Overcome Project Fear, Start Your Project Today!

Entrepreneur 121 Comments

Procrastination CartoonIf you are anything like me, you have more ideas for projects than you know what to do with. Personally I’m always thinking up new ideas and concepts for websites I’d like to start and always putting them on the back burner for fear that they will fail or take way too much to complete. Apparently the old saying “You never know until you try” has never resonated with me. Over the past 3 years or so I’ve probably started (more like barely started) over a dozen different projects only to lose interest or never fully commit to starting them. What’s the problem? Fear!

It’s hard to admit, but yes I am afraid of my own projects. Afraid that they will take too long to complete; Afraid that they will never be successful; And afraid that I don’t have the knowhow to do everything that needs to be done to make them successful. I’d like to think that I’m not alone and that those of you that have never really had a largely successful website are having similar fears and doubts. But the better thing to think about is how to overcome these fears and take the necessary actions to bring my ideas to life.

So how can beat our fears and kick our procrastinating habits to the curb? Well there are a few tips which I am starting to employ that are making project management easier and my fears disappear:

1. Divide and Conquer – The saying that “Rome wasn’t built in a day” has always had some wisdom behind it. Any project worth doing probably isn’t going to be completed in days or weeks, but will probably demand months of your time. It’s disheartening when you pour months of your own time and effort into a project only to see another 8 months of needed work and time to see it to completion. Instead of looking at the project as a whole look at the project as the sum of its many parts.

Simply put, take the project and divide it into smaller, more manageable tasks. Map out your project and list all of the little steps it takes to get to your final goal of project completion. Then take the items you KNOW you can complete from the list and complete them one by one. Be sure to cross them out when they are completed to get the sense of accomplishment.

2. Incentivize Your Tasks – It’s human nature to have the “What’s in it for me?” attitude. Why should I complete this task or how will I benefit from doing this? Besides the end result of having your project completed and hopefully becoming successful, consider rewarding yourself as you complete milestones and cross things off your list. By telling yourself that you get to go out to a fancy dinner or get to have 1 day of complete video game vegetation if you complete one of your tasks, you will WANT to complete the tasks even more.

3. Embrace Mistakes – One of the things that I’m learning more and more each day is that you are bound to make mistakes. They are simply unavoidable. Instead of letting them bring you down and instead of using them as a reason for not moving forward on your projects….embrace them! Realize your mistakes and learn from them. Use what you’ve learned to not make the same mistake again and to help your next project or phase of your project succeed.

The moral of this post is to simply move forward with your projects no matter what. Don’t let yourself use fear as an excuse. If you truly think your project has the potential to succeed then what do you honestly have to lose? Perhaps its a few months of your time and some money. Are you willing to exchange that for the possibility of making it big? As far as I know, those who have made it big didn’t sit back and wonder IF they should start their next project or IF they were capable of completing it. They set their goals and went for it.

What are your fears? Do you have any projects that you have yet to start due to procrastination? I’d love to hear your take. Leave a comment!


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    1. 1 Britt Phillips July 15, 2008

      Great article packed with solid advice.

    2. 2 Alex the Freelance Twin July 15, 2008

      I was there at one point. My first big programming project that just didn’t take off like I just *KNEW* it would lol. And I put months and months into that project. It’s still around and has about 11,000 registered users but nothing like I imagined for the market potential.

      That was very discouraging, but when Justin learned to program and we made a few successful websites, I realized there’s no reason not to try. Plus once you have some passive income, it’s a lot easier to find more similar revenue streams.

      Some websites fail, thats just the natures of the business but you have to try. Great post Erik.

    3. 3 dcr July 15, 2008

      I think tip #2 is the best of all. Too often we think of making money as the incentive for moving ahead with projects. But, the money doesn’t come in quickly and we get disillusioned and try something else. I think you’ll have a better chance of success if you use something as a motivator and reward, as you’ve described. Great tip!

    4. 4 kamakaze.org » so true… July 16, 2008

      […] pretty true of me, except for the reason. My reason is mainly time and energy. Still, it’s a nice little read with common sense […]

    5. 5 ChiQ Montes July 18, 2008

      Sometimes when I have projects in mind, I do it right away. Or I document it right away, I hate having to lose them… i love the post! thanks!

    6. 6 WAHM Tara July 18, 2008

      Procrastination is a major issue for me! I have some many really good ideas and just taking the time to do them has not happened yet.

      Actually one project I just finally started I put off for over a year. Now that I have started it, I have not gave it my all. I did at first, and recently have slacked off way to much.

      It is on my goal list however! So I will get it fully running and hopefully make some extra money from it.

    7. 7 Linda Morton August 4, 2008

      Erik,

      I liked your first point. I call that eating an elephant – one step at a time.

      If we divide a large task into many smaller ones and work on them a little everyday, we’ll eventually get the large task completed.

      Another issue is that sometimes we can get so involved in tasks and projects that we need to step back and consider how we can most effectively spend our time. We can’t do everything so we need to concentrate on projects with the best opportunity to return our investment of time and money.

    8. 8 Jay August 8, 2008

      Thanks. This made it much easier to keep going with my blog.

    9. 9 al August 10, 2008

      interesting site it learns me a lot…

    10. 10 al August 10, 2008

      thanks for the information….

    11. 11 Adam August 12, 2008

      Thanks, as a new blogger I get frustrated with watching my stats creep slowly up. It’s easy to start thinking “Well, now that I know a little bit more about it, I can start another blog that will be better!

      But I think the one I have is pretty good, and I’m going to stick with it.

      Thanks for the sound advice.

    12. 12 shooting games August 13, 2008

      I realized theres no reason not to try. Plus once you have some passive income, its a lot easier to find more similar revenue streams.

    13. 13 RnB-Radio-Addict August 13, 2008

      mhm… point 2 seems to be there automatically in my eyes: getting money is my motivation. :-) and point 3… mhm.. it’s like “embrace your enemies” – not an easy thing to do :)

    14. 14 Sharon August 22, 2008

      Nice post! You have clearly explained how to overcome the project stress.This can help many people,who are facing with this problem.

    15. 15 Karn Patel August 24, 2008

      I think that their should be more content like this on the net trying to get you to go against procrastination. All you need is that slight boost (like this post) to get you started on a new project. Then it’s all up hill from there.

    16. 16 Samsung Phone August 25, 2008

      Thank you for your post, as well as the little comic. I look forward to future reads.

    17. 17 Brent's Utah County Auto August 25, 2008

      After re-reading this article I realize these tips are really great. They flow into eachother and make sense. It’s still hard to do a project when you could be spending time vegetating though, no matter what the incentive.

    18. 18 Download Youtube Moblile August 25, 2008

      This is a great article. It has always been important to start projects without fear.

    19. 19 Red Roters August 26, 2008

      i have been working oh wait i mean thinking about working on this fish tank i have i really want to get it done now thanks

    20. 20 investing for beginners August 26, 2008

      this is dead on for me. i have literally dozens of projects/ideas all written down on scrap paper and shoved into my ‘idea’ book.

      i have found that fear isn’t so much a demotivator as much as I let my A.D.D. get the better of me and have difficulty preventing myself from moving onto the next ‘project’.

      the way i am getting around this? i have taken ONE idea, and made it a hobby. something i can throw a little effort at here and there to keep it going long term.

      just another suggestion for others out there having a hard time sitting on one idea like me!

    21. 21 Ash August 27, 2008

      Thanx for the informative post Erik, hoping to read more post from you like this…

    22. 22 marty p. August 30, 2008

      im gonna implement some of this myself. better pick up GTD again!

    23. 23 Sexy Gifs September 2, 2008

      Nice read ty

    24. 24 reverse phone search September 2, 2008

      reminds me to pick up Getting Things Done.

    25. 25 Jude September 3, 2008

      Hello Boys & Girls, like the Deisgn of this Page. Pretty Nice. :)

    26. 26 havefaith September 3, 2008

      Very nice post, still skeptical about making the first step.

    27. 27 Getting Hit On September 4, 2008

      procrastination gets the best of me, and the other bad thing – laziness. Thank you for this post. I needed some motivation.

    28. 28 Delhi university Student September 5, 2008

      Nice post and thanx for sharing, its cool, hoping to read more post such like this in the future from you :)

    29. 29 al September 5, 2008

      interesting site it really learns me a lot…

    30. 30 al September 5, 2008

      thanks for the information…

    31. 31 Hummer H2 September 6, 2008

      thanks for the information.

    32. 32 Natalie September 7, 2008

      have a nice weekend to all!!!!!

    33. 33 Dining Club UK September 9, 2008

      Hi,

      I think there are nothing to worry about it.If you have a good knowledge to slices your entire works into some pieces then there will be easy to handle all the works efficiently.

      Regards
      Gopal

    34. 34 wholesale September 9, 2008

      Sometimes when I have projects in mind, I do it right away. Or I document it right away, I hate having to lose them i love the post! thanks!

    35. 35 Bernhard September 9, 2008

      Nearly each week look in I here and read with large interest the interesting and always well written contributions. Today I would like to leave gladly to a greeting from Thuringia in Germany!

    36. 36 Forum September 13, 2008

      Thanks

    37. 37 Number Forty September 14, 2008

      I have that same problem. I just can’t seem to get started on things. It really does help me a lot to divide up the work into small chunks and give myself a reward for each one.

    38. 38 JD September 15, 2008

      oh boy, doesn’t this bring back memories, haha.

    39. 39 UpTakeAllDay September 15, 2008

      This is my first time checking out your blog and I’m happy I wandered along and found it. I work at a small start-up, and I find many of your tips could and should be applied to the way I get about my work.

    40. 40 Kit Kat September 17, 2008

      I think what you are saying happen to me also. Are you a perfectionee? Perfectionee got this problem of scare this scare that, and at the end of the day, they got nothing done.

    41. 41 James September 18, 2008

      Hi, I found your blog on this new directory of WordPress Blogs at blackhatbootcamp.com/listofwordpressblogs. I dont know how your blog came up, must have been a typo, i duno. Anyways, I just clicked it and here I am. Your blog looks good. Have a nice day. James.

    42. 42 spyware September 18, 2008

      Nice post! You have clearly explained how to overcome the project stress.This can help many people,who are facing with this problem.

    43. 43 Tech blog September 18, 2008

      You know my feeling is everyone wants to start to day, but they don get the opportunity or the space too……

    44. 44 hawaii mls September 19, 2008

      That was very discouraging, but when Justin learned to program and we made a few successful websites, I realized theres no reason not to try.

    45. 45 50 cent September 21, 2008

      Interesting read.

    46. 46 Agnus September 22, 2008

      Thanks, as a new blogger I get frustrated with watching my stats creep slowly up. Its easy to start thinking Well, now that I know a little bit more about it, I can start another blog that will be better!

    47. 47 plumbing queens September 25, 2008

      Thanks, as a new blogger I get frustrated with watching my stats creep slowly up. Its easy to start thinking Well, now that I know a little bit more about it, I can start another blog that will be better!

    48. 48 Ryan Jin September 29, 2008

      Sounds great looking forward to it ! this is really nice mate! good job! Thanx!

    49. 49 offshore hosting September 29, 2008

      I think tip #2 is the best of all. Too often we think of making money as the incentive for moving ahead with projects.

    50. 50 Love Match September 30, 2008

      Great article. It gives good views and concepts on the subject. Keep up the good work there.

    51. 51 Sam October 1, 2008

      Good article.The information prior information about the topic.thnks for sharing it.

    52. 52 nubtub October 3, 2008

      nice post, very inspirational and just want I needed to read at the moment

    53. 53 Mike Riley October 5, 2008

      I actually have a project I’ve had floating around in my mind for a web application that is absurdly simple, but I’m afraid that if it actually is successful I won’t have the time or resources to scale it appropriately. I pretty much agree with you that I’ll never know if I don’t try, and hopefully I’ll be launching it soon!

    54. 54 celia October 6, 2008

      Thanks for this post! It seems like some of us are built for creating ideas and beginning projects… but the challenge lies in completion and follow through. I appreciate hearing the comments of other readers and have found this blog to be very inspiring!

    55. 55 Colin Klinkert October 6, 2008

      I agree with you. The insights you have so provided here helps and I have enjoyed this post. More power Erik!

    56. 56 Kay (aka PC doctor) October 8, 2008

      I have using project pier for a last couple of months. It helps to share documents online with other users and set project management. This is a great way to get started

    57. 57 puppy October 11, 2008

      Everyone feel the fear the same before it starts. But the fear goes away after some time.

    58. 58 Nokia 3D Java games October 11, 2008

      That is really a very awesome. I have a good time reading your article.

    59. 59 Ali Shah October 12, 2008

      Awsome approach
      Hope to Have More In the Future

    60. 60 Karen Davis October 13, 2008

      I’d like to change a word from a famous saying: It’s better to have tried and lost than never to have tried at all. :)

    61. 61 learn japanese online October 15, 2008

      Some great project tips, now if only I can follow them! Thanks for the informative post.

    62. 62 LCD Enclosures October 16, 2008

      The thread is good, but I find the best way to start a new project is head on, this way you can work through any concerns whilst your on the project. This will help in reducing the time you think “should I…or shouldn’t I?”

      Tony Bradley.
      CEO

    63. 63 Myron Tay October 17, 2008

      Its not starting thats difficult is the trying to complete the project thats killing me. >.<

    64. 64 decleor October 17, 2008

      Great advice. Kicking off a new project can often be the biggest hurdle. I use the divide and conquer approach via todo lists with lots of mini incentives like – have a cup of copy once the list is completed, go for a stroll once I’ve done task number one etc.
      As far as completion goes – I try to define a set of completion criteria and once those are met – jobs done – and time for a big incentive (holiday, night out, drink down the pub.. etc.)

    65. 65 Car classifieds October 17, 2008

      I am always thinking up new ideas and concepts for websites Id like to start and always putting them on the back burner for fear that they will fail or take way too much to complete. Apparently the old saying You never know until you try has never resonated with me.

    66. 66 Cataratas del iguazu October 20, 2008

      I like your site, this post is very good, see you soon

    67. 67 morteros October 20, 2008

      Thank you, is my first visit, nice pages, i will come back, but with time.

    68. 68 Sehar October 21, 2008

      That is very informative and interesting post. I liked your first point. I call that eating an elephant – one step at a time.

      If we divide a large task into many smaller ones and work on them a little everyday, well eventually get the large task completed.

    69. 69 Armen Shirvanian October 21, 2008

      This is classic material that one should start their project immediately, but quite a few might not take part in the procedure since it can be postponed. A good way to counter this from occurring is to remind individuals that postponing a project is a guaranteed way for the project to become stopped.

    70. 70 Grumble October 22, 2008

      It’s so true, so often it’s difficult, but you just have to bite the bullet and go ahead with your ideas. Do or die, as they say.

    71. 71 Rachelloury October 23, 2008

      I think there are nothing to worry about it.If you have a good knowledge to slices your entire works into some pieces then there will be easy to handle all the works efficiently.

    72. 72 Left Hand Drive Cars October 24, 2008

      I was there at one point. My first big programming project that just didnt take off like I just *KNEW* it would lol. And I put months and months into that project.

    73. 73 Webmasters Forum October 25, 2008

      Hey great post . Thanks for this.

    74. 74 Forest Central October 27, 2008

      I came over from your other blog. Nice domain name by the way!

    75. 75 Jason Hights November 3, 2008

      I just got a new website. Did the whole thing using TaskUs (www.Taskus.com
      ). I’m starting to believe in this personal
      outsourcing thing.

    76. 76 Outdoor LCD tv enclosures March 5, 2009

      A new project is like diving in to a freezing swimming pool, you just don’t know how cold it is and it is this fear that restricts us all.
      Embrace new challenges as they make us stronger.

      Dave Williams.

    77. 77 LCD enclosures March 29, 2009

      Delaying starting a project is one of the worst things you can do, as this gives your brain time to internally talk you out of it, creating negative thoughts, making you feel anxious about it.

      All I can say, is if you feel good about the project, just go for it and hoave no regrets – EVER!

      John Hulyton

    78. 78 oyun indir April 13, 2009

      thanks good nice

    79. 79 Sexspielfilm.com July 2, 2009

      Danke fr die Informationen :)

    80. 80 Sean July 27, 2009

      Some great tips to keep in mind, thanks :)

    81. 81 pamela July 30, 2009

      Great advice you have here. Thanks for sharing! It will be easier for you to handle these kind of stuffs if you are used to it and if you are really determined for your work.

    82. 82 dijital bask?l? perde August 7, 2009

      great article, thanks…

    83. 83 Internet Business August 31, 2009

      I have using project pier for a last couple of months. It helps to share documents online with other users and set project management. This is a great way to get started

    84. 84 keibayosou September 7, 2009

      Hey , nice to meet you

    85. 85 Paralegal Job Board September 24, 2009

      I think “embrace your mistakes” may be the most important. I’ve envisioned hundreds of projects over the years, developed many of them and still I’m disappointed that I didn’t get a chance to try them all. What I’ve learned, however, is that not all of them work, but learning from what was wrong with the project and applying that new-found knowledge to the next project that’s launched is key. I am, however, one with whom “you never know until you try” resonates quite a bit!

    86. 86 Bloggers Payback October 7, 2009

      Yep, this resonates with me… the fear factor…
      I think it’s your rule #1 – divide and conquer – that works best for me.
      Thank you for sharing… good to know I’m not alone…
      Thanks: Rob

    87. 87 Housing Grants October 19, 2009

      Fear of failure is the biggest threat to motivation. That’s why I always try to urge people not to TRY, but to DO. Trying os going forward with the intention to fail. Nike really said it best: Just do it, and don’t let anything stop you.

    88. 88 Housing Grants November 2, 2009

      Going back to my point made earlier, it’s getting started and overcoming the fears that is the hardest part, but I assure all the weary, muster up enough courage to get going and you’ll be well on your way.

    89. 89 resort for couples December 3, 2009

      Im not a shy person or anything.Its just that I get really nervous when I have to speak in front of crowds.This is also affecting my decison about going back 2 college.I get nervous when I have to speak in front of the class about a project I did or when the teacher calls on me to answer a question.I dont have any problems socializing though.my main problem is that I get real nervous when I have to speak in front of the class.

    90. 90 Dave Judus @ Hud grants December 21, 2009

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    91. 91 Brian @ Housing Grants January 5, 2010

      Great post!! Killing procrastination is a biggest achievement and it needs a lot of discipline and focus. I completely agree with point 2 and 3, thinking that way will definitely help overcome fears. Its like eating a frog, the more you look at it you feel sick and you keep pushing it to the next day, its best to eat the frog immediately and get over it. Eat the frog and procrastinating will only make it worst. Thanks for sharing such an insightful article, it was a great read, will come back for future posts.

    92. 92 ficken February 17, 2010

      Thanks for the good read. Large projects should be divided into small, do-able steps – i do it just like you say and it works great for me.

    93. 93 Government Grants Truth March 6, 2010

      To be honest, my hardest objective is to stay focused. I have all of these projects going at once, and most of them aren’t even profitable! Yet, I feel like I’m accomplishing a lot, because I’m always working on something. But wouldn’t I rather have a few successes, than widespread mediocrity? Of course! But isn’t that weird that I don’t do it naturally?

    94. 94 master April 13, 2010

      YES! Thank you, i’ll start tonight!

    95. 95 Gadeskilte April 26, 2010

      That is very informative and interesting post. I liked your first point. Some great project tips. thanks :)

    96. 96 Clavinova April 27, 2010

      Very usefull tips, thank you for this.

    97. 97 Christopher Roberts May 14, 2010

      Really brilliant tips, thanks :)

      New to your blog by the way, just want to let you know I think it is a really good idea to have a quirky image with each article!

    98. 98 Applications for Independent Musicians May 21, 2010

      great tip, great post.. keep it up!

    99. 99 ??????????? ? ?????? June 21, 2010

      thanks, thank you for this

    100. 100 Sergey3 September 23, 2010

      great tip

    101. 101 EV SSL Certificate October 29, 2010

      Very nice article. I am going to forward to all my friends
      Thanks with regard

    102. 102 private label rights packages November 8, 2010

      This is a great article- thanks. Its also worth mentioning that projects shouldn’t be started until the previous project is completed. I’ve got some projects i’m itching to start, but I won’t until I am satisfied that my current project is bringing in the results I expect.

    103. 103 mATTES November 17, 2010

      YES! Thank you, ill start tonight!

    104. 104 holiday chateau france January 4, 2011

      Thanks very much for this excellent post.

    105. 105 Personal Car Leasing January 5, 2011

      This is a great post to read for the new year, must get my latest project today!

    106. 106 Halloween Haunt January 6, 2011

      yes!

    107. 107 Foni Meyer February 4, 2011

      Now I understand!

    108. 108 resell rights ebooks February 14, 2011

      What a great blog- its giving me that urge to get something done already!! I’ll pass this on to my twitter followers- well done and thanks!!

    109. 109 Twitter Trackbacks for Overcome Project Fear, Start Your Project Today! by Entrepreneurs Wealth: The Internet Entrepreneur Blog [entrepreneurswealth.com] on Topsy.com February 14, 2011

      […] Overcome Project Fear, Start Your Project Today! by Entrepreneurs Wealth: The Internet Entreprene… entrepreneurswealth.com/overcome-project-fear-start-your-project-today.html#comment-2359 – view page – cached If you are anything like me, you have more ideas for projects than you know what to do with. Personally Im always thinking up new ideas and concepts for websites Id like to start and always putting them on the back burner for fear that they will fail or take way too much to complete. Apparently the old saying You never know until you try has never resonated with me. […]

    110. 110 Cheap SSL Certificate March 10, 2011

      The blog was absolutely fantastic! Lots of great information and inspiration, both of which we all need!
      Keep posting as I am gonna come to read it everyweek.Thanks for sharing. keep it up.

    111. 111 Tim Lyon May 30, 2011

      Fantastic article that is chock full of ideas and insights. Procrastination may be my biggest weakness which leads to not finishing things I start. I believe this thwarts any chance of success. Also, comment 102 mentioned: “Its also worth mentioning that projects shouldnt be started until the previous project is completed”excellent piece of advice; this resonates with me. Thanks again for everyone’s suggestions.

    112. 112 Dredd June 24, 2011

      I too, was afraid to get started before. Until I read about “fear”, and what does it do to hold us back to do our ambitions, to unleash our desires and passion.

      I always remember a quote from Robert Kiyosaki,
      “Face you fears and doubts, and new worlds will open to you”.

    113. 113 Tim Warren July 2, 2011

      A very thought-provoking, informative article. The message I walk away with after reading this article is “How to Change”. The first thing I do is recognize and acknowledge the payoff for not changing. Next I discover another way to do something in which the payoff is equal or greater than not changing. Lastly, I execute a plan of action to make it sustainable in the long-term. This is not easy and requires steadfast resolve, but it’s well worth it. Thanks for a motivational post.

    114. 114 Flirten July 8, 2011

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    115. 115 Erotik July 8, 2011

      Aber ganz egal. Wenn man sich ein Porno im Kopf abspielen lsst, kann das auch auf einer einsamen Insel zu Erotik fhren

    116. 116 megavideo streaming July 30, 2011

      hey,your writing skills is good.why not keep updating this blog?

    117. 117 Amateur August 13, 2011

      This is a great post to read for the new year, must get my latest project today!

    118. 118 resell rights ebooks August 23, 2011

      What a refreshing post! Some great tips here that motivates you upon reading! I’m gonna tweet this to my followers- many thanks!

    119. 119 dubturbo October 9, 2011

      Thinking can make a man late on his success. If you believe, you can have success on it, go for it. There will be some problems, this is natural. A very motivational post.

    120. 120 nuc October 16, 2011

      when I read this,I think I will go back to my old project..

    121. 121 Mercy@Nikenya.com November 14, 2011

      a personal project is time saving and easier to manage too, people should go for such instead of those of partnership, a good pic at the top of blog.

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