Every single thing humankind has ever done was the result of asking “What If?”
From H. erectus wondering, “What if I brought this burning stump of wood closer to my burrow?” 1.6 million years ago, to Mark Zukerberg wondering, “What if I created a network on the internet where people can secretly stalk each other and read about the meals their friends ate?” – everything begins with “What if?”
The most terrifying question I never want to answer is “What if I started ( ) ago?”
So I start. I don’t wait till I’m good or qualified. I just start so I can become good and qualified.
Successfully preparing pitches, job interviews and presentations means constantly asking “What if?”
“What if my competitor is better? How do I address that?”
“What if there’s no budget? What alternatives can I offer?”
“What if I focus on Point C because they’re anticipating Point A. How can I better position our idea?”
But this applies to absolutely everything else as well.
“What if I just read 5 pages a night about the business I want to start? Can I set aside 15 minutes after the kids go to sleep?”
“What if I just type 500 words a night for the book I’ve been thinking about writing? How fast would it take for me to finish the first draft?”
“What if I just created something for my own enjoyment and not worry if anybody else liked it? How great would I feel?”
All results of creativity starts with some person asking “What if?” It’s the greatest open-ended question you can ask because it opens up possibilities. The single greatest “What If” question I have ever come across was “What if you knew you absolutely would not fail. What would you do?” There are variations of this question and all equally profound. I would love to hear how you would answer this.
I started this blog about a month ago. I have written every single night. Sometimes what I write resonates with you and sometimes it doesn’t. But I still write. It’s become a habit. I started this about a month ago after I had a conversation with a friend. He gave me a piece of advice.
“Marco, the fewer elements people need to peel away, the faster you can connect.”
That very evening, I started this thing. I didn’t care who read it and I didn’t care if it risked any future business. This is as direct as I can be. For all of you who seem to be a glutton for punishment and return daily – thank you so very much. A special shout-out to the friend who gave me the advice.
I pondered three questions before I started;
1. “What if no one reads this?”
2. “What if people think I’m stupid?”
3. “What if I looked back 3 months from now and wished I had started?”
To numbers 1 and 2, I answered “Whatever. I’m going to do it anyway.”
Because the answer to #3 scared the ____ out of me.