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Start Before You’re Ready

For nearly ten years I’ve worked with some of my best friends for an organization whose mission and vision I could not be more passionate about. During my time on staff there I have steadily grown in influence, leadership and benefits; it is a great job that became the perfect career.

One month ago I quit my job to start a new business with no clients, no assets, and no revenue.

Any rational person could look at my circumstances and recognize I’m not ready to start a new business. I have a wife and four children and no savings; I basically type and design for a living, but I don’t own a computer; I’ve had a dedicated home office for years, but I just gave that up so my wife could have an art studio. I’m obviously not ready to start a business, but none of that matters.

Having nothing is my fuel.

I’m obsessed with success, but for far too long I’ve let that be an obstacle to my growth:

  • I can’t start new healthy habits because I don’t know if they’re the best healthy habits.
  • I don’t habitualize self-discipline because I’m not sure I can maintain it.
  • I can’t do my best work because I’ve been doing too much work.
  • I can’t start because I’m afraid to fail.

But it’s different now. I’m done waiting. I’m choosing to start before I’m ready; here is why:

I Have a Clear Dream

I know exactly what I want to do: help hard to brand organizations succeed in their missions.

This clarity of this goal makes it easy to recognize what projects to get involved with and why. And his mission is also so much more ambitious than “just delivering good work”. I want to be an integral part of the success of my clients – this is much harder, but also much more valuable.

I’m with a Great Team

I’m not jumping off this cliff alone, I’m doing it with only people I would trust to help me build a plane before we hit the ground. I’m partnering with the most creative person I’ve ever met, the most organized and logistical person I know, the most visionary designer I’ve ever seen, and the strongest hybrid creative leaders I’ve ever worked with.

If anyone can build a plane before we crash – it’s these people.

I’m Ready

I’ve got no clients, no work, and no revenue, but that doesn’t mean I’m not ready. I know exactly what I want to do, I know I can do it, and I know I’m doing it with the sharpest team.

I’m halfway through a great new book by James Clear, Atomic Habits, and this is one of my favorite takeaways so far:

“You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than your current results.”

It doesn’t matter what I don’t have right now. It doesn’t matter how successful I’m not in this moment. All that matters is what I’m doing – my habits and actions – is putting me on the path success.

I’m not ready, but I’m starting and I’m headed in the right direction.

If this doesn’t work, my family doesn’t eat.

What do you need to start before you’re ready? I’d love to hear about it.

3 thoughts on “Start Before You’re Ready Leave a comment

  1. I think this is absolutely incredible! Much like you I have been working through and figuring out what my next move is and what trajectory I am on. I have been working for the same company for 15 years and have been wrestling with the idea of stepping away and doing my own thing. In the last month I have been working out the details and preparing to go on what my wife and I have been calling a “crazy adventure” and reading this today just gives me so much more faith in doing it. You are a great man who is going to do great things Justin and I commend you for sharing everything you do. Looking forward to seeing where God brings you and your team. Praying for you brother.


  2. Those bullet points totally resonate, those are a constant battle for me as well. I play it safe and won’t risk because of my laziness and fear to start. It’s paralyzing.
    I need to start asking for advice and guidance, I need to start using my gifts to share the message most important to me, I need to take chances when I can’t see what’s ahead – when my fear of rejection try’s to choke out the little courage I have.
    I applaud you and your team for fighting compromise we all want to settle for. Ive told myself “just freakin start man” on some things and good habits are starting to take shape. Im hoping these little areas I’m growing in will be the start of life change and kick off a new chapter.
    Thank you for sharing and giving me some perspective and motivation. I’ll be paying close attention to your new chapter and wish you guys well!


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