You know the guy. He's full of ideas. Big ideas. Conquering-the-world-and-make-millions ideas. He's going to lunch a company and run a marathon. He's going to lose 25 pounds and write a book. He's either going to ask out the hot girl in marketing or propose to his longtime girlfriend.
He might actually sketch out some business ideas and print up business cards. He might start working out and going for runs some mornings. He might change his eating habits and even lose a few pounds. He might start a book treatment. And he might work up the nerve to say hi to the marketing babe or to start looking for rings.
Months later? He's still doing the same dead-end job. He has stopped running regularly and is getting soft around the middle. The book treatment is still a one-pager.
And both the hot babe and the girlfriend have moved on.
The guy is a classic Starter, and unfortunately there are a lot of guys like him out there.
Starters are great at the gun, but they never finish the race.
They're talkers, not doers.
They're creative thinkers who couldn't turn their thoughts into anything tangible, workable, or sellable—in other words, anything real—even if the prize was a date with Eva Mendes.
There are plenty of reasons Starters can't finish. Often their ideas sound good but fall apart because they haven't thought through the realities. I've lost track of the number of people who've come to me pitching a new print or Web-based magazine. But after I've asked about their competitors, their endemic advertisers (and why they'd advertise with them instead of their competition), their business model, and how much capital they would need before reaching profitability, they slink away with their mouths agape.
I'm not trying to be mean or to diminish their dream, but it' hard out here. It's hard for anyone to transform an idea into reality. And if I don't ask the tough questions, someone else surely will.
It happens. It happens every day.
Now, some Starters are Finishers. They take their idea, assess its viability, do their research, then pursue it like Clint Eastwood pursues bad guys.
Anyone can be a Starter. You want to be a Finisher.
How? Start small. Take an achievable idea ("I'll start working out three days a week," or "I'll drink 36 ounces of water a day"). Make it happen. Finish it.
Next, come up with a bigger idea ("I'm going to reduce my body fat by 5 percent," or "develop a business plan or book proposal"). Now make it happen. Finish it.
Soon you'll be able to go all Usain Bolt—exploding out of the blocks and powering across the tape with your Big Idea.
Be a Finisher. Strike a pose. You win.
Roy S. Johnson
Editor In Chief