To be sure, the first step in doing anything is important, but I would argue that inertia carries more weight.
It’s almost too easy to begin projects today: putting up a landing page, creating a social media account, sending an email. These are all very basic items that are “first steps,” but it’s whether you continue on in your journey that matters.
The reason I have applications on the Salesforce AppExchange is because of inertia. Sure, I started with a small step, but it was the inertia that kept me moving to the next step that allowed me to complete the projects.
At the beginning, there were many barriers that seemed massive but ended up taking the least amount of time to overcome. I had to think up a good business name, decide how to incorporate, register my business with the state, get a tax ID1, and set up a business checking account all before I could even try to become a partner (Salesforce only lets companies post their applications on the Exchange, not individuals).
At the time I had a 9-5 job, so I made the commitment that I would take a few small steps every night after work and on weekends. By holding to this commitment, I had overcome all of the above issues and much more in just a few short weeks.
Most challenges today seem to have a large barrier to entry but many times that barrier is created by a lack of information, misinformation, or fear. I found with myself that a lack of information has been the largest barrier with any project I’ve started. The best side effect of this is that once that information is gathered, it compounds. Now if I want to create another application on Salesforce, it’s a very smooth process. And if I wanted to begin building applications for another platform, I imagine I would have most of the prerequisites completed and could expect a similar set of issues (which I’ve already researched and overcome).
In order to gain inertia, I made sure to break down tasks into manageable pieces. Since I only had an hour or so at a time, the work I got done in that time contributed to the overall project, even if I hadn’t made any considerable progress on a larger task. It’s important not to visualize work by time spent rather than tasks completed. Many tasks will take 10x as long as others, so inertia is the most important factor in getting these large items completed.
So while you’re planning your next project or working on a current one, be sure to look at inertia as a measuring stick: are you getting things done? Do you feel good about the work you’re completing?
Focusing on these small wins invigorates you and pushes you to the next step, the next goal, the next win. Good luck and keep moving.
1. Forming a business (LLC, or Corporation) and getting your Tax ID can be done online and took me about 30 minutes. This was a huge revelation as I assumed many offices, phone calls, and forms would be involved. I’d recommend looking for advice from a trusted Tax Accountant or Lawyer. (1771 was incorporated in Minnesota)