Sometimes you just have to start

This year I’ve been spending almost half my time in Germany. It’s been fantastic. Trouble is I can’t speak the language. At all. Not even a bit.

Until I started trying.

Some people are so worried about failing that they don’t try. What if the waiter doesn’t understand me? What if I use the sentence structure wrong? What if I use the wrong gender?

So what, you’re never going to be a master of language until you start.

The purpose of learning a language is to communicate. The way to learn is to start communicating.

I remember my Dad attempting to explain the theory of how to ride a bike to me. If you keep peddling you’ll stay upright. That didn’t mean I didn’t fall off a few times first. It’s expected. Nobody expects you to be able to cycle perfectly first time.

People don’t expect me to speak German flawlessly.

There are a lot of new skills that marketers have to learn these days: storytelling, blogging, graphic design, social media, analytics, HTML, SEO – the list could go on and on. The only way to learn them is to start doing them. Piece by piece they become easier. Don’t expect to master them immediately, that’s not how learning works.

My German is not perfect (and neither is my bike riding) but I can cycle to the cafe and a order a bratwurst. Sometimes, that is good enough.

What are you putting off starting? Let me know in the comments below.