Start before you are ready.

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

As the saying goes, you don’t have to be great to start but you have to start to be great. Most of us want to be ready before we start, but the reality of life is that everything will not always align or go as planned, but the key is to keep moving. The momentum that you gain as a result of taking action will eventually build your self-confidence and belief in your capabilities. The hardest part of any journey is taking the first step, committing to a goal, and executing it relentlessly. There are going to be ups and downs, detours, diversions, and stop signs, and sometimes, giving up might be considered but with persistence and perseverance, most goals are achievable.

As Scottish mountaineer and writer,  William Hutchison Murray once quipped:

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”

Take, for example, I started writing consistently on this blog during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. By starting and staying committed to the course of becoming a better writer, I am building my self-confidence daily through my daily musings and write-ups. I am not yet a New York Bestselling writer, there are still grammatical errors and structure issues with my writing. But I strongly believe that, if I continue writing consistently and find ways of refining my writing daily, I can only get better. It is better to be preparing for an opportunity and not have it yet than to have an opportunity and not be prepared. I am constantly preparing for the opportunity that would take my writing to the next level but I have to stay committed to the art of writing and trust the process.


In his memoir, The Idea Man: A Memoir by the Cofounder of Microsoft, late co-founder of Microsoft. Paul Allen writes about how he and his business partner Bill Gates used the principle of starting before they were ready to launch Microsoft in 1975. Paul had spotted an opportunity in the Popular Electronics magazine’s January 1975 edition with the headline: “PROJECT BREAKTHROUGH! World’s First Minicomputer Kit to Rival Commercial Models…“ALTAIR 8800” SAVE OVER $1000“. Bill had earlier told Paul to let him know when somebody built a machine based on the 8080.

The Altair 8800 is a microcomputer designed in 1974 by MITS and based on the Intel 8080 CPU


Bill and Paul hatched out a plan to call Ed Roberts, the founder of Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS); the company that built the Altair 8080 that was featured in the Popular Electronics Magazine. They called the founder of MITS to inform him that they had software (BASIC) for the hardware (Altair 8080) that they had produced, even though they had not written a line of code before making the call. Paul and Bill started before they were ready and the rest they say is history. Paul narrates how the call went in his memoir, the Ideaman:

Hoping for the best, we sent a letter to the company’s president on our old traffic-machine business stationery, implying that we had a BASIC ready to roll out. When we didn’t hear back, we followed up with a phone call.

This is Paul Allen in Boston,” Bill said. “We’ve got a BASIC for the Altair that’s just about finished, and we’d like to come out and show it to you.” I admired Bill’s bravado but worried that he’d gone too far, since we’d yet to write the first line of code.

Roberts was interested, but he was getting ten calls a day from people with similar claims. He told Bill what he’d told everyone else: The first person to walk through his door in Albuquerque with a BASIC that worked would get a contract for the Altair.

If we’d been older or known better, Bill and I might have been put off by the task in front of us. But we were young and green enough to believe that we just might pull it off.

Bill and Paul with help from their college dorm mate,  Monte Davidoff built the Altair BASIC software for MITS’s Altair 8080 system. They also used the same strategy of commitment to secure the deal to supply IBM with a disk operating system (DOS) for the original IBM PC. Although they had not developed a DOS program yet, they secured the deal and bought the QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System) written by Seattle Computer Products, Tim Paterson. As they did earlier with the Altair 8080 BASIC software, they bet on themselves with the IBM DOS software and they were both rewarded financially as a result of their output.

“I’d estimate that 45 percent of the code was Bill’s, 30 percent Monte’s, and 25 percent mine, excluding my development tools.*


Burn the Boats

 There’s a saying poker players are fond of that applies just as much to the game of life: scared money never wins. You have to take advantage of those fleeting moments when things are going well by launching your new ventures then, long before you actually need to. The problem with leverage is that when you’re desperate for it, it’s too late to create it.

We all have the power to make meaningful change through our actions. Do not sit idly by. If you open your eyes wide enough, you’ll see that something is happening in the world right now that we find acceptable today—but will be ashamed of tomorrow. You can pick your cause, and it doesn’t really matter what it is, as long as it sparks something within you. And then you can find a way to fix the system, one step at a time, one boat at a time, looking for those points of maximum impact and doing everything you can to move the world in the right direction.

You don’t have to have everything figured out, and if you think you have it all figured out, I guarantee that you will fail. The leading sign of lack of self-awareness is complete confidence in your plan and your ability to execute it. Problems beget solutions. Put yourself in a bind to which you have no answers and surprise yourself with the depth of your ingenuity and problem-solving skills.

You don’t have to have everything figured out, and if you think you have it all figured out, I guarantee that you will fail.


  • Daily Calm with Tamara Levitt – The Sun and the Wind
  • When it comes to deep change, force doesn’t generally work, berating ourselves, being critical and impatient, it all just leads to frustration and we cling even more so strongly to our defenses. Like the sun that softly shines from above, change requires gentleness and time. No amount of pushing or forcing will lead to lasting change.

 Let tenderness pour from your eyes, the way sun gazes warmly on earth. – Hafez

  • Daily Jay with Jay Shetty – Work the Knot Out
  • Often we refuse to look our pain in the face, we ignore what is bothering us, and we choose to passively put up with discomfort. Maybe we are afraid of what we will find. Sometimes, problems may able to resolved on their own but in many cases, it does no good to avoid the situation or pretend it is not happening.
  • Remember, even if it is painful, you might want to address the root cause, deliberately moving in the direction of healing. You might want to work out the knot.

DailyTrip with Jeff Warren -Limiting Identities

  • Our labels are not permanent identities, they are more like visitors; sometimes loud and sometimes quiet, and sometimes they leave altogether. When we are full identified with our changing mindstates, it is really hard to see them but if we can notice the experience of that particular state, then we can start backing out of our fixed identities and find a more spacious space to live.


  • The Holistic Doctor’s 3-STEP HACK For Optimal Physical & Mental Health! – Dr. Darshan Shah: The Jay Shetty Podcast

All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

Lifelong Learner | Entrepreneur | Digital Strategist at Reputiva LLC | Marathoner | Bibliophile |

Comments are closed.