We all have excuses that keep us from acting. One of my "favorites" is letting an important task keep me from doing other things. "I'll get started on that project after I do the webinar tomorrow," I'll think. Or, "I'll get started on that chapter after I deliver the keynote Friday night."
I have the time. I have the means. But I still allow knowing I have something big to do in the near future stand in the way of doing other things.
It's not a reason; it's just a precondition disguised as an excuse.
Like thinking you need a home office before you can start a business. (I've worked from our dining room table for years.) Like thinking you need fancy software to manage your rental property business. (We use spreadsheets.) Like thinking you have to get past this -- even though you're totally prepared and there's nothing left for you to do -- before you can start on that. (Still working on that one.)
We all have preconditions.
And, eventually, we all regret them, especially when our preconditions keep us from following our personal, professional, or entrepreneurial dreams. (Which, if you think about it, are a blend of personal and professional.)
Take money. As Growthink founder Dave Lavinsky says, being an entrepreneur is the art and science of accomplishing more with less: less money, less staff, less time, etc. But here's the thing: You will never have "enough" cash or funding.
If you don't have enough capital to launch your business the way you want, change your plan.
A lack of money can be a constraint, but it isn't a precondition -- because while you can't always control what you have, you can control what you do with what you do have.
Or time. Everyone has the same amount of time. The only difference is what you're willing to do with yours. If you were lost in the mountains, you wouldn't wait for a GPS device or a sat phone or a supply airlift. You'd walk your butt off and find your way home.
If you apply the same level of importance and urgency to what you want to accomplish, your schedule will suddenly open up.
A lack of time can be a constraint, but it isn't a precondition -- because time is a matter of how badly you want something.
Or connections. People email me all the time asking me to connect them with people like Mark Cuban or Richard Branson. (Lately there's been a run on Roger Penske requests.) They're hoping -- and waiting -- for that one life-changing connection.
But it doesn't work that way. The more influential the person, the more that person is besieged with requests. Besides: Graph a great network and it won't look like a thin vertical line. A great network is a pyramid with a very wide base.
A lack of connections can be a constraint, but it isn't a precondition -- because when you have a good reason to connect, and give before you expect (if ever) to receive, you will be surprised by the people who respond.
That's the thing about preconditions. Certain tools are good, but not essential. Certain experiences are good, but not essential. What you don't have is never as important as what you do have: you, and your willingness to try.
Richard Branson didn't have any of the skills, experience, or connections "required" to start an airline. But he did have enough money to charter one plane, for one trip, and the gumption to walk around an airport holding a sign reading, "One way to the Virgin Islands: $39."
Mark Cuban didn't have any of the skills, experience, or connections "required" to start a streaming service. But he did have one friend with an idea, and the gumption to believe "streaming would someday take over television."
Preconditions? They're just excuses. You will never have everything you need to get started. You will never have everything you need every subsequent step along the way.
But you will always have -- and can always count on having -- you.