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Getting to the start line
You have heard about the enormous work that is involved in getting to the ﬁnish line of a meaningful project. Any meaningful project takes time, eﬀort, energy and mindshare of unbelievable proportions to ﬁnally GET IT DONE.
In this case, I am referring to your planned adventure as the meaningful project.
I am not talking about that part of life. I want to go back to the basics – about getting to the start line of a meaningful project. It is very easy to get convinced that you are on the start line by engaging in activities in the grey zone – sometimes thankless, sometimes preparatory zone that might or might not get you to the start line.
To keep it simple, here are three indicators for a quick check to see if you are on the start line.
#1. Demonstrated commitment
Demonstrated commitment in its simplest sense is when you have put something you deeply value at stake for the sake of this project or cause. A combination of your money AND reputation is one such example. If you have put your hard earned money and you put your name at stake for this cause, there is a good chance that you are heading towards the start line.
#2. Continuous allocation of meaningful resources to the cause
It’s not enough to demonstrate commitment, you also need to follow through. That happens only when you continue to allocate meaningful resources (time, energy, money, mindshare etc.) for the cause. How long is long? There is no easy answer for that. It depends on the project and the standard “consulting” answer is however long it takes.
#3. Measurable progress on the path to value creation
The above two indicators are inward looking. This one is externally facing. Remember that you are embarking on a MEANINGFUL project – this means that at some point there is “value created” for a reasonable number of people in some way. There needs to be measurable progress on that path to value creation. This should pass the test by a third party who is not in your circle of love – meaning you can’t ask your mom or spouse to conﬁrm that you are creating value along the way.
If there is no measurable progress in reasonable time, it is time to revisit whether there are enough legs on this.
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