The Hardest Part is Getting Started

The Hardest Part is Getting Started


5 min read

You have no momentum

Maybe you are just starting a blog, YouTube channel, Twitter, or a web dev journey with an empty portfolio.

Maybe you're just starting to work on a degree or beginning a coding bootcamp.

You have to do all of the work upfront with no immediate reward in sight.

You must plan, schedule, build and complete an assortment of chores.

And you must be consistent about it.

For many of us, these considerations are what hold us back.

Even worse, we may get fired up and do a lot of the initial work only to give up when there is no immediate reward.

You are investing in yourself

Much like the image above, when you first decide to make a snowball, you have to do all of the work. Bend over. Scoop up the snow. Shape the snowball...

And then, the decision of what to do with the snowball is a big one.

Throw it at a friend? Boom! Immediate gratification. No lasting benefits beyond that instant though.

But what if you climb the nearest mountain and let it roll down from the top?

Yes, I'm talking about the snowball effect. It is a lot of work to get it started, but as the snowball picks up momentum rolling down the mountain, look out!

Time passes either way

My daughter was talking to me about studying to be an astronomer. She heard it takes 10 years of study.

My advice: If you start studying when you are 18, you will reach your goal by the time you are 28.

Her thoughts: That is such a long time though!

My reply: If you don't start when you're 18, you will still be 28 in 10 years, but you will not have reached your goal.

Just get started

I started posting programming tutorials on my YouTube channel last July. A YouTube channel is like a snowball. You put in a lot of work, and you start out with zero subscribers. If you're lucky, you get a few views. Some channels pick up momentum faster than others, but if you're consistent, you will likely keep picking up momentum on the journey. As of this blog post, I have over 2500 subscribers. My momentum increases every month.

I started working on a PhD in Information Systems a few years ago. This journey has no immediate gratification and requires me to keep an eye on the end goal for motivation. I prefer code over research. I prefer teaching over research. However, the gatekeepers for jobs in Higher Education prefer a PhD to someone with industry experience that is simply dedicated to teaching his or her craft. Therefore, I started and am picking up momentum outside of my preferred comfort zones.

Constantly re-evaluate your path

I want to teach, but it doesn't have to be at a university. Other options exist. Developer Advocate is a job title I continue to hear more about. Some developers make a living with their YouTube channels. Regardless of the avenue, my end goal is to help others learn programming and how to build the web.

I'm constantly re-evaluating the route my snowball is on. No matter the path, I have started and am consistently building momentum on my journey.

Remember, it may be difficult at first, but you must get started before you can add momentum to your journey. Time will continue to pass either way.

YouTube: @davegrayteachescode

Twitter: @yesdavidgray

LinkedIn: /in/davidagray

Reddit: /user/DaveOnEleven

Thank you for joining me on this journey.