Starting, When You Don’t Know Anything

Almost every project starts with the same feeling. I don’t know anything. I don’t know anything about the industry, product, business etc. I’m about to enter into. For me, this can be exciting but I’ve realized for others, this can be terrifying and paralyzing.

Earlier this week, I randomly started rewatching episodes of Silicon Valley and I forgot how much of the show reflected my life and my own personal experience running my very first startup, Hshtags. There was so much I didn’t know about my industry and just the business of running a startup in general. I didn’t know what a business plan was, the different types of investors, what should be in a pitch deck and so much more. But the more I dived deeper into it and committed to learning more each day, the more knowledge I eventually had. Do I know everything now? Definitely not. Do I know more than I did when I first started? Absolutely. Why? Because I didn’t let the fact that I knew nothing stop me from trying to build the something anyway.

Don’t let your lack of knowledge deter you from doing something that could be amazing.

Recently, a friend confessed to me how scared he was to create his first physical product. Why? Because he had no idea what he was doing. I found that statement so fascinating (probably because I thrive on the thrill of the challenge). My first reaction was, “But that’s okay. You might not know anything now but once you start, a few days, weeks, or months later, I promise you’ll know more than you do now”.

That’s the best part of it all. One day you know nothing about a product, industry or world you’re entering into but (in this day and age) you’re literally one google search away from knowing more than you did yesterday.

If you asked me what I knew about barbershops 8 months ago, I would’ve blinked and said, they cut hair. That’s as far as I could to go. I would only be able tell you what I knew from experiencing one myself. But I knew nothing of the business of running a barbershop, from how to pay barbers to what to charge and all the different permits I’ll need. I’ll admit, at one point, I was also paralyzed with fear because this was brand new territory for me (it being physical and not digital), and I had no idea where to start. 8 months later, I can’t say I know everything but I definitely feel more confident with the knowledge I’ve gained to be able to pursue my latest venture, You & Sundry. And I’m proud of myself for pushing through.

It doesn’t matter what you don’t know now, just start.

Don’t worry about what you don’t know now. Just start. I promise you’ll know more than you did an hour ago if you just start trying. The first step can be as simple as researching all the questions you need answers to. If you sit there and do nothing instead, you’ll make no progress towards knowing anything and you’ll never get to where you want to be.

Do it with passion or not at all,
– Kim Goulbourne aka “Bourn”


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