Skip to content

When You're Quick to Start, Quick to Quit

David Sherry
3 min read
When You're Quick to Start, Quick to Quit

You can develop your ideas for new businesses quickly, and that’s awesome.

You build the “MVP” (an app, mockup website…)

But then you have to start promoting it publicly to your Twitter following or newsletter… suddenly you lose interest.

Then the product dies, half-baked.

Then you move on.


Motivation for continuing to build something solo is really difficult.

We have disdain for activities that don’t fit our skillset (for ex. Doing marketing as someone technical) and we have psychological blocks like feeling uncertain or we’re worried about what others might think.

People will tell you that you just have to “trust” yourself more or maybe that its research that you need to be doing, first and that’s your problem.

So, you’re tired of starting tons of projects and having them go nowhere, and you don’t think it’s about convincing yourself of some new process that won’t stick anyways… what can you do?

Things changed for me when I started having my clients take the “Kolbe” index.

The Kolbe Index is similar to a “Myers Briggs” or Enneagram except it is based on your working style.

What this shows is the way that YOU uniquely show up to work.

It gives you a metric in a bar graph, rating different aspects of your working style such as how you….

  • Gather and share information
  • Arrange and design projects
  • Start projects in the face of uncertainty
  • Handle implementation and process

And it goes much further than that, it shows you how/where you could best spend your time-based.

The point is that we all have a “Shape” for how we like to show up at work.

And this makes sense intuitively…

There are people who push a company into new territories (leading with a “vision” for the future).

And there are those who anchor us in the present and past through maintaining processes. Nailing the “now.”

There are people who are research-minded: those seeking to identify patterns across data to prepare for something new.

And there are those who just “Quickstart” and run forward without all the ideas.

A “Quickstart” is someone who is likely to face the challenge of what I’ve been describing above.

People with a high QuickStart score…

  • Don’t document what happened
  • Don’t get bogged down in details
  • Start before their ready, start without all the ideas fully set
  • Look for shortcuts
  • Run multiple projects at once

The point is…

This is how you naturally show up. In fact, quick starting is a strength. It means you can move things forward.

The pain happens when you force yourself into a different shape. That of the researcher…that of the person who is deeply embedded into the details.

It’s not that you can’t do it.

It’s that you likely won’t.

And it will feel like swimming against a strong current the entire time.

So, if you're like me and your clients, the idea is to learn to work around your strengths and mitigate your weaknesses rather than change them.

You have your own sense of time, productivity, and success, and the goal is to spend as much time as possible in that mode to do the work that you uniquely can.

More importantly, you begin to understand which recommendations apply to you, and which don't.

People will give you all sorts of advice, but which pieces are relevant to you?

Understanding yourself (which the Kolbe) can help you with is incredibly profound in knowing what to tune into and what to tune out.

This has profound implications for your growth.

Personalized coaching or apprenticeship is the best form I've seen for personalized growth feedback.

Tests like the Kolbe are tools that can aid in this process.

I recommend you check it out, take the index (linked above), and identify your shape.

If the ideas above resonate, it's very possible you're a "Quickstart."

And, if you want someone to go over your results with you, feel free to hit reply or reach out.

Committing to Your WorkCreative LessonsPersonal Leadership and Productivity