Hello World, Do You Sabotage Your Potential To Excel at Something New?

Unstick your beginner’s dilemma with the help of these six simple tips.

Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”

— Socrates

So, is it even worth to beginning something new?

  1. Prevail over “Everything already exists.”
  2. Keep your research time reasonable
  3. Involve others to get farther
  4. Test and get feedback often
  5. Dig deeper post-launch to exploit potential

What do I mean by beginner’s dilemma?

There is at least a couple of different interpretations of the beginner’s dilemma. Some focus upon how one gets overwhelmed by a list of tasks that lead to not knowing where or how to simply start.

© Alyssa-Ninja Weis
© Alyssa-Ninja Weis

1. Treat your ideas like your most precious asset

Everybody has ideas, but they’re worth nothing if you leave them hanging. One of the mistakes that you should avoid is not collecting your ideas or, even worse, underestimating them. This is your first missed opportunity, because the more ideas you collect, the more ideas you’ll have based on them. Let me tell you a quick story.

Tip: Take notes of your ideas as a first step. I recently started a Zettelkasten inspired by Eva Keiffenheim’s article “The Complete Guide for Building a Zettelkasten with RoamResearch” on Better Humans and this was a life changer. I will share how I set up a simplified version of this note-taking system soon. Follow me to get notified about new articles.

2. Prevail over “Everything already exists.”

Do NOT stop working on your idea simply because there is already something similar out there. There are the two big myths in this regard:

Tip: Consider such feedback a proof of concept and reduced risk for you, because somebody else already did the work for you. Lisa Congdon, one of my favourite artists, wrote “you can’t actually find your own voice without being influenced by other artists” in her book Find Your Artistic Voice (affiliate link to Amazon; if you buy it, I get a small commission).

3. Keep your research time reasonable

This may sound obvious, but happens to me often. I tend to feel like there is more out there that I need to read, watch and learn before I arrive at the point of DOING. This is BS. I tend to overanalyze and overthink. There it is. Did I just out my deepest weakness? This specific characteristic is nevertheless a feature (let’s call it that; sounds better) many of us struggle with.

Tip: Set yourself time limits for research. For example, I use my daylight lamp’s timer to stop me from going overboard. It has 15, 30, 45, 90, and 120 minutes by default. I use this feature to keep track of the time I’m investing in research or other tasks that can easily take all day. Having the light go off is a visual distraction that I don’t blank out in the way in which I ignore audio alarms. Find your sweet spot between too little and too much time invested.

4. Involve others to get farther

You are one person with one personality (hopefully), strengths, weaknesses and perspectives. Working with others not only widens your horizon and skillset, it also extends your network. Select people that love the project or even create it together right from the start. It can be illustrators, developers, social media experts, or anyone of value. Just be clear about what you expect and how committed you guys should be.

Tip: Turn your search for a winning team into a campaign to promote your project idea. For my next project, I will reach out to people via Social Media à la “Do you want to be a part of **INSERT MISSION HERE** or know somebody who’d love this?” This is one of my biggest learnings of the last year. I’ll keep you posted as to how it goes via Medium articles. Follow me to not miss any.

5. Test and get feedback often

“Do good things and talk about it” is one of my favourite sayings. Oftentimes the latter part is forgotten or done too late. I should have done more of the talking early onwards in my book publishing process for sure. For some reason, my mind was playing a trick on me. I was scared of involving others and asking for feedback because of the possible critique I would receive. This did not go hand in hand with my I-am-in-control-of-everything approach.

Tips: Here are the don’ts to rememberDon’t work on your project in the isolation of your silent chamber and only then tell the target group once it’s finished. This will only ensure that you stay invisible. Use the time to share your work-in-progress with your community. This will build a circle of people that is interested and, secondly, build trust in your project. People love (& buy) products and services that they trust.Don’t just push messages out there about what you’re doing. Ask for feedback, advice, and let your community choose their favorite bits along the way. This allows you to create an eager following as you go along. People want to be a part of something special and bigger than themselves. It is in our nature and expands upon the experience of simply selling ‘yet another’ product.Don’t just test after the launch. Test regularly throughout the whole process. It’s the easiest way to meet your target group’s needs and prepare them for what’s coming. Start focus groups on Facebook and ask publicly who wants to be a part of it. Let me know in the comments if you want to be part of the one for my children’s book. Share your ideas with them first. Ask for feedback via surveys. Tell your close ones about what you’re doing. There are many ways to test your idea.

6. Dig deeper post-launch to exploit potential

Once your baby is out in the world, the worst thing you can do is to abandon it and move on to the next project. Imagine you’d do that to a newborn. Yes, it was a lot of work to get to this point and the “launch” was stressful and exhausting, but that’s when chapter 2 begins.

Tip: Think outside of the norm when you talk about your product. Any good or implied balance between quiet and too salesy will get you there.
© Alyssa-Ninja Weis



The one with the big glasses. Sharing my love for exploration. Like it? Follow me + join me here ✒︎

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Alyssa-Ninja Weis

The one with the big glasses. Sharing my love for exploration. Like it? Follow me + join me here ✒︎