Critical Points about Starting

To Thine Own Self Be True


Imagine you could be only you.  What exactly would you do?

How would you know where to begin?  Where would you be when you got to the end?

Alright, Dr. Seuss mimicry aside, there’s one critical point that must be met before you start your next project.

And that’s to know why you’re starting the project.

  • It could be that your boss asked you to.
  • You’re highly competitive.
  • You could be starting to discover a love of something new.
  • You may be uncovering a long-buried passion, scarred over by pain and fear.
  • You might love playing with new, shiny objects.
  • Perhaps you were made to start things, only to turn them over once they’re established.  (Note: If you’re a serial starter, this may very well be your primary motivator.)
  • You’re bored.
  • Everyone else is doing it.
  • You love a good challenge.
  • There is a problem in the world you want to solve.
  • Money.

I’ve used all of these reasons in the past as answers to why I was starting something new.  And the results have varied.  You probably have, too.

None of them are terribly wrong, but some will yield better results than others.

If your boss asked you to do something, that’s his reason, not yours.  Once the project’s done, so are you.

If you like to compete just to win, that’s selfish.  Competing against your yesterday is a different thing, however.

Love is a great reason.  Or is it infatuation?  If you still love doing it after mastering the skill, perhaps you’re on to something important for you.

Uncovering a long-buried passion is vital to growth.  There’s a reason why you still have a passion for something you’ve (perhaps) never tried.  Play, and you shall heal.

Playing with new stuff is only fun for a while.  Go create something instead.  (This is like your mom telling you to go outside and experience the world.  I know, but do it anyway.)

Before you start something to later turn over to a talented team, draw a vision for the end goal.  When will you turn things over?  What will the project need from the new team in order to be more awesome, more usable, more helpful?

If you’re bored, you’re boring.  Go do something.

When everyone else is doing the thing, that’s the thing that you should NOT do.  Read more here.

A good challenge and a problem in the world are closely related. One is also the other, but not necessarily the other way around.

Money is perhaps the worst of all the motivators.  We all must eat and provide for our families, true.  But after that is done, more money doesn’t mean more happiness.  Read this, especially #1, #4, #12, and #15.

It doesn’t matter what the reasons actually are, only that you understand them.

If you struggle with knowing thyself, consider taking a DISC Profile from my friends at  It will give you clear, concise insight into the person you truly are.

48 Days Personality Profiles

Or, Take the FREE MAPP Assessment to discover your true calling.

One more tip:  Once you have the answers, jump.