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#36: How to get started on anything (in 2024)

Dominik Nitsch
3 min read

A five-step "system" to get started on anything (so simple that it hurts).

We all have this one "thing" that we've always wanted to start.

For me, this was a regular blog. I had written in the past, but never regularly; it always happened in frantic sprints where I’d hammer out an article in three hours, just to not write anything else for the next six weeks.

Needless to say, nobody besides a few Facebook friends read my writing.

This was kind of discouraging. So in summer 2021, I just stopped writing altogether.

I just didn’t get the “spurts of creativity” anymore with a full-time job, playing in different Lacrosse leagues and national teams, and attempting to have a social life.

Even though I wasn’t writing, I couldn’t stop thinking about writing:

  • How cool it’d be to have a blog with 1000 monthly views.
  • How cool to make some money eventually doing it.
  • How cool it’d be if others actually read it and asked me to write about something.

Writing was the demon in my head I couldn’t exorcise.

So in late 2022, I made a decision: if I couldn’t exorcise this demon, I had to attack it frontally. By actually writing (and publishing!) regularly.

Which is the topic of today’s newsletter: how do you get started with this one thing you’ve always wanted to do?

How to get started on something new

When you think about starting something new, you face a fork in the road.

  • Option A: Talking about starting something new
  • Option B: Actually starting something new

To my surprise, many - myself included - pick Option A for the longest time.


Ideas only become reality when you start working on them. Once you begin working on them, you might also realize that your idea isn’t that good. Which is painful.

So the common coping mechanism is to simply never get started: you can’t fail if you never start.

Usually, this hides behind “productive procrastination”: doing research, setting up frameworks and infrastructure, designing logos, you name it. Anything but actually doing the work.

This is what I did in 2022: researching newsletter platforms, consuming books on end about writing, reading other newsletters.

And this is what I didn’t do in 2022: writing a newsletter.

The same is true for anyone wanting to start a business. You might:

  • Set up a company structure
  • Research how taxes would work
  • Design a logo and color scheme
  • Create a pitch deck
  • Watch videos about starting a business
  • Talk to your friends about starting a business

But at the end of the day, to start a business, there are - initially - only two things you need to do:

  1. Build something people want.
  2. Sell that thing.

That’s it.

Everything else will follow along the way:

  • You don’t need a legal structure if you don’t need to send invoices.
  • You won’t need to worry about taxes if you don’t earn money.
  • You don’t need a logo if you have nothing people want to buy.
  • You don’t need a pitch deck if you’re not showing it to anyone.

You get the idea.

The solution is not easy, but simple:

Just get started.

Everything else will follow.

But as long as you’re hiding behind “researching the problem” and never put your work out in the public, you’re not getting started.

If you’re looking to start a business, go out and talk to customers. Then, build something, talk to more customers, and eventually, someone will want to buy.

If you want to start posting on LinkedIn, start typing and hit publish. (The algorithm won’t show your posts to lots of people if it sucks, so don’t worry too much about it.)

Reflecting back on 2022 during Christmas time, I realized the same thing. I just needed to get going somehow. So I made an account on Substack, uploaded 67 email addresses that I still had from a previous mailing list, and sent out an ​announcement​ that I’d be writing a bi-weekly newsletter for the next 4 months.

No going back from there.

Today, you’re reading the result.

It hasn’t been easy.

Sometimes, I spend hours writing a newsletter only to have people unsubscribe shortly after receiving it.

Other times, just crickets. Not a single reply.

I set out with the ambitious goal of getting to 1000 subscribers within my first year, and to 10k in year 2.

I stand at 337 today, 17 months in. I missed my year 1 objective by a long shot. Year 2 ... we'll see. I'm still here.

(If you found this useful, consider forwarding this email to a friend who might become my 338th subscriber. Thank you!)

Earlier, I mentioned that that you can't fail if you never start.

There’s another - better - way to avoid failure, and that is to never quit.

You can’t fail if you don’t quit.

In summary, here’s how to get started on anything:

  1. Just start.
  2. Hit a roadblock.
  3. Overcome said roadblock.
  4. Iterate.
  5. Don’t quit.

Results will follow.

Dominik Nitsch

Proud generalist: Entrepreneur, Athlete, & Writer.