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The Secret of Launching New Projects: Just Do One Thing

Writing a new book is hard. I put it off, and put it off, to the point that sometimes I start worrying about missing deadlines. But then something magical happens. The pressure gets so great that I force myself to sit down and start. I write one page. Then, the flood begins. It’s as if just writing one page – no matter how good or bad that page is – is the key. It primes the pump and the process begins.

Rarely a day goes by when I don’t meet someone else who wants to do something significant. Write a book or screenplay, produce a movie, launch a new business, go back to college, lose weight, get back in shape – whatever. The problem is, they can’t seem to get started.

I ask: Are you writing the book now?
They reply: Well no. I just don’t seem to have the time, or I just can’t get started.

My response? DO ONE THING. It doesn’t have to be big. It just has to be one thing. Write that first page, create the first design, sign up, join the gym – whatever the first step, just take it.

There’s something psychological and motivational about the power of the start. Make it small, make it ugly, make it rough – just make it.

What’s the one thing that gets you going on new projects?

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Phil Cooke is the founder and CEO of Cooke Media Group in Los Angeles (CookeMediaGroup.com) where his team helps church, ministry, and nonprofit organizations engage the culture more effectively through media. He's a filmmaker, media consultant, and author of "Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media."