In ‘The Handbook of Academic Writing‘ by Rowena Murray and Sarah Moore the starting versus finishing paradox is described as follows:
The starting versus finishing paradox exists by virtue of the fact that the skills associated with starting a writing project are qualitatively and radically different from the skills you need to activate in order to progress and to complete it. Starting a writing project is very different from completing and finishing, and this fact is often the cause of writing obstacles as the demands of moving from starting to finishing become difficult to overcome.
- Phase 1 Starters that are all ideas, excitement and enthusiasm – these folks get the thing off the ground. Starters are riskoholics – they love the challenge of impossible odds.
- Phase 2 Growers that are more organised – they replace the starters, and build the organisation through the first couple of years. They are risk managers rather than balls-to-the-wall risk takers like the Starters.
- Phase 3 Maintainers that are very good process people – they thin out the early excess weight in the organisation and settle it down into a good value proposition for shareholders. Maintainers are risk-averse and performance means more to them than relationships, steady and guaranteed growth more than a shot at the truly remarkable.
No matter which of the above you are, it is clear that all three are needed for a company, projects or society to work. If we only had starters, all those bright ideas would never grow up to anything successful.
It is different when you work alone, have your own one-man-show, are an artist or blog writer. Here you need to be all three in one.
You need to start a blog post, a painting or a project. But you also need to grow the blog if you want it to be read and and become successful. You also need to finish the painting, frame it and get it out into a gallery, if you want to make your art known and sell it.
In that case the three phases often conflict with or contradict each other. If you are a good maintainer, you might shy away from taking the risk of investing in a new website design for example. If you are a starter, you will have all sorts of brilliant ideas on how to make life and the world a better place, but usually get stuck once it comes down to putting it all on paper and selling your idea.
I believe that this is the reason why so many struggle in the beginning and numerous projects die before they get a chance. Sometimes, the solution to this problem can be so easy though: hire someone. It is a scary thought, I admit, and it comes with some risks. So if you are a brilliant maintainer you might never get to this conclusion…
Here are 7 signs it’s time to hire someone. Think of it as an investment in you, your business, your art. Even though it will cost money, it will leave you with more time and only the tasks that you’re good at and enjoy.
And that is priceless.
“You will launch many projects, but have time to finish only a few. So think, plan, develop, launch and tap good people to be responsible. Give them authority and hold them accountable. Trying to do too much yourself creates a bottleneck.”
— Donald Rumsfeld (astonishingly enough 🙂
And very often you don’t have to hire someone but need to simply delegate something. Usually the stuff you are not good at or that would take you much more time than a professional (house cleaning, tax declaration, website design, etc) You’d be surprise at how many things you can delegate for little money. Check Fiver and Upwork for example.