Career & Business

Keep Stalling on Your Ideas? How to Start Before You’re Ready

February 24, 2020

Hi! I'm Marie

You have gifts to share with the world and my job is to help you get them out there.

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Ever wonder what the world’s most successful entrepreneurs looked like when they first started? 

Like beginners.

No one — and I mean no one — has it all figured out at the starting gate. Running the race is how you learn and grow.

One of the most important habits of successful people is, simply, starting.

Start Before You’re Ready

Starting before you’re ready means taking action every day. It’ll help you overcome paralyzing fear, and fast-track growth, learning, and achievement. 

If you’re itching to start a business but feel overwhelmed about where to begin, you’re far from alone.

In this MarieTV, I answer a question from Edina, who wrote in to ask:

“I’ve recently left my job as a school counselor to become a parenting coach. Now it’s time to actually get out there and do it, but I feel tremendously overwhelmed and have no clue how to sign a client. … I feel like I’m in a catch-22 where I can’t sign clients without good marketing, but I can’t tweak my marketing without clients. Help.”

Watch this episode and keep reading below the video for my advice to Edina — and any entrepreneur who’s feeling stuck on the path toward success.

The “start before you’re ready” strategy means exactly what it says. Stop thinking and start doing. Make a move. Any move. Send the email. Register for the class. Pick up the phone. Schedule the meeting. Have the conversation.

Starting before you’re ready is not:

  • Brainstorming
  • Strategizing
  • Outlining
  • Dreaming
  • Talking about your business idea

Here’s what it is:

  • Getting out there
  • Doing the actual work
  • Serving real humans

You do not need fancy marketing to get started in business, and you don’t have to have everything figured out.

Should You Start Now? Ask Yourself These 3 Qs:

Still think you need to wait for the “right time” to start your business? These three questions will help you figure out what’s holding you back.

Question #1: Do You Need More Information?

“Start before you’re ready” isn’t an invitation to be ignorant or haphazard. 

But be warned: extensive research and planning is often procrastination in disguise. You can spend weeks, months, even years “preparing” without making any tangible progress.

Research, especially online, can be particularly dicey. I’ve gotten myself sucked into multi-hour, multi-day research rabbit holes far too many times to count. Remember, you don’t need to know everything about your dream, nor do you need to map out every step toward success. Stop hiding behind books and websites. 

Develop a bias for action. Make appointments. Have real-life conversations. You’ll learn more and see faster progress.

If you must research, take these steps to stay productive:

  1. Give yourself a clear research objective (the ONE thing you’ll learn, find out, confirm, or act on).
  2. Set a window of time to find it.
  3. Use a timer, get the information you need, and take action on it immediately.

Question #2: Do You Need More Experience?

One of the scariest parts of starting before you’re ready is that you don’t have as much experience or know-how as people who’ve been in business longer than you.

Of course!

If inexperience is the obstacle you’re facing, then go out and get it. It can be as straightforward as that. Offer to work for free. Find a job or internship in the industry, no matter how small. 

Better yet, get experience by doing the work. Take small, forward-moving steps, like giving away free samples of your product or service in exchange for feedback. If the thing you want to do is create, like making art or writing a book, practice. Do it over and over and over, starting now.

The sooner you start, the sooner you learn and grow.

Question #3: Do You Need a Step-by-Step Plan?

First of all, you probably don’t.

Starting before you’re ready means doing the work before you know what every step down the road will bring. Because, if you wait for that kind of certainty, guess what? You’ll never start.

For some extra guidance on how to start before you’re ready, embrace the everything is figureoutable philosophy, and remember: you were born with everything you need to answer the call of your soul.

You wouldn’t have the dream if you didn’t already have what it takes to make it happen. 

Here are two ideas to help you tap into the courage, strength, and ability you already possess:

  • Get skin in the game. Find a way to put your time, money, or your ego on the line, so you’re motivated to overcome procrastination and take action.
  • Get in the growth zone. The growth zone is a magical, albeit scary place, just outside of your comfort zone. You’ll feel vulnerable and insecure, but to grow, you must let go of your need for comfort and security and train yourself to value growth and learning.

2 Entrepreneurs Who Started Before They Were Ready

Still not convinced you should start before you’re ready? I love these stories about two well-known business owners who started far before they were ready — and how it paid off, big time.

Lisa Price, Founder of Carol’s Daughter

Lisa is the founder of the natural hair care brand Carol’s Daughter.

She got her start in the 80s playing with fragrances and essential oils in her Brooklyn kitchen. At first, she was giving it away, until her mom encouraged her to sell what she made at her church’s flea market.

She never planned to start a business. She just thought this would be a fun day out.

Then she sold out of every single thing.

Lisa started going to craft festivals and slowly built a customer base. She wasn’t even making hair care products until customers started asking about them — and she figured out how to make them.

She gave those hair products to hairdressers, got their feedback, and made improvements. Little by little, Lisa grew her business by taking action. Fast forward to 2014, when Lisa’s company was — drumroll, please!! — acquired by L’Oreal.

She got to that place in her business by taking consistent action and starting before she was ready. 

Brandon Stanton, Photographer & Author, “Humans of New York”

Brandon is the photographer behind the amazing blog Humans of New York. When he started, he didn’t have any experience — or even own a camera.

Brandon lost a job in the financial industry, and didn’t want to go back. He’d always been interested in photography and just wanted to earn enough money to keep a roof over his head and do the work he loved.

He moved to New York City and committed to taking 10,000 photos of people on the street and plotting them on a map.

Brandon spent thousands and thousands of hours editing thousands and thousands of photos, learning along the way what worked and what didn’t. He also got really comfortable talking with and interviewing strangers. The stories that accompanied his photos eventually became the Humans of New York brand and business that’s wildly successful today, with more than 20 million followers and two bestselling books. 

How Can YOU Start Before You’re Ready?

If you, like Edina, are sitting on a dream and wondering how to make it happen, here’s the thing: You need to get out there and do the work, even if you’ve got to do it for free.

If you want to be a parenting coach, guess what? You need to start coaching some dang parents. 

If I were Edina, I would make a list of every single parent that I knew and I’d send them an email and offer to help them solve their parenting problems — for free — in exchange for a referral or testimonial. 

Or you could pull a Lisa and get a booth at your local flea market and make a big sign that says, "Free parenting advice," and give your card to anybody who walks up to you.

Or you could pull a Brandon and literally stop people on the street and say, "Hey, are you a parent? Are your kids giving you any problems? I was a school counselor for 10 years and I'm starting a new business as a parenting coach and I'd be happy to help you solve any problems you've got with your kids!"

Now, obviously, I'm having a little fun with these ideas, but all the points are valid.

Starting before you're ready means doing the work.

Because the world needs you to do it. You matter. Your ideas matter. Prosperity in all its forms is your birthright. I’m in your corner, and I believe in you. 

When you make a commitment to keep growing and learning and surround yourself with people who lift you up, there’s nothing you can’t achieve!

Now, let’s turn this insight into action!

  1. Answer fast: What’s one thing you can do right now to start before you’re ready? In a notebook, write down the action step that immediately enters your mind and heart. Say it out loud.
  2. How can you commit time, money, or social accountability to take that step forward? Put some skin in the game, and make your move now!

Got a friend, client, or colleague who’s sitting on a great business idea and needs to start already? Share this post. They’ll thank you for it, and you’ll have one more person to hold you accountable to your dreams, too.

All my love,


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