“If you keep too busy learning the tricks of the trade, you may never learn the trade.” – fortune cookie

I am a professional software developer by trade, and there’s a movement within the field called “agile software development.” Agile basically means that instead of trying to plan and schedule every aspect of a project in minute detail, we just build the minimum version that does something useful, then iterate.

That in itself is a phenomenal lesson for business: don’t try to plan everything because you’ll get bogged down in planning, and the plan will go wrong anyway.

In order to make this philosophy work you have to stop second guessing yourself about how to get something done by wondering if what you’re doing will work in the future. Instead of trying to build elaborate, future-proof systems, you need to just do…

The Simplest Thing That Could Possibly Work

You say you don’t know how to drive traffic or sell your product, but that’s wrong. You know how to e-mail your mom. You know how to talk to your friends. Those are simple things, and they can possibly work. You didn’t think about doing them because they don’t seem elaborate or long-term or serious enough to you.

But the thing is that when you’re ready for elaborate, long-term, serious strategies those strategies will become the simplest thing that could possibly work.

You will have done all the ground work by e-mailing your mom, talking to your friends, plastering your neighbor’s windshields with shitty fliers you printed off from Word. You will have made progress by doing those things, and learned about your market. Those new resources and that new knowledge will make it possible to do the bigger things that seem daunting right now: the things you’re currently using as an excuse to stall and “research” instead of going out and getting something accomplished.

So stop agonizing over how to get “prospects,” and just pick up the phone. Stop researching different mailing list services, and just use mailchimp until you need something better. Stop pulling your hair out about web design and just use a wordpress template for now.

You can fix it later. You can fix everything later… as long as it exists to be fixed.