New Business: If not now, when?

Published: Thursday 8th November 2012

It took me a little while to catch up but I have now been truly swept up by Olympics fever and the successes of Team GB. The tipping point for me was watching Nick Skelton – a man of 54, with a broken body (back injuries and a hip replacement) and Peter Charles, 52, also plagued by career-threatening injuries, leading the show jumping team to victory. Skelton was competing at his sixth Olympics and was quoted afterwards as saying “I’ve been to a lot of Games and made a lot of mistakes but I’ve finally got there”.  Everyone has had their heroes in these Games and the Channel 4 trailer for the Paralympics shows better than anything why we should be in awe. But what is it that makes these athletes successful?

More than anything, they have the driving force and determination to succeed. We have heard about the setbacks, personal sacrifices and support from coaches and families – sometimes great personal sacrifices have been made. In addition, there appears to be some sort of inner force that has kept these athletes going, as they accepted defeats and failures as yet more reason to carry on and pursue their ultimate goals. A clear example of this is Mo Farah, the 10,000m runner, who thrilled the nation last Saturday with his Gold winning performance. Yet this was a young man who not very long ago was struggling at school, who couldn’t speak English and who could so easily have been caught up with the “wrong crowd”.

Self-determination, then, and the refusal to accept failure seem to be common denominators. The same ideology that inspired the name of our company – jfdi®  

If we apply the same principles to ourselves in everyday life as well as at work, surely we will succeed too? What is it that stops us from reaching our full potential in life? The reasons usually aren’t complicated – what’s stopping you, is you. Sometimes we just need to face this question – “If not now, when?”

And all too often we can suffer from “analysis paralysis”.

Here are our top 10 tips to break through this and jfdi (adapted from

  1. Lose the idea that you always need to be right. Perfectionism is the enemy.
  2. Take risks – start slowly and “fake it till you make it” but remember, without risk, there really is no reward
  3. Test, test, test, rather than trying to make sure you’re right about everything before ever taking a step. Most ideas and scenarios can be tested and trialled at relatively little expense.
  4. Learn to “fail fast”. If you can adopt and understand that fast failures are the quickest path to success, you are likely to achieve your objectives more rapidly and more consistently.
  5. Try some creative exercises and activities. If you’re firmly rooted on the left side of the brain, make a concerted effort to become more creative and adventurous. It will help you overcome your tendency toward analysis paralysis.
  6. “Fail fast” doesn’t necessarily mean “fails big”. Being willing to fail from time to time will give you the feedback and insights you need to achieve your goals but this doesn’t equate to taking pointless risks.
  7. Develop support groups. Find others who, like you, are trying to make things happen and make a difference in the world.
  8. Push each other to take action and learn from your mistakes. Share what you learn with the group.
  9. Identify role models. Find people and stories that inspire you to take action. Read their stories and their writings often, so you stay inspired to be proactive and make things happen. Surround yourself with positive people.
  10. Seek to be a role model and inspire others.
  11. Celebrate your achievements and those of others. Become a champion of achievement and action.

To achieve our own goals in life, to win new business or even a Gold Olympic medal, we think that the same strategies and processes can be applied.

Coming soon, jfdi® is launching a new course in the art of “how not to procrastinate”: