Last night I got off Bart and started walking through uptown Oakland on the way to my evening appointment. Shortly after exiting the station I approached an intersection and dutifully hit the crosswalk button, waiting for the green light to indicate I could cross.
While standing there, the theme of two conversations I had earlier in the day became crystal-clear. Each of these people was doing the same thing in their businesses: waiting for a signal to give them permission to take action.
In one conversation, a friend wanted permission to pitch her services to one of her dream clients (after she had an amazing conversation with the dream client at a recent conference). Another conversation was about a business idea, but he was waiting for a map of how was “right” to move forward.
Guess what, you don’t have to wait for that little green light – go ahead and jaywalk.
Look both ways for a Mack truck and start walking across the intersection. Once you are on the other side start tackling that project, creating that service, or launching that product.
By waiting for permission, you both don’t have to reject or accept your idea. You get to keep thinking about it in the abstract and in turn will never learn if it’s brilliant or an absolute failure. But as Todd Henry reminds us in Die Empty, waiting is really just a less risky form of “no.” [affiliate link] You don’t have to put anything on the line because you are waiting for someone else to give you permission to move forward.
Waiting is really just a less risky form of “no.”
So jaywalk, take charge and give yourself permission. Or if you need permission to move forward, here’s your green light.
Last night I decided that I was going to give myself permission to reach out to a potential collaborator. My email pitch is sitting in her inbox.
Let me know in the comments below the one thing you are going to give yourself permission to start tackling today.