What’s Holding Me Back?

Barriers to Taking the Next Step

The question was simple. “So what would need to be different for you to move ahead?” It made me think. For several years, I’ve been considering launching a new enterprise that would extend our work at Foresight. I have taken steps to set the groundwork, but have yet to fully commit. I was surprised by my answer to my friend’s inquiry: “discontent and naiveté.” I’m too experienced to harbor many illusions about the effort involved in starting something new. Yet naiveté, I’m convinced, is a necessary component of entrepreneurship. If we know how difficult it is going to be, we will never start! Likewise, the power of contentment is underestimated. Comfort breeds stasis. It’s one thing to have an idea, quite another to be motivated enough to pursue it. Dissatisfaction is the mother of initiative. While I enjoy my current projects, there is still a yearning for something more. I don’t want to give up what I have, but rather add to it, which is a barrier unto itself. Knowledge, comfort and busyness: what will I allow to stand between me and perhaps a more extraordinary experience?

Peter NicholsonInnovationist

6 comments on “What’s Holding Me Back?

  1. Wow, this post hit home for me personally and professionally, for what motivates me and what is motivating for the resource management industry that I work in. Thank you for posing the question along with your considerations. It’s good to step back and look at the whole picture in an effort to not get stuck in the daily minutia that can prevent our true efforts from being realized. I look forward to your continuation of this thought process.

    • Cameron: Always glad to know when I’ve hit home. I find this time a year a good time to take stock of such matters, even among all the holiday chaos (more on this in next week’s essay). Stay tune for more.

  2. Peter, what is the first step for you to move towards this new enterprise? It doesn’t have to big a big step, just something to get you started. Sometimes a series of small steps is all it takes to get us started on new endeavors. Better that then spend all our time on navel-gazing (which can have its own rewards) with no progress being made. Just the business coach in me speaking.

  3. Peter, I just re-read your blog and realized that you had already taken some of the small foundational steps. The next step might be to create a pilot program that tests the concept without getting over-committed to something that may or may not work. An iterative “lean start-up” approach might be appropriate for you. Give me a shout if you want to talk.