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Sep 04, 2022

How to systematically finish anything you start

Enzo Avigo

It’s so hard to finish the things we start.

At work, we struggle to push things across the line. It feels like our topics sometimes all bubble up at once. Then paralyze us.

So we use to do lists, and project management tools. And rank tasks.

But then after few days, our To Do are full again, with new things.

If you’ve experienced that, you’re not alone. Anyone who works in a fast pace startup with limited resources has felt the same.

You can escape this spiral loop!

I spoke with hundreds of founders this year. What surprised me the most about them is how they drive sometime up to 10 topics at a time. Without being overwhelmed.

Unicorn founders even manage to finish much longer list of things.

So how do they do that?

They all share one dead simple trait:
they ALWAYS do what they say!

I first heard that advice during my first internship in the advertising industry. But I dismissed it.

It was my last day at work and I was traveling to Corsica afterward. My team asked if I could send over some local products once there, to which I said “of course”.

At this moment Guillaume, a VP, took me aside. He said, “you know the most important thing in business is to ALWAYS do what you said”. A week later I sent them a box with local ham 😜

I realized only recently how important this rule is.

Always doing what you said makes you:

✂️ 1. prioritize for real
⌨️ 2. lean toward execution
🤩 3. stay motivated
🔏 4. a person of your word
😇 5. authentic

Here is why.

✂️ 1. It makes you prioritize for real

When a simple “yes” becomes binding, you don’t give it away easily.

This limits the numbers of things you accept hence forcing you to prioritize upfront.

You should cut saying "no" right away. Or pursue with full intention.

⌨️ 2. It makes you lean toward execution

When the only thing that separates you from action is a “yes”, you move to execution mode faster.

This means less discussions, less planning, more doing.

When you’re done with something you can move on faster to something else.

🤩 3. It keeps you motivated

The quality of the work you do relies on your motivation. Inspiration is perishable, act on it immediately.

If you prioritize less things, and execute faster, your work is more exciting.

🔏 4. It makes you a person of your word

In business keeping promises means you can be trusted.

Trust is the baseline of great business leaders. When things go well people know they can follow them. When things go bad, trust holds things together.

😇 5. It makes you authentic

My favorite thing about spontaneous people is that they are authentic.

They say what they think. In business, makes it pleasant to work with them. It makes you want to work with them again.

Someone you’ll regret being too spontaneous. It's fine, you'll learn from it and build the muscle.


To this day, Guillaume’s feedback still resonates with me.
Hope it does with you too!

What’s the best business advice you’ve received in your early days?

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