The Coach Toolkit Title Entrepreneur's Toolkit Buy Now Button
Blog Button About Button Writing Button Coaching Button Speaking Button Store Button Contact Button MainNav

Getting it Started

by lyn christian on February 23, 2010

You’ve heard the phrase, “It’s ok to make mistakes.”

How about this one:

“Anything worth doing is worth doing a lousy job with–just to get it started.” (See Positioning, The Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries and Jack Trout pg.184)

Before you push back, reflect on these notions:

  • If the idea in your head isn’t worth doing, don’t start it at all.
  • If the idea is worthwhile, don’t procrastinate and don’t go for perfection.
  • If the idea is worth doing, jump in right now and get started.  Risk a tiny bit and see what develops in the first chunk of completed work.

Dr Edward Deming, the late, nerdy and bespectacled professor from MIT who is known for his work in quality and productivity said it this way “Put 85% of your effort into getting the first 15% of the process going.”

I’m just suggesting you take a moment and reconsider that sometimes doing a lousy job is better than not doing anything at all. Here’s an example of how this idea played out in real life:

Once upon a time, Harry Nelson, Director of Audio Programs at Franklin Covey, and I  started a new company called Headtrip Audio. We produce an A-zine or audio magazine that acts as a portable coach for coaches and entrepreneurs. It was a monthly CD that served up the wisdom of people who are succeeding at small business owners. Harry and I had talked about our idea for over two years. Finally during lunch that particular day we decided to put some money, time and effort into the game and get the first issue completed. We put 85% of our effort into just that one product. As we look back, while this first product wasn’t our best, it was a catalyst. Today we have a total of 12 CD’s and a great product.

Here are more samples of how to apply the “do a lousy job” mentality:

Client A is focused completely this month on getting her business card designed and printed. That’s it.

Client Z’s focus is on writing a book. He succeeds when a proposal is written and an appointment is made with his agent.

Client L is creating a pilot program, or test for a grand idea. Eventually it will require at least 50 volunteers to run the program. She is starting with one volunteer this month and getting the structure laid out while she learns more about potential pitfalls and opportunities.

What about you? What project or idea do you have banging around in your mind?

What’s going to happen if you never, ever get that idea going?

Don’t let that happen.

Pick one step you’ve been procrastinating. Scale it down. Get started. If you need help in knowing how to get out of your own inertia, call me or Neil.




About the Author:  Lyn Christian is the founder of SoulSalt, Inc., a coaching and coach training company.  She is passionate about the “free-agent” worker who wants to earn their living and live their lives by doing what inspires them.  Get more information by visiting or contact Lyn directly through

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: