When In Doubt, Take The (Small) Step

When In Doubt, Take The (Small) Step

How do you know which of your ideas you should take action on, and which you shouldn’t invest in?


If you’re wondering “Would this work?” or “Should I try this?” there are 2 reasons you won’t take the first step.


1. Fear Of Real Consequences – Ideas take time to implement. Usually they require some investment of money. You might lose time and money if you try the idea and it fails.


2. Mental Barriers – You may be too lazy to put in the energy required to test an idea. You may be too afraid of embarrassment to risk failure.


How do you take the first step while protecting yourself from real negative consequences and overcoming those mental barriers?


Take A Smaller Step


Make a small, one-time investment of time and/or money; so small that it doesn’t effect your lifestyle and doesn’t feel like a scary ‘New-Years-Resolution’ commitment. It doesn’t matter if you get no results.


Invest $5 or 5 minutes. Once. Don’t overcommit.


Every hour of your day is already filled with some form of productive, enjoyable, or necessary activity.


Every dollar you own is already allocated to your investments, lifestyle, savings account, or charitable donations.


Overcommitting too soon feels like a burden and puts your fully utilized resources at risk.


Invest small. Invest once. Don’t commit to reinvesting or beginning a new daily habit.


By taking smaller steps, and taking more of them, you can play around in a safe, fun, creative space with very limited downside and no major commitments. You learn how to trust your gut. You make quick jumps up the steepest section of multiple learning curves. You learn if the activity suits you and feels good. You get to try many new things, some of which will work.


Write down the activity, if you enjoy it, and what results you expect in a journal or a note on your computer.


Should You Continue?


It’s up to you.


Did you get a small result, or a sign that investing more time/money might be successful?


Did you enjoy taking part in the activity?


Was it easier than you thought?


Did you learn a lot about an area where you previously knew nothing?


Did it feel good to finally be taking a step in the right direction?


If the activity was a little stressful or strenuous, were you glad you did it afterwards?


If ‘Yes’, consider continuing with another small step, still with no long-term commitment. Then, yet another small step.


Small individual steps become habits if they get results and/or are enjoyable. These habits may naturally grow into long-term commitments that deserve a larger re-allocation of your time and money. These long-term commitments make a material difference in your life or business.


It can begin without risking large amounts of time or money. It can begin without a massive commitment to an unproven idea.


12 Small Steps

30 sit ups before your next shower

5 minutes reading a relevant blog post

4 minutes meditating

3 minutes learning a foreign language

10 seconds of cold water to begin your shower

5 minutes juggling with 3 wadded up socks

3 freelance job applications on Upwork.com

$5 donated to charity

$20 invested in Bitcoin

3 cold calls to potential business partners or customers

1 product added to a free Shopify store

$5 driving traffic from 1 Facebook ad


Think of a small step for yourself, or pick from the list above, then take it.