There’s no “perfect” way. Just get started
If you browse around the Internet, you may have seen the phrase, “It’s never been easier.” The spirit of it is exciting, but the truth is a little more complex. For example, if you decided you wanted to write your first blog post, today: Would it be at Medium, Svbtle, Ghost, Wordpress.com, or with something else? Or should you try guest posting?
Not to mention other questions that follow — do you need a website for your “personal brand” first? What about setting up a mailing list, on Mailchimp or Revue?
It’s a challenge that author Eddie Huang considers one of the largest obstacles today’s generation faces, and describes as “an embarrassment of riches… people are paralyzed by opportunity.” It draws to mind psychologist Barry Schwartz’s theory that providing people with too much choice leads them to not decide — in his case specifically, they choose not to make a purchase.
Huang’s advice on this is simple. “You just gotta go, and you’ve got to do it. You’ve got to fail, and you’ve got to succeed. All of it. Because it all makes you who you are.”
It’s similar to an idea Bruce Lee writes in Striking Thoughts, “I can give you ten thousand of my ways, but they are my way, not yours. An individual’s questions are answerable only by the individual himself, and nothing would be gained by his sitting in on a recital of mine.”
It’s encouragement to operate in a difficult truth. A lot of people, before they even try to take action, become obsessed with finding the “right” way to get started. So they email around, spend time in webinars with “experts,” and read books on the topic, only to end up more confused than when they had started. Imagine if every person who wrote an email, “Hey, can I pick your brain?” decided to take 15 minutes and start on the thing they actually wanted to do.
Perhaps one example reflecting the principle Huang suggests would be a young Malcolm X in prison, writing letters and wishing he were a better writer. He decided he would make a change, but had no idea where to start. The task must have been overwhelming, and he had to start it on his own.