The Scariest Moment: Just Before You Start


Hatched by Glasp

Jul 12, 2023

4 min read


The Scariest Moment: Just Before You Start

Starting something new can be intimidating. Whether it's a new project, a new business venture, or even a new hobby, the fear of the unknown can hold us back. However, as Steve Shipley, author and motivational speaker, reminds us, "The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better." It's that initial leap into the unknown that opens the floodgates of progress and sets us on a path towards success.

Steve Shipley's philosophy aligns perfectly with Nike's famous slogan, "Just Do It!" Both Shipley and Nike understand the importance of taking that first step and getting started. Nothing can happen until we take that leap of faith and begin. It's in the act of doing, even the simplest tasks, that we find the motivation and momentum to continue and make progress.

In his book, "Atomic Habits," James Clear emphasizes the power of starting small. He suggests that by breaking down our goals into small, manageable tasks, we can build positive habits and make consistent progress over time. Clear's theory supports Shipley's idea that doing the simplest activities to start encourages us to continue and make meaningful progress.

Taking Inspiration from Stephen King

In addition to Shipley and Nike, Stephen King, one of the most successful authors of our time, also recognizes the importance of starting. King once said, "The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better." He understands that the fear of starting something new can be paralyzing, but once we overcome that fear and begin, we open ourselves up to endless possibilities.

King also emphasizes the importance of writing extensively and reading extensively. He believes that to become a great writer, one must immerse themselves in the world of literature and constantly challenge themselves to improve their craft. This advice can be applied to any field or endeavor. By immersing ourselves in our chosen field, whether through reading, research, or hands-on experience, we can deepen our knowledge and expertise, ultimately leading to success.

The Value of Business Forecasts

While forecasts are often unreliable in their particulars, they can still provide valuable insights for savvy leaders. In an article titled "Business Forecasts Are Reliably Wrong — Yet Still Valuable," it is highlighted that by analyzing multiple forecasts and looking at underlying variables, leaders can identify areas of convergence and divergence, as well as potential white space. These insights can help organizations gain a better understanding of the present and anticipate future trends.

For example, the article predicts that pandemic-driven raw material and labor shortages will initially keep supply chains vulnerable but will eventually revert to normal as businesses and consumers adapt. It also suggests that consumers will expect personalization, and businesses will leverage technology to create personalized experiences at scale. The rise of digital and crypto currencies, the increasing concern for decarbonization, and the shift towards flexible work are other trends identified in the forecast.

Actionable Advice for Strategic Decision-Making

Based on the insights from the business forecast article, here are three actionable pieces of advice for strategic decision-making:

  • 1. Look at many forecasts, not just one: By considering multiple forecasts, you can identify patterns and trends that may not be apparent in a single prediction. This broader perspective can help you make more informed decisions.
  • 2. Look at underlying variables: Instead of solely focusing on the specific forecasts, analyze the underlying variables that drive those predictions. Understanding the factors that influence future outcomes can help you navigate uncertainties and make strategic choices.
  • 3. Look for areas of convergence and divergence: Identify areas where multiple forecasts align and areas where they diverge. This analysis can reveal potential opportunities or risks that may not be immediately evident.


Starting something new can be daunting, but it is crucial to overcome that fear and take the first step. As Shipley, Nike, and Stephen King remind us, the scariest moment is just before we start. By starting small and building positive habits, we can make consistent progress towards our goals.

Business forecasts may be unreliable in their specifics, but they can still provide valuable insights for strategic decision-making. By considering multiple forecasts, analyzing underlying variables, and identifying areas of convergence and divergence, leaders can gain a better understanding of the present and anticipate future trends.

Incorporating these insights into your decision-making process can give you a competitive advantage and help you navigate uncertainties with confidence. So, don't let the fear of starting hold you back. Just do it, and watch as progress unfolds before you.

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