The Small Death in First Steps

You’ve got a big giant dream. You decide to pursue it. This is exciting.

The planning is done. You start to get down to those first few steps. How do you actually execute and move forward on your big sexy vision?

By doing something so small and stupid it’s almost embarrassing.

I want to learn to beat people up, why am I waxing cars?

I want to learn to shred a face-melting solo, why am I playing scales?

I want to build a house, why am I cutting wood?

I want to own a worldwide bakery and cookbook franchise, why am I doing a bake sale?

The first step never looks like the big vision. It’s kinda boring. It’s very small. It’s not unique. It’s not going to impress anyone much. It’s easy to get mad and try to cram the first fifteen steps into one. But you can’t. You’ll lose. You need to take the first, smallest possible step by itself. Then the second. Then the third.

Taking that first small, unglamorous step feels like a kind of death. You have to let your awesome reputation for your big sexy leap idea die in order to ship the first little step. People will praise your awesome vision. They won’t be impressed by your first concrete step.

The difference between big results and small isn’t the size of the steps, it’s how many are taken.

The difference between fast growth and slow isn’t the size of the steps, it’s how quickly they’re taken.

And some steps will always be missteps. The smaller they are, the easier to re-take them properly. You’ve got to do this a lot and fast too. And never stop doing it.

Take the smallest possible step. Get it right. Take the next. Do this as fast as possible as many times as possible adjusting to bad steps as ruthlessly as possible. That’s the way. There’s no cheating the small steps.

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Isaac Morehouse is the founder and CEO of Praxis, an awesome startup apprenticeship program. He is dedicated to the relentless pursuit of freedom. He’s written some books, done some podcasting, and is always experimenting with self-directed living and learning. When he’s not with his wife and kids or building his company, he can be found smoking cigars, playing guitars, singing, reading, writing, getting angry watching sports teams from his home state of Michigan, or enjoying the beach.

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