“Jump out of the plane on my count, at 5. Ready?” the sky diver instructor says to you, a nervous first-time customer, crouched in a tiny Cessna plane flying 10,000 feet above the air. You are pulsing with adrenaline. Wide eye fear.
“Ok,” you say, unconvincingly. “Ready.”
The instructor kicks open the door to the plane. Air rushes through the open door and the aircraft rattles a bit in the sky. Fear turns to panic, as every fiber of your body — everything evolution has taught you — says to not jump out of an open aircraft.
“1, 2, 3…”
Then, on the count of 4, the instructor jumps the gun. You think you have one more precious second to change your mind. But he’s already pushed you out the airplane. And away you go.
Although I’ve never sky dived, I’m told this technique is sometimes used with first-timers who can experience last minute panic cop-outs.
It reminded me of a great insight from a friend in Berlin who had young children.
I asked him once if he felt ready to have kids when his wife gave birth. He replied, “I wasn’t ready. But we were almost ready to have kids. Almost ready. You’ll never feel fully ready.”
Don’t start a company when you feel ready to do so, because you’ll never feel ready. Start a company when you feel almost ready.
Don’t marry your boyfriend or girlfriend when you feel ready, because you’ll never quite be sure. Marry him when you feel almost ready — when you’re almost sure he’s the one.
Don’t take the job that you feel fully prepared for. Stretch yourself. Push yourself. Take the job you feel almost ready for.
“Almost ready” is similar toThe 80% Rule persuasion hack. Ronald Reagan argued that you don’t need someone to agree with you 100% for them to be “with you” — you just need them to be with you on 80% of the issues. That’s usually enough for them to pledge their support.
The 80% Rule applied to yourself would mean you don’t need to be 100% sure of a decision for it to be the right decision. You need to be 80% sure — or, almost ready.
Otherwise, if you’re lucky, a coach or mentor will be around to interrupt your deliberating and doubt and procrastination — and push you out the airplane before you realize what’s happening!
Entrepreneur. Investor. Author.