For those of us who are chasing down our dreams, at some point we just want to delete everything, scrap every idea, and not just go back to the drawing board, but destroy that board so we can completely start over. Starting fresh isn't a bad idea, but you may be further along on your second attempt than you think.
I have started and restarted so many projects that I have folders on my desktop full of unfinished business plans, half edited websites in my bookmarks, and so many journals on my shelf with half-baked ramblings of my next big idea it's ridiculous. I get excited easily about projects, but ultimately lose interest, feel defeated, or the project has failed so badly that there is no reason to continue on. However, I still keep trying to produce content that would add value to others. Some of my projects have succeeded and some I hope will come to fruition before my kids have to explain to their dad how to use technology. When I scrap a project I always feel like I have to restart from the beginning. Start from scratch. Empty canvas. I think a lot of us have this knee jerk reaction when we scrap an idea or kill a project in order to try something new. Over the years though, I have wondered if that is the best approach in starting something new? Maybe we don't need a restart, but see ourselves as having a head start to the new venture.
Starting fresh does not mean I dismiss my past experiences.
My wife Cassie and I were on a coaching call with one of my favorite people who had joined my wife's wellness business. Have you ever ran into one of those people who just constantly seem like they are talking with Jesus minute by minute? Their first reaction to every situation is to comfort, care for, and consul those they are speaking with. I love people like this because they exhibit qualities that not only mimic Christ, but reveal heart positions you so badly want to see manifest in your own life. This particular friend had been working her business for 2 years. She had seen success and had impacted many people, but she wasn't where she wanted to be or think she ought to be in her journey. We were talking about her approach and strategy when she mentioned that she had considered restarting her whole entire plan on how she was going to grow her business. She mentioned that she felt she needed to just erase every idea she has had and dismiss every action that she had taken thus far in her business.
Here is someone that in the past had been a successful entrepreneur. She had accomplished many things that she should be proud of, but she felt stuck. However, she is an optimist, so her gut reaction was to stop what she was doing and completely restart her approach. It hit me in that moment that may be the wrong mindset to have. Sure, she had tried some approaches in her business and they were not working. However, a "restart" as she put it felt like she would be dismissing everything she had already experienced. Her heart was in the right place and she showed fortitude in not giving up; however, would she achieve the same results if she completely started over? Sure she would learn from her mistakes, but would she actually use those mistakes to lay the foundation of a better strategy?
“We can't go back and change what has already occurred at the beginning of our journey, but we can use those experiences to make sure the end of our journey is different.”
I butted into the conversation as she and my wife were expounding upon how they would start with a fresh perspective. "Do you need a restart, or do you simply now have a head-start for your next attempt?"
It sounded ridiculous and even cliche. Of course we will learn from our mistakes in order not to repeat them, but I think its more than that age-old additive that failure is one of the best teachers.
Further along than we think.
It may seem like a simple shift in our mindset when looking at reengaging a task not as a "restart" but a "head-start." However, it could make quite a difference on how you start your "do-over." Kudos to you for "going back to the drawing board" and not giving up, but starting over can seem daunting. What if we saw our redo in the light of simply having a head-start on our way to achieving our goal? We can take all of our experiences, failures, successes and approaches from our first try and use them as a guide on how to move forward the second (or 100th) time around. When my wife and I welcomed our oldest son to our family, we had no idea what it meant to be a parent. Especially when our son was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2. We read all the books, took all the classes, and gained a lot of experience those first 2 years. When our second son arrived, its not like we started from scratch and had no parenting experience. We were are able to take our success and failures from the last 2 years of parenting and apply it to our new son. We did not start over, we simply had a slight head-start on parenting kid number 2. Now we are 9 kids deep and should be experts by now, but there is always a new twist to our parenting journey. However, I feel much more prepared at kid number 9 than I did at kid number 1.
You may be looking to adopt a new strategy for your current business, try a new plan in pursuing your current dream, or needing to scrap everything with the project you are working on and start with a blank slate. Great! However, when you start at step one on your redo, you are not truly starting over, you simply just have a head-start to reaching your goals.