Success isn’t about knowing more, it’s about acting on imperfect information

The first mile of a journey sucks for everybody. … Go easy on yourself in that first mile, though, and you can set yourself up for a great race.

John Goreman said that.

It’s a profound statement.

You’ll learn more by doing than you ever will by reading a best-seller.

The quickest way to learn is to experience.

Preparation is highly overrated.

No one is ever ready.

Start once you’re ready is a surefire way to never begin.

From starting a side project to exercising, changing careers or launching a creative project, you can get lost in getting ready.

While some preparing is necessary, be mindful of your actions.

Getting ready is comfortable and easy because no actual leap has taken place.

Getting ready is insanely distracting because you start to think that you don’t know what you are doing, so you need to spend more time getting ready.

If you are not careful, you be caught in the cycle of preparation without taking an actual step towards your goals.

If you spend too much time getting ready, you might be a perfectionist.

Don’t tolerate perfection if you want to start anything worthwhile.

When we start to believe that we can do no wrong, we lose the edge that keeps us alert and open to new opportunities for growth.

When you practice something — anything — you improve, you grow, you advance, you gain a skill and heaps of confidence in the process, because you get better with time.

Have the courage to “suck”

“A genius! For 37 years I’ve practiced fourteen hours a day, and now they call me a genius!” — Pablo Sarasate

It’s not just you.

The first mile of a journey sucks for everybody.

Every successful person or business had to start somewhere.

Go easy on yourself in that first mile, though, and you can set yourself up for a great race.

We ask too much of ourselves, sometimes.

The road to success is seldom a linear path, but it pays to start.

Your first book, podcast, app, real business meeting, interview, pitch will not be great. But don’t let that get the best of you.

Most people quit the moment they experience that first disappointment.

It’s a test.

You have to fight your way through. That’s what matters.

A few people stick around until they get it right. In fact, you rarely get it right in the beginning.

Give yourself permission to suck

“Don’t quit. Never give up trying to build the world you can see, even if others can’t see it. Listen to your drum and your drum only. It’s the one that makes the sweetest sound.”

Simon Sinek said that.

Most people don’t give themselves permission to suck.

They beat themselves and stress over their imperfections.

We are humans. Nobody is perfect.

The real world rewards those who get stuff done.

Those who choose to show up. Those who launch. Those who have the courage to start. And those who choose to create.

Choose to be your authentic self, let go of who you think you should be to be who you are.

Even it means, embracing your weaknesses.

Show up and share your work, even if it sucks.

Find a way to be okay with sucking for a short time.

If you pursue your dreams long enough, compounding takes effect. Momentum will surge. Don’t ever give up on yourself.

You’ll suck at most things in the beginning. It takes time, persistence, and patience to create your most amazing work. Keep on trying.

Perfect is great, but you can’t afford it. None of us can.

Never miss an opportunity to show up and share who you are.

Matthew Trinetti adds:

Take small steps. Hell, half steps if you must. Conduct experiments. Work on projects. Act first and reflect all along the way: What are you learning? About yourself? About your ideas? About new possibilities for yourself? About what you enjoy? What you don’t? What you’re great at? What you’re not so great at? How does the world responds? How does this inform your next small steps?

Stop waiting for inspiration

How many times have you read a great post, finished an inspirational book, or had life-changing idea, and wanted to make a change, take action, do something, start a passion project. … but then didn’t?

How much time do you spend thinking vs. doing?

You’re less likely to succeed if figure things out but don’t actually take a step, any step to make a move in the direction of your dreams.

If you’re really committed, you will make a move. Show your progress. Tell 100 people about it. Put money and time on it.

There will be a moment, possibly a bunch of moments, when you think, Oh, I’ll do it tomorrow, I will start writing next week, I will learn that skill next month, start my new passion project next quarter.

That’s the moment you have to seize and take action.

I’ve read more articles and books on personal growth and sharing your meaningful work than I can remember, and all of that knowledge is worth very little compared to the simple habit of taking action every day.

Application of knowledge is hard work. Reading a book or listening to a podcast is easy. Doing nothing with that knowledge is even easier. Doing nothing is the default for many people.

“Want true success? Richie Norton says ask yourself these 3 questions daily:

1. Who can I serve?

2. Where can I contribute greatest?

3. Is my work today congruent with my future goals?”

A 30-day challenge

What I want you to do now is to pick one piece of knowledge you have that you haven’t been applying, and commit to applying it daily for just 30 days.

Try something you’ve always been afraid to try, and put it on video.

Be yourself, loudly.

Start a new company, doing only one thing, but doing it very well.

Start a business that does a service you’ve always wanted, or that you are frustrated with in other companies because the service sucks.

Put your heart into something.

Say something that no one else dares to say.

Do something others are afraid to do.

Help someone no one else cares to help. Make the lives of others better.

Make music that makes others want to weep, to laugh, to create.

Teach young people to do amazing things.

Write a play, get others to act in it, record it.

Empower others to do things they’ve never been able to do before.

Show up every day and work on your most important life work.

Whether the outcome is magnificent or eternal, whether it changes people’s lives, changes the world, changes you or groundbreaking, it matters that you show up.

Whatever your dream is, there is always something you can do today that will get you closer to it. Even if it is a microscopic task.

Think about what you could easily do today.

And follow with another small task tomorrow.

Ready to start a life-changing habit?

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This article first appeared on Medium.