the key is to just start


Last Friday I left my job to focus on building my new business, Life Engineering. I came home that night and felt exuberant to finally be focusing on what I’ve wanted to do my whole life, overwhelmed at how much I had to do, and terrified about the risk I was taking and the unknown nature of the path ahead.

I know these feelings are not unique to starting a new company. I’m sure you’ve felt them during turning points in your own life. It’s a little maniacal.

The first (of many) things I am bringing to market is a workshop series called Escape Velocity, designed to help people move forward in life. It helps them identify what’s holding them back, gives them a framework for moving forward, and helps them identify their own unique formula for motivation and momentum (based on my 16 Elements of Success).

As I sat there Friday night, I had one thought above all else.

Just start.

One of the Elements of Engagement is Momentum, which can be distilled into the simple statement that people in motion tend to stay in motion, and people at rest tend to stay at rest.

Part of what holds us back is that we refuse to just start. We want to wait until the path ahead is… well… perfectly lit, paved in gold, straight as an arrow, and crowded with people cheering us on and telling us we can do it.

The problem is that the biggest steps we take in life are usually not like this. Not at all. Quite the opposite really. And when the path ahead is unclear (Plan) or when the destination isn’t clear (Objective), we tend to stall, hoping for that magic, mythical moment I described above.

The reality is that often you’re better off just starting. Just take a step, however small. And then another, and then another. All of a sudden you’ve taken several steps, and with each consecutive step, the next one is easier and easier. That’s Momentum.

Generally speaking, we need to reduce the latency between idea and execution.

With that in mind, I quickly typed out an email to those who had expressed interest and told them our first seminar would be the very next day.

I knew on such short notice not many would be able to show up. But this was more about just starting than it was about filling seats.

The first seminar of Life Engineering only had a handful of in-person attendees and 4-5 virtual attendees. It was way different than when I speak at conferences, but it felt really, really good to finally just be doing it.

So whatever it is you’ve been waiting to do… just start.

Here I am teaching our first Escape Velocity seminar, the day after leaving my prior job.

Here’s our first Workshop room, which seats about 27 people comfortably. Each of the 16 Elements on the wall are magnetic and detachable, allowing me to carry them around as I talk about them, or attach it to the whiteboard to expound on it further. I think it’s pretty cool!

This is the back of the room looking forward. There’s a 4K webcam at the back for people who attend virtually. All virtual attendees show up on the screen on the left, so I can see them clearly as I teach. My visuals are on the display on the right, and I can’t really do anything without using a whiteboard.


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