This is a transcript from the Business Secrets Podcast With Robert Kanaat. Click here to view and subscribe on iTunes.
Hello and welcome to another episode of Business Secrets. My name is Robert Kanaat. I am the founder of wanderlustworker.com, a blog that inspires and motivates people to go out there and achieve their goals and their dreams.
Now last episode I talked to you guys about it not being about the destination, it’s about the journey. Today I wanted to talk to you about something else that’s really important that’s on my mind, and it’s about starting. It’s about starting, no matter how small you start. Because sometimes like, we second guess ourselves. I know that I do.
For example, starting this podcast. I’ve been thinking about this podcast, and thinking about this podcast for so long, that I’ve just been in my own mind about it – and all I had to do was start. Because once I started – it snowballed, and I built the momentum. The same thing with my blog or with any business that I’ve created. When you start, things just begin to happen. You build momentum, you take action. Little by little you make some progress. Over time, your focus on that project increases.
What I want to talk to you guys about today is something really, really important. It’s just about starting. One of the biggest secrets in business that I could convey to you guys – is really just about sitting down and starting super small. It doesn’t matter how small it is, or like– Or how minuscule the action might be. You just have to start, and that’s the whole point. That’s the whole goal. Is just to like get out there and start.
But how many times do we not start, because we think of the enormity of a goal? We think like, “Man, that’s so big, and that’s so impossible. It’s going to take me so long. It’s going to take me so much energy, so many – so much in my finances. So much of my mental well-being, my physical well-being, or whatever the case might be. We just don’t start. We just don’t start. We just, we totally psych ourselves out, and we don’t do it.
That’s the craziest thing, because that’s the biggest dream killer, right? We procrastinate and we procrastinate, and we procrastinate – and we just don’t get started. How many times has that happened to you? I’d love to actually hear your comments, and hear your advice about this. Because I know in my mind that when I sit down and I think about like how big something is, how big a goal is and how am I ever going to actually get there? I totally psych myself out and I don’t do it.
All you have to do is start, right? It doesn’t matter how small it is. It doesn’t matter how minuscule that action is. All you have to do is start. You don’t even have to go out there and set big goals or anything like that. Just start, just start. You have a direction, and just start. It doesn’t matter what it is, just start. Even if it means going out there and buying a book. Even if means driving to the gym in the morning and not going in, just start, right?
Habits build over time slowly. Working on a business, building a business, creating a product, creating a service – whatever it is. It takes time. But once you start, certain things begin to happen in your mind subconsciously. Did you know that we have roughly 60 to 80 thousand thoughts a day, and a lot of them happen in a subconscious mind? What you think that you were thinking about, you’re thinking about so much more than that. The unfortunate thing is like so many of those thoughts are negative. We’re in our own minds.
If we don’t actually start something – if we don’t actually like put one foot in front of the other, we’ll never begin. We’ll never begin. You just have to get out there and start. The biggest strategy that I can give you right now, if you want to get started. Let’s say you’re procrastinating a lot. You’re just a procrastinator and like you keep thinking like, “I’m going to do this, I want to do this.” But you just, something always comes up and you never actually do it.
I call this the 15 minute rule. The 15 minute rule is – if I have something that I’ve been putting off, or if there’s something that I want to do towards like building a business or anything like that. I take my phone, my smartphone – or any other timer, and I start it. I start the stopwatch. Or if you have a timer counting down, you just set it to 15 minutes.
You sit down and you do that thing for 15 minutes, and that’s it, right? You don’t do it for any longer than that, just 15 minutes. You don’t promise yourself you’re going to do it for hours. You don’t promise yourself you’re going to like work out for two, three hours. You’re going to go run a marathon or something like that. It’s just 15 minutes, right? You have to just start.
For example, if you’ve been putting off going to the gym. Then, just start. Set it for 15 minutes, and walk around the block where you live, and that’s it. Just walk for 15 minutes, and that’s all. If it’s your taxes, or if it’s building a business or whatever it is – sit down and do the research for 15 minutes. Get outside of your head. Stop overthinking it. Some of the biggest tycoons in business, they just start. They start small, and it builds up.
Nobody starts with a massive team on day one, or with something hugely fleshed out. That takes time. Building a great business, building a big company. Succeeding in business on any level. Six figure or seven figures, eight figures. It takes time. But like you have to start somewhere. You can’t just not start, and expect things to happen for you. It just won’t happen for you. You have to start somewhere, and you have to use the 15 minute rule. Literally the 15 minute rule has saved my behind so many times. Especially in those points where like I knew I was procrastinating.
If you’re in school and you always put off your homework or studying for an exam until the last minute, I think it’s okay to procrastinate sometimes. But when it becomes like a really, really bad habit and it starts negatively effecting you. For example like, you don’t file your taxes and then you’re years behind and you’re dealing with penalties and late fees. Or if your health is like really destructive, and you keep putting off working out. Or like your finances are in shambles because you put off speaking to a financial adviser. You put off saving, you put off doing whatever. Then it’s detrimental, right?
Just set aside 15 minutes. If you’re studying in school, you’re supposed to take an exam. Don’t overthink it. Just sit down and tell yourself, “Today it’s 15 minutes, and that’s it.” Let me just tell you why, the reason why this works, right? When you promise yourself 15 minutes, it’s too small to fail. With all those thoughts going on in our minds, we’re always overthinking, and like always trying to like– Always trying to break apart this massive goal. Then it feels overwhelming to us. You just have to start, right?
It’s too small to fail. So walking around the block. You promise yourself just 15 minutes around the block. Or you promise yourself to just sit down to write a business plan or to go online and research a business, or to incorporate a company. Just go on an incorporation website, like incorporate.com, or bizfounders 08:38, or whatever. Whatever it is in the place where you live. Just start, right? It’s too small to fail. Your mind will not be able to overthink it.
Let me tell you why this is important. Because it breaks the habit of procrastination. Because too often, like when we’re procrastinating, that habit builds up. The longer you do something or you don’t do something, the harder it is to get away from it. If you’ve been smoking cigarettes for 15 years, it’s monumentally harder to stop than if you’ve been smoking for 15 months. So anything that we do is habitual. It’s because it carves these neural pathways in our minds, and it makes it really, really easy to do over and over again.
It’s kind of like a tractor going out every single day for 10 years, and following the same route along a dirt path. Eventually that route is going to mold and bend to the tires of that tractor. And it’s going to make that tractor easier to pass through. That’s kind of like the neural pathways that are carved in our minds, right? That’s the easiest, the point of least resistance. To break away from that, you really just have to start – go off in a different direction, do something else. But just sit down and focus, and just for 15 minutes, just do it. It doesn’t matter what it is.
Don’t try to overthink it. But then be consistent, right? So just promise yourself 15 minutes today. Promise yourself 15 minutes tomorrow. 15 minutes the next day. That’s it. But what you’ll notice is, momentum builds, right? Over time, like you begin to want to do that more, and that’s an incredible thing. If you can get outside of your mind, just sit down and do something for 15 minutes – that’s all it takes. It’s an extraordinary thing. We always just sit down and we like overthink everything.
We think, “Oh wow, for me to build this business, I have to do this and that and the other thing.” Yeah, it’s easy to overthink. Like if I sat down and thought about writing 39 books before I wrote 39 books, I would’ve been so inside my head, so stressed out. I just sat down and started writing, and that was it. That led to one book, and that led to another book, and another book. But if I sat down like in my mind, and was like, “Oh my God, how am I going to write this book?”
I would’ve never written the book, or even this podcast. It was in my mind for a long time, until I started. But remember, I’m an introvert. Maybe you’re an introvert and extrovert. But it’s like – sometimes you have to break the mold of who you are. Certain things are harder for certain people. It’s just how we’re genetically designed, that’s it. Break the mold by doing just 15 minutes, and that is it.
I really, really hope that this helps. I hope that you guys hop on iTunes, and please share and subscribe to this podcast. I would greatly appreciate it, and I’ll talk to you guys next time.