Start Something: The Only Tip You’ll Ever Need

Image by David Ritter

How do you know when you’re ready to start something new? Maybe it’s a new project, a new job, or a new hobby.

Well, the answer is simple.

You don’t.

You think you do. You’ve probably convinced yourself that you need to complete a list of several hundred to-dos before you’re truly ready.

Perhaps you think you need more training. Or a qualification. Or a mentor. Or just more money and equipment.

Perhaps, like me, you’re a perfectionist.

You either don’t want to start until everything is perfect, or you don’t want to launch something until you’ve finished those final tweaks.

Before you know it, another week, month, and year has passed. And still nothing. It’s still not perfect. It’s still not ready. You’re still not ready.

Until today, that is.

Today is the day to change all that.

But first, let me tell you how I got this website off the ground.

I adopted an attitude of “good enough”.

I asked myself, what were the bare essentials that I TRULY needed to have in place?

I decided that my website needed the following:

  • A name that made it clear what my website was about. It didn’t need to be fancy. It just needed to be simple and easy to remember
  • A clear and focused purpose
  • Content that would make a difference to the lives of readers
  • Less distractions on the page, a clear font style, better spacing, and some images to help draw readers in
  • Simple and easy navigation, to encourage readers to stay on the website for longer

Everything else was going to be secondary.

But what about sexing it up?

When it comes to sexing up a website, we’re usually talking about design.

While overall design is important, you’ll notice that the current version of this website isn’t all that sexy.

In fact, it’s pretty basic.

It doesn’t have a logo or proper banner across the top. It doesn’t have a consistent colour scheme yet.

But the current design is clean.

More importantly, it’s the minimum needed to achieve the goals I listed above.

A few hiccups

To be honest, I still stumbled a bit during the development of this website.

I was very close to delaying the launch of this website to focus on getting these other elements “just right”. It’s what an obsessive perfectionist like me would usually do.

But I took a risk this time.

I got to a stage where I asked myself: is this good enough for now? Is the major purpose of this website achieved? Can I work on the other things after launch?

The answer was yes.

So I launched.

Without a specific colour scheme. Without a logo. Without a fancy banner.

And you know what – if those things were THAT crucial, would you still be reading this now?

Clearly this website is already achieving its aim. To get you reading. The rest can be added later.

Now it’s your turn

What are you putting off because you think you’re not ready?

Now ask yourself this one key question:

What is the bare minimum I need to get started now?

We’re talking about the ABSOLUTE ESSENTIALS. The things that are at the very core of what you want to do.

Once you’ve figured that out, do it.

You’ll find that it’s less scary than you thought.

About Adam Johnstone

Adam Johnstone s the founder and writer of Encouragement from a Stranger. He believes in the importance of encouraging people to think, question things, and live life on their own terms. Or something like that...


  1. Brian Driggs says:


    It’s important to “begin with the end in mind,” but that has to be followed with action toward those ends. The dream continues to grow and evolve, and it will leave you behind if you don’t get on the pace pretty soon.

    Well done, sir.

  2. Grace Oris says:


    Exactly the tip I needed, thank you. I’ve been going through lots of ideas for a personal project over these past days but haven’t gotten around to really start doing something about it, not even to write those ideas down! I’m going to start working on it tonight, and this time I mean it.

  3. Talking about “starting something” here – what a great topic as a starting point for your Blog – well done!
    I’m hooked ;-) Very encouraging indeed.

    I really like the clean look of your site – Adding fancy graphics might distract from your content.

  4. Thank you, Sandra! :)