When I decided to step out of crime analysis and open my own business as a private investigator, a friend asked me about how long it would take from the time I quit to the time I opened my doors for business. I told him I was hoping for four months, but my dad always taught me to double my expected timeline as a more realistic goal. My dad is right about 95% of the time, so I listened to his voice in my head and set a goal for eight months.
I was not prepared for the outlier - adopting my son. Twelve months later, I’ve opened my doors for business. I spent an entire year preparing my business to open. Granted, there were a lot of things I had to check off of my checklist, but I really had no idea it would take that long. There is a learning curve in being a new first-time mom. I am also an ultra-planner. I wanted all of my ducks in a row for my future clients. I wanted efficiency, effectiveness, productivity, and fairness for my clients. To be fair in my pricing and timing, I knew I needed to be quick and get results. For me, that meant studying, reading, taking notes, making lists, and practicing.
While I worked to become a solid private investigator, I began learning what it meant to own a business. So really, I was working on two very separate goals to obtain my ultimate goal in opening my own PI business. The business side was the part that took more time than I expected. I’m the planner; my husband is the doer. We make a great team. So while working solo on my PI business, I planned and planned some more. My husband kept encouraging me to move along the best he could without being a part of what I was doing. In going solo and opening your own business, there is much work to be accomplished before you can start taking on clients. It seemed that the items I crossed off of my list couldn't keep up with the items I was adding to it. I kept plugging away until I began to see light at the end of the tunnel.
Two months ago, I had a conversation with the great Justin Seitz, creator of Hunchly. He encouraged me to bite the bullet and open already. It’s funny how sometimes a near-stranger can say just the right thing at the time you need to hear it and you listen. You finally listen. (By the way, Justin, you’re not a near-stranger anymore). Justin said to me, “Don’t spend too much time planning. Only about half of what you plan for is going to work anyway. The best thing you can do is just go for it. If you wait to feel ready, you’ll never open.”
So that’s my advice to you. No matter your endeavor, whatever it is you’ve been planning and planning for… there’s only so much planning you can do. Stop hiding behind the planning and pull the plug. Do it already.