Lifecycling: It all Starts with Starting

August, 2016
by Susan Kenny Stevens, Ph.D.

Early in my consulting career, I worked on a project with Gloria Steinem. This was in the late-1980s, and Gloria was by then an icon in the Women’s Movement. One of the team members asked her the secret to the many advances she’d made. “It all starts with starting” was her simple response.

Through the years, those deceptively simple words have come to me over and again, both in the things I’ve started, and those I never quite got around to.

So this is a shout out to those who start stuff. Whether it’s a new enterprise, program, or management routine, you’re converting an idea, a wish or a dream into action. You may face the doubts of others, and for sure you’ll do your own internal questioning. What am I doing starting something new at this stage of life? Wasn’t the old way good enough? Do I really have the energy to do this? What if it fails? How far am I prepared to take this if it actually succeeds?

These are all questions founding entrepreneurs ask themselves at all hours of the day … while showering, or driving, or as we watch movies we can’t quite concentrate on. We become obsessed with our new venture — or “insane adventure,” as Scott Walker referred to his founding experience of Graywolf Press. The process of starting something, particularly a new enterprise, can grab hold of us and not let go.

So here’s to the nonprofit founders and entrepreneurs out there, and all the rest of us who need a little push to get started. Without you, it won’t happen. Wish it. Dream it. Do it. Big, little, or in between, whatever your idea, it all starts with starting.