5 Reasons to Start Before You’re Ready When You Want to Make an Impact

There are often a million reasons to put off launching your big idea, or the next phase of building out your impactful business…

Like you need to wait until you’ve saved x dollars… until you finally pick a solid direction to go… until you get a website published… until you have the perfect about page for your new website… until your partner gets a promotion at work… and on and on.

The truth is, you’ll never run out of reasons to wait; reasons why it might be more prudent, safer, or wiser to hold off, juuuuust a bit longer.

But what about the fact that so many successful entrepreneurs live by the mantra: start before you’re ready? If you need examples just look to powerhouses like Marie Forleo, Richard Branson, or Reddit.com co-founder Alexis Ohanian, to name a few.

My own official ‘start’ into social entrepreneurship was a bit drastic. In a matter of months I quit my stable job, jumped on a plane and relocated to another continent before I even knew what the Sedge would offer and how it would make money!  

Every person’s situation will be different, and the level to which you are comfortable diving in feet first will depend on how much you are willing (or able) to risk, so I don’t necessarily suggest you follow my ‘all in’ path… But if I could go back in time I wouldn’t change it in a heartbeat.

It allowed me to connect into a network of hundreds of inspiring entrepreneurs from around the world, get a crash course in online business, and eventually build up an online business that touches thousands of people a month — not to mention serve social entrepreneurs directly with training through theSedge.org and Changemakers Association.

None of this would have been possible if I had waited until the perfect time, or until I was fully prepared to tackle this (super-fun) journey!

No matter what your ‘start before you’re ready’ looks like, it’s clear that there is an upside.

In fact, embracing this philosophy could be the only thing standing between you now and you creating huge impact in the world.

In case you aren’t convinced yet, or in case you believe it but are having trouble LIVING it, here’s 5 reasons to start before you’re ready when you want to make an impact.

#1 – It’s OK to start small. (Like really small.)

As I alluded to before, starting before you’re ready will look very different for every entrepreneur. And the truth is, you can ‘get started’ in a great variety of different ways.

Depending on where you’re at now, starting could look like:

  • Finally sharing on social media that blog post you’ve been keeping to yourself,
  • Going to the bank to apply for a start up loan,
  • Offering to speak about your passion/idea/business at a local meetup event,
  • Committing to work with a coach, take an online training, or apply to a post secondary program,
  • Hosting a focus group to get to know your ideal customers or beneficiaries better,
  • Or simply buying the domain name for your future initiative!
  • (Don’t let this list limit your imagination!!)

#2 – You will actually never have it figured out.

I hate to break this to you, but even the best of the best don’t necessarily feel like they have it All. Figured. Out. And that’s often after years of taking messy action and learning on the go!  

No matter what level you reach: there will be new challenges, new questions, and new uncertainty at every turn along the way. The reality is that with every milestone you reach, a new set of ‘figuring it out’ will present itself to you. Once you understand that this scenario is truly unavoidable, it’s no longer a good reason to hold off starting, is it?

#3 – If you wait for the perfect time, you’ll be waiting forever.

There is never a perfect time… People also say this about having a baby, don’t they? And although I can’t speak to that directly at this point in my life, I would venture the same is true for your business or impactful endeavours.

The best option is to work within the parameters you face at any given moment, and still find a way to move your work forward within those. ( If you’re having trouble with this idea, see point #1 😉 )

#4 – You won’t learn the most important things you need to know until you start.

It’s only through action that you discover the essential intelligence and insights that you need to be successful in your work. You can plan in a bubble of safety forever, but all the research and planning in the world cannot prepare you for real interaction with your audience, customers and beneficiaries.

“No business plan survives first contact with your customers.” – Steve Blank

Using lean methodology to present the core of your idea to your users/buyers, engaging them for feedback, and using that to continuously refine and improve your offering is hands down the best strategy for developing a successful and impactful social enterprise.

#5 – Your people need what you have to offer.

Don’t underestimate the unique perspective you bring to the cause, and the solution or benefit that your point of view can bring to the table to improve the status quo. The sooner you get started, the faster you will learn, improve, grow, and reach more and more of the people who are in need of that solution or offering.

The longer you wait, the longer they wait.

If you have a piece of the puzzle to contribute, it’s your responsibility to get it out into the world.

The bottom line is:

When you know you want to create positive impact in the world, it is not a question of when you should get started, it is a question of what step you will take first!


If you’re excited about getting started, there’s lots of great resources designed especially for changemakers here and here.



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