How to Start Something Well

Have you ever wanted to start something new but felt overwhelmed? Wondered if you have the time or the ability to see your ideas come to life? I know I have, and in the past, I’ve let it discourage me.

I had a growing list of ideas. And when I would see a friend or colleague accomplish something, and I’d think, “I wish that could be me.” I desperately wanted to do something well.

My dear friend and fellow writer Kimberly Coyle wrote a post called One Small Way to Steward Your Life Well. In it, she talks about how easy it is to fall into the trap of now and encourages her readers to dream, plan, and read their ideas into being. She reminds us to live in the present but also to plan well for the future. Her post challenged me to consider what it actually means to steward my ideas, desires, and talents and consider what it takes to start something well.

Instead of comparing myself to others, I began to value my ideas and the small steps I was taking towards the desires of my heart.

When I first decided I want to start a podcast, I was managing the editorial calendar for Circles of Faith, while saying yes to too many things in my community. My schedule was a mess, and as a result, I neglected the creative work I wanted to do, including writing.

I tried to shake the idea of podcasting but I couldn’t. Instead, I started listening to a ton of other podcasts. I tried to figure out which ones I liked best and why I liked them. I took note of format and frequency. I even listened to podcasts on how to podcast. All the while fighting the urge that I was wasting my time because I had no room in my life to start something new.

This went on for a full year. Thinking about the possibilities led to a plan and eventually small steps that allowed my co-hosts and me to launch our show.

As I look back now, I can see that when the idea first came to me, I wasn’t ready. I had yet to determine my non-negotiables and discover my values. Not only that, saying yes to the podcast meant saying no to other things which I hadn’t anticipated. When I finally had the time and the team to take Circles of Faith in a new direction, I was prepared! The small steps I took over the previous year were not wasted.

If you have a dream, interest, or an idea you can start pursuing it right now!

Here are six steps you can take to start something well:

  1. Meet with smart people. Find someone that has knowledge in your area of interest. Ask questions. Listen. Thanks to technology this can be done in person and online. Facebook groups are one of the best places to exchange ideas and learn from those who have gone before you know. For writers, my favorite is Hope*Writers
  2. Read books that push your thinking. I love motivational books that encourage me but also challenge me to think differently. They’re what got me started on the journey of intentional living many years ago. With audio books, I can “read” twice as much. They are available through Audible or on Overdrive, which can be accessed through your local library.
  3. Learn about your niche. There is no shortage of information online. TED TalksQ ideas, podcasts, and e-courses will help you learn about anything. Take notes to write down important points, then when the time is right, translate your key points into action.
  4. Gather ideas. You can research and collect ideas long before you are ready to implement your ideas or start your hobby. Brainstorm your thoughts in a Bullet Journal, accumulate magazine clippings in a file folder, or pin blog posts in Pinterest.
  5. Share what you have learned with someone you trust. The community is invaluable with it comes to encouragement and support. Tell a friend who will help you in your ideas. They don’t need to necessarily have the same interests as you, just be willing to cheer you on.
  6. Make Time Make appointments with yourself to do the steps I mentioned above.Get up early, stay up late, or take a break in the middle of the day to pursue your interests. Small consistent effort over time will yield greater and more satisfying results than occasional grand efforts.

Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle or end. It’s the quickest way to get discouraged. Take the time you need to lean into your interests and ideas and allow them to take root in you so that they can grow over time.

For more on the topic listen to:

Slices of Life Episode 044 How to Start Something Well

Elise, Kimberly, and I share the things we are doing now that started off as a tiny idea. We also go in depth about the small steps we took that yielded big results.  

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