effort before I even know if anyone will find what I’m doing of any value. I realized that I don’t have time to perfect everything (will it ever be perfect?) and if I don’t get this out soon, this idea is going to fly away from me and maybe someone else will do it.
My solution to get it out without spending time on peripheral things like trying to learn CSS for my website or getting savvy in photoshop, was this platform Substack, as all I need to do is write my newsletters; the platform does the rest of the work for me and it is dead easy to use. The logo was made on Canva in less than a minute. And honestly, the plan – well this newsletter is not about me or my plan, it’s about growing and learning with a bunch of amazing women who are in the same boat. I have no elaborate plan! And that is okay.
So, if you have business idea, or a side-hustle, or a passion project or hobby that you haven’t been able to work on because you think things need to be perfect before you can get on with it, changing this mindset might help you move forward.
Here are a few thought starters:
Messy action is better than no action! Things are rarely perfect, and we often have very high standards that get in the way of moving forward. Clarity will come when you take action. Take action, any action!
Look for online tools that will help you do things faster: If you are struggling to find time for a side-project, you will be amazed at the tools you can find online to make your project happen faster. With Wordpress for example, you can choose a template and have your blog or website up and running in a day; Wix and Squarespace are similar tools to set up your website. I have just discovered Jarvis, an AI tool that will help me write faster. I haven’t tried it yet, but if it can, why not!? And Canva, you can design anything in Canva in no time, with no design skills. These are just some examples.
You don’t need to know everything before you start: Just start. You will learn on the way; and learning by doing is way more effective than learning by reading. Nothing can be learned by osmosis, you have to take action.
Don’t be afraid to fail: I have no idea if this newsletter will get any traction, but if I don’t get on with it, I will never know! If it does, I will be so happy; if it doesn’t, I would have learned so much. Win-win, no?
In short: Any action is better than no action. The time will never be right, and things will never be perfect. What are you waiting for?
PS: Do not go to Youtube looking for ‘messy action’. You will not see what you are expecting to see. #justsaying