The Secret to finishing is Starting…


Often the main thing holding us back from finishing a task, being successful or achieving a goal, is actually not starting the task.

We fear that we may fail, or that we are not 100% clear about how we will achieve success, and therefore we prefer not to start, rather than to fail by trying.

Sometimes we just need to take that bold first step, and begin. We will never truly know what we are capable of by looking forward, we may only know what we can achieve by looking backwards after the success has been achieved.

Many of us have these same doubts, I know I do, it’s human nature, but we need to release the leader within and overcome these doubts and just start.

When we start we being to make progress and with progress come encouragement and motivation, or maybe we find problems that we need to overcome, but if we never start we will never know.

Some of my biggest career successes came from leading projects where they were just given to me, I never volunteered, if I had seen the size of task I would have kept away, but the opportunity fell to me, so I just got on with it.

One such project, started when I had applied for a job to run a $10m project, it was a step up from what I was doing but I felt comfortable that I could do, so I sent my resume off, and I was invited for an interview.

When I had the interview, the interviewer said right at the start, “look things have changed and I want to talk to you about something else, is that ok”.

My heart sank a little, I thought they have decided this is too big a step for me, and they want to offer me something else, something more in line with what I had done before.

The interviewer then went on to tell me that they had a $100m program that was experiencing some difficulties and they needed someone with my experience to come in take it over and turn it around.

I nearly fell of my chair, to say I was stunned would be a bit of an understatement, anyway the interview continued and three months later I had accepted the role and joined the company. 15 months later I had worked with the program team to turn the program round and successfully deliver it.

It still remains one of the main highlights of my career, and completely changed my perception of what I was capable of.

However, if the job advert had said Program Manager needed for $100m Program, I would have just ignored it. Firstly I would never have thought I was capable of delivering it, and secondly I would never have imagined that they would have given the role to someone who had only ever worked on a $5m project previously.

We never know what we are truly capable of until we try.

So go on start something, you may just surprise yourself.

If you never start, you will never be successful.