Jump in at the deep end

I was in central London doing some last minute shopping today, and I debated getting the Tube back with all my bags, or being lazy and jumping in an Uber.

It's been a knackering week, so I opted for the Uber.

But I'm so glad I made this choice – I ended up having an extensive chat with the driver who had moved here from India to become an IT consultant.

He's a freelancer so is keen to get more work, hence why he's driving for Uber on the side. Naturally, we got onto the subject of building a personal "brand" – or at least, finding ways to get people to notice you.

We were talking about starting a blog and how he's not written in a long time. I could hear him finding reasons to hold off on writing – he wasn't ready.

But I hear this all the time – "I'm not ready". When will you be ready? How will you ever be ready?

You will never be ready unless you start.

So I started pushing him to just write. Just Do It!

You have to just start, with the knowledge your first attempt will probably suck.

Then he told me a story that really resonated with me: he explained how when he lived in India he desperately wanted to learn to swim.

The pool was deep at the deep end – 16 feet deep! Because it had a diving board.

He would walk around and walk around and become increasingly nervous, just staring at the depths of the water.

He'd stand back and watch as others swam up and down, growing more and more frustrated.

Until one day he jumped in (at the shallow end), and just started to try.

He kept trying and gradually swimming further and further from the edges until he could fully swim.

This simple story just emphasises so much of what holds us back from doing new things – fear. And that fear leads us to push back the idea of even starting.

You can’t learn to swim unless you jump in and try.

Whatever you're hoping to start in the new year – don't wait. Just start. Jump in.

Photo by Artem Verbo on Unsplash.

James Gill

CEO and co-founder of GoSquared.

London, UK