How to Start Even If You Don't Think You're Ready

This is a guest post by Kimi Clark 

Experts. Schools. Successful people. They teach us what we should be doing. They teach us the steps we need to take, what goals we have to meet, and they even point us in the right direction.

But there’s one thing that many people aren’t teaching, and that’s how to start. More importantly, how to start even if you don’t think you’re ready.

Because you can be provided with tips and be given directions, and heck, you can have the whole plan well laid out before you, but if you lack the confidence to get started, then you likely won’t.

You’d be stuck with questions like:

“What if I choose the wrong path?”

“What if the experts are wrong?”

“What if I make a mistake?”

And, of course, the big one: “What if I fail?”

Sometimes, the biggest things keeping us from getting started are our own thoughts.

So, how do you get control of those thoughts, get past the doubts, and actually START? Check out my tips below:

Look at what’s behind you.

The things you’ve accomplished, the progress you’ve made…it’s all proof that you are capable of attaining your goals and getting things done. Look at the things you’ve started before, even the times you have failed. There’s a lot of evidence that you can start, that you know how, that you’re competent.

Maybe you don’t have it all figured out….that’s OK. Knowing the direction you want to go is important, but having each and every step figured out isn’t a necessity to begin with. Too often it’s used as an excuse for why we can’t start.

Look at what you have to work with, and then choose one thing that will take you in the direction of your goals.

Launching  my freelance career was tough for me because I felt like I had already failed at so many things, and I spent way too much time looking at other writers who had more education, knowhow and self confidence.  But when I look at all the lessons I’ve learned along the way and the terrific people that I’ve met, I realized that I have the same opportunities as anyone else. I’m a decent writer with a passion for helping others, especially business owners.  Everyone was at the bottom once, we all have to start somewhere. So I got up the courage to start my own blog and things just escalated from there.

Use what you know.

Rather than feeling like you have to watch just one more webinar, read one more book or take one more course before you can step out into your destiny, how about looking at what you have already learned, and then use that.

I must admit, I’m totally guilty of not following my own advice here way too often! My inbox is chock full of how to’s, classes and webinars that I signed up for. Learning, although important, can get overwhelming and cause you to get stuck.

Now, what I try to do is learn in an area that I’m currently working on and then get a task accomplished before I start learning something else. For example, I’m currently learning more about building an email list and opt in offers, so until I complete my goals and am confident that I’m on the right track, I won’t move on to learning more about social media or copywriting.

Create a plan.

As I’ve mentioned, this isn’t a necessity to get started; but for some people, having a plan makes them feel more confident in starting because they know the direction in which they’re headed.

Whether you take guidance from some experts or create your own, having a plan can make it easier to start because you’ll know what you’re working towards. It doesn’t have to be complex, just a simple outline is fine. (Scribbling thoughts on a napkin works too!)

I’m old school, so I’ve got notebooks full of thoughts and ideas. As soon as an idea hits me, my pencil hits the paper!

What’s next?

When you can remember your past accomplishments, use what you already know and develop a simple plan of action, then all that’s left to do is to start… with one simple step.

Just one. Quit looking at (and getting overwhelmed by) the big picture. Stop examining all of the steps at once, and how far you have to go to reach your desired goal.

Just look at one thing.

One small task. One decision you can make. One thing you can work on. Do that one thing, and just like that, you’ve already started. The invisible barrier that has been keeping you stuck will be broken down and making that one, small step will give you confidence. It will give you confidence that you can do this, that you’re ready. That, in turn, will prod you to take even more steps.

And with each additional task you accomplish, your confidence in your abilities will grow.

Once you’ve started, you’ll keep going. And you’ll realize that getting started is the hard part, keeping at it is the fun part!

Trust me on this one. Take just one small step. Don’t even think about “being ready.” Just take action. web domain . Do it today. Do it now. Then let that step inspire you to keep going. Once you’ve mastered how to start even if you don’t think you’re ready, you’ll wonder why it took you so long to start in the first place!


Author Bio: Kimi Clark is a career stay at home mom turned writer and blogger for hire with a passion for business. She specializes in blog posts about writing, entrepreneurship, as well as all things parenting and motherhood.

You can find her ramblings at http://www.writewriterwrite.com, where she’s on a mission to support and encourage fellow writers to follow their dreams and enjoy the journey!



How to Land a Client in 10 Days


Download this free ebook and discover the steps you need to take to land new clients in a week and a half. Enter your email address and you'll get:

  • Step-by-step instructions on how to find prospects and get them to hire you
  • Detailed advice and action steps to boost your client-hunting efficiency
  • Insights from other freelance writers on the best ways to land clients

Francesca Nicasio

I'm a freelance writer specializing in blog posts, web content, and press releases for Internet companies. I also love helping aspiring freelance writers build their portfolio and find clients. Download my free ebook 25 Types of Writing Gigs that Pay Well (and How to Find Them) here to get started.

  • Chris Peden

    Wonderful article Francesca! So many great points. I will be taking your suggestions and get moving!

    • Kimi

      Thanks for reading Chris, let us know how it goes! Best of luck to you!

  • Elna Cain

    Great advice. I’m always thinking there’s more I need to know, instead of just using what I already know. My inbox is also full of PDF’s, free ebooks, and newsletters that’s piling up and I often feel overwhelmed at all the new info I should be reading.
    I am, though, learning to take it one day at a time and to make a plan. If I write it down, then I don’t have to think about it. I create lists everyday and it seems to help with organizing my thoughts and making me more productive.

    • Kimi

      Oh if only you could see my inbox Elna! Lists definitely help as well, and make sure you allow yourself some learning time…just so you’re choosing one topic to focus on. That’s the hard part! Good luck and thanks for your response!

  • Wow, I can really relate to this right now! I left my job five months ago, to pursue writing full-time, and wanted to learn as much as I could. So, I started taking courses, downloading the PDF’s, and so on. Now, I do feel overwhelmed by all that information, and I really appreciate your tips, to focus on what we already know. Thanks for this … you chose a very useful topic!

    • Kimi

      I totally understand Sharilee, I still suffer from information overload from time to time. Staying focused definitely takes work but you can do it! Wishing you much success!

  • One small step… at a time. The importance of that cannot be stressed enough. I often hit a wall in my confidence, thinking that this is not working or it is taking too long to reach my goals. Fortunately, I have a good friend who often reminds me of how far I have come and what I have achieved, which I tend to overlook or minimize. And while I may not be where I would like to be, I look back and realize all those little steps – a guest post here, a few clients there, an article published in the local newspaper – were all as a result of putting one foot in front of the other and eventually they all add up and then one day… BOOM… success!

    • Kimi

      Awesome Deevra! It sure helps to have a good friend for encouragement (and sometimes a kick in the behind), when needed. Thanks for reading, and I appreciate your comment!

  • k rajani

    My freelance writing career itself started with lots of question. It was mainly due to lack of confidence and being a computers post graduate I was seeking a software job with decent income. But when I got a writing offer that involves writing articles on various topics at your own set schedule from the comfort of home I felt if not now then never. Though the topics were difficult as they are mostly on financial products, credit cards, loans and similar things I didn’t give up. Still I hesitate mostly to take up work when the given writing assignment is new to me. But then look back and realize that instead of taking your step backwards why not move it forward.
    Thanks for reminding me all those things through this article..:)

    • Kimi

      I think we all started with lots of questions…and some of us continue to have them! Just so, as you said, we’re moving forward. Thanks so much for your comment!

  • As the saying goes, “You gotta start somewhere!”

    Great tips for newbies, Kimi!

    • Kimi

      Exactly Lorraine…just so you start, right? Thanks so much for your kind words, and thanks for reading! 🙂

  • Krithika Rangarajan

    Well, placing that first foot forward is one of my constant struggles too. I don’t want to remain stagnant any longer though – thank you for an empowering post, Kimi #HUGS