During many of my school years I performed in singing groups.
One of the fun ways to sing is in “rounds.”
That means everyone sings the same tune and words at the same pace, but each group starts at different times.
The children’s song “Row, row, row your boat” is a classic example of a song that can be sung as a “round.”
The beauty of the song is revealed when each group sings their part and the harmony is created as a by-product.
Yes, the first group gets started first. And the other groups (typically 2 others) have to patiently wait their turn to start.
But starting first can be challenging. It’s tempting to get pulled off-lyric, to start singing the first line again, when the second group begins… and when the third group chimes in with their first line.
If you sing too loudly, you destroy the volume balance necessary to create and hear the harmony, or chords.
If you are in the second group and start singing faster in an attempt to “catch up” to the first group, you destroy the harmony. You could jump forward in the lyrics and join the first group at their proper timing, but that takes massive amounts of concentration… still, it is possible.
If you don’t concentrate on your part, you muddle the harmony. And if you pause to catch your breath, it can be tough to get restarted and stay paced with your group.
And sometimes people will stop singing altogether. Perhaps they started listening to the other group’s notes and lost their place, or they don’t have the lung stamina to keep going.
Whether you are starting first, coming in at the middle, or joining the last group, all parts are needed for creating the beautiful music.
The same lessons apply to our businesses.
Just because you get started with the first group (sometimes called “Pioneers” or “Early Adopters”) doesn’t mean you will finish. And starting with the “second group” (sometimes called the “Early Followers”) does not excuse you from going through all the steps to build a business– skipping steps typically causes a premature exit. And there’s no shame in being a member of the “Late Adopters”… as the performance only ends when they complete their last phrase.
You are right where you are supposed to be. Your business building speed contributes to the rich harmony and participation possible in our shared profession.
You are moving faster than the person who never got started.
–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™
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