Tips to stop procrastinating and beat your start-up demons

Leaders in Heels - Tips to beat your start-up demons

When I decided on a frequency for my newsletter #StartupFuel, I didn’t think a fortnight would come around so quickly. But it does (and I kind of love it!).

A week would have sent me over the edge. but it’s not something I dwelled on for too long. My thought process was:

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Ooooh a week is too often! Ok, I’ll do it fortnightly.’


A fortnightly delivery schedule made sense because — to be honest — I didn’t know if I’d have enough material to share weekly … but also because it gives me and my subscribers both a chance to live a little in between; to percolate on what I’ve shared and to be wildly happy when they see me in their inbox again. (As opposed to that woman who shows up every week. Good God!)

But it also reminds me that when we’re starting up – whether a new project or business – we have a zillion seemingly tiny decisions to make, and the time it takes to make them can be crazily disproportionate to their importance in the bigger picture.

And questions like ‘Shall I deliver my newsletter weekly or fortnightly?’ can burn a hole right through our brain.

So I want to tell you this:

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Don’t sweat the small stuff; don’t get caught up in the detail.

And that’s because one of the core, immutable laws of starting up is: Start before you’re ready.

Because otherwise you may never start.

Did you hear that?

Because otherwise you may never start.

The truth is you can use a number of unimportant excuses to delay launching your business or new projects for months … or even years.

But guess what?

This is procrastination. (Not even undercover, right out there in broad daylight.)

Yeah you’re worried about it not being perfect, but nothing is. Ever.

That’s not because it isn’t (because it probably is), but because even if you had hundred extra hours to think and dwell on the finer details, you still wouldn’t be satisfied.

So you just have to let go.


Launch it into the world so your thing can become what it needs to be to kick some serious game-changing ass.

And once you do you’ll wish you started a year ago.

Here are just a couple of solutions to a few common start-up challenges that might have you running around in circles, delaying the launch of your something most incredible.

#1: I don’t know what to call my new business / project

When my sister was pregnant she thought she wanted to call the baby Maya.

But when baby was born she just didn’t look like a Maya. And it was eight weeks before she grew into her own name: Skye.

The point of this story?

You just never know what name will ‘fit’ with your business or project until you’re up and running.

You’ll get ideas from your customers, from the media, from friends and family. Suddenly everything you watch and read will inspire you; ideas will fly off pages, and you’ll connect dots that have never been connected before.

A neat trick is to start off with your name because building a personal brand is all the rage, and in the future it can double as a hub for your *killer* empire.

#2: My domain name is not available

Simple – choose something else. Hyphenate it. Select a .co instead of a .com

Your domain name is way less important than the tag line.

The tag line needs to be rock solid.

The job of the tagline is to give people an exact idea of how your product or offering can help them, such as:

PooPourri: Spritz the bowl BEFORE-YOU-GO and no one else will ever know!

Barkbox: A monthly box of dog goodies.

Get it by Deesign: Create professional marketing visuals in minutes.

focus@will: Do you like to listen to music while you work?

You see?

None of the domain names make any sense without the tag line.

(And no one really cares about your domain name anyway.)

#3: I can’t afford to have a website developed and designed

Well, you’re in for a treat with this one.

Create your own! You can create a wicked one-page billboard in minutes using About.Me while you work on a cutting- edge one-page website using – also simple silly and easy to build. No design or coding experience required. And both are free, too.

You can nab some incredible royalty-free images from several new creative commons platforms.

To pimp those images or create gorgeous one-of-a-kind graphics you can use PicMonkey or Canva (again, both free), and Nathalie from Pimp Your Visuals will even show you how to use pic-monkey across her four *free* tutorials.

And when you realise how much fun it is you might even want to grab your own Bluehost account, choose an amazing theme from themeforest, and shoot for the stars.

I did all of this – in exactly this order.

And even though I had no idea at the outset, I’m thrilled to announce that I have finally learned a bit of #code. (After a zillion emails to the guy who developed my theme, with whom I’m now twitter friends!

Take some advice from Patajali’s yoga Sutra III-33:

Anything can be understood. With each attempt fresh and spontaneous understanding arises.

I have found this to be irresistibly + deliciously true.

#4: How do I grow my twitter following?

Think of it as an extension of your natural social behaviour and play around a little.

In the last 10 weeks I’ve added 346 to my Twitter account organically simply by:

  1. Complimenting people on their amazing products and services.
  2. Singing the praises of products and services I love.
  3. Tweeting interesting feature articles and adding my own insights.
  4. Re-tweeting other people’s tweets.
  5. Following others! Doh!
  6. Publishing my own insightful quotes.
  7. Publishing pimped up royalty-free photos with my own quotes.
  8. Adding a few hashtags relevant to my category #startup #startupstrategy #impact #marketing.

I’m coming out of the strategist closet myself to earn my own social proof. My top tips?

1: Be human. 2: Be yourself. 3: Have fun.

So back to you.

What are the questions or challenges holding you back from launching something new? We’d love to help answer them in our Comments section below.

Stop procrastinating. Think BIGGER.

How could you start more slowly, more simply?

I’ll bet if you just do it you’ll get all the answers you need.

Image via Raquel Gonzalez

Stephanie Holland - Leaders in Heels Guest writerStephanie Holland is a startup strategist & explorer passionate about living the richest experience of life possible and empowering others to do the same. She runs online classes & one-on-one coaching to help purposeful millennials and corporate misfits create sustainable, profitable & impactful businesses. Sign up for #startupfuel for actionable insights & perspective shifts primed for a digital world, fortnightly direct to your inbox with the four magic words: FREE!