I want you to remember your first kiss.
What was it like?
Mine? Well, it was on a coach on the way back from a swimming class with my school. I was 11. I was the only one in my class “going out” with someone, but we’d never properly kissed (y’know tongues and open mouths and saliva).
On the way to the swimming class, all of our friends were shouting, “KISS! Go on, SNOG! WITH TONGUES!!!!”. My initial reaction was, “OHMYGODAAAARRGGHH I’M NOT READY FOR THAT SHIT FUCKFUCKFUCKWHATDOIDO?!?!?!?”, until my boyfriend said, “No guys, not now.”
Instant relief on my part, and an audible groan from our peers. Quickly followed up by my boyfriend yelling to everyone, “We’ll do it on the way back!”.
Way to create a cliffhanger. Oh, and thanks for involving me in that decision, wankstain.
Anyway, the entire swimming lesson was a blur. I spent it with girlfriends giggling in my ear, “OH MY GOD! You’re going to SNOG someone!!!! teeheeehehehehheheheheheeeeeee titter chortle chortle”.
I, on the other hand, was trying to brace myself for The Most Romantic And Sexy And Grown-Up Thing I Had Ever Done; French Kiss a boy.
It had to be gentle at first, with him drawing my chin towards his as he gazed lovingly into my eyes. Lips touching, slowly, cautiously. His tongue slipping in to find mine, playfully teasing as his hands pulled me closer in, ruffling my hair.
Oh yeah, I’d seen Dirty Dancing. I’s snogged the back of my hand. I’d chatted up my Tony the Tiger (of Frosties fame) extra large plush toy and scored. I was ready.
But all of a sudden. I wasn’t ready. I hadn’t planned he perfect outfit, I hadn’t been taken on a fancy date to, I dunno, Pizza Hut. I didn’t even have a fucking breath mint. HOW MUCH TONGUE WAS ACCEPTABLE?! WHERE DO MY HANDS GO?! I was going to be snogging a real live boy without any make up on, fresh from the swimming pool stinking of chlorine, with wet hair in a scratchy school uniform on a coach. ABORT!!! ABORT MISSION!!! This was NOT how I’d planned it.
I WAS FUCKING BRICKING IT.
And now, the coach ride home. With a thumping heart I took my seat next to my boyfriend. Our friends grabbed the seats closest, and there I was, on the precipice of Being a Woman, surrounded by a class of 20 kids peering at me excitedly as if I was about to turn into a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and kick the shit out of the coach driver.
He leaned in before I had a chance to realise what was going on. I closed my eyes as he suctioned his mouth onto mine and proceeded to perform a quite detailed dental inspection of my mouth with what I’m assuming was his tongue, but to be perfectly honest could well have been a large, warm slug. Then, he detached himself from my face, leaving most of his slobber around my chin.
“WAHEY!” The coach cried.
“It lasted SIX SECONDS!” one of the boys shouted (it was around the time everyone had a Casio watch with a stopwatch and calculator on it, everything was timed in those days.)
“What was it like??? WHAT WAS IT LIKE?????” was asked at me from all corners.
All I REALLY wanted to do was wipe my fucking mouth. Becoming a Woman? Yeah, not so glam, it transpired. And it didn’t even matter about the outfit, hot date or breath mint.
My first kiss was over.
And THIS awkward story leads me neatly into How To Start. Because although that first kiss was a fucking wash-out (both figuratively AND literally), the next kiss was a little better, and kisses with the PLETHORA of boys that I’ve snogged since (hey, don’t judge… I’m happily married now and my snogging lots of boys days are WELL behind me) got better and better too.
And, lo and behold, this is the same with everything in business as well.
The first time, well, it’s average at best and pretty fucking awful at worst, and no amount of tweaking the tagline or beautiful web design or hours of outfit preparation or pissing around with the colours for your business cards or wondering whether or not having a hyphen in your domain name is a problem, will help. And if you’re worrying about this, you’ll still be worrying about it a few months down the line and be no further along.
Spot the person who is living proof *points to self*
You are distracting yourself from what REALLY needs to get done (and believe me, I need to hear this as much as the next person HASHTAG SELF CONFESSED FACEBOOK ADDICTION). You want to start a business? Get a client. You want to start blogging? Write. Want to speak on stage? Find a stage, and speak on it. You want to learn to play the guitar? Practice playing the fucking guitar. You want to learn how to kiss someone? SNOG THE BOY. Or girl. Or both, if you want.
It’s simple, but don’t get caught up in the details. Do the REAL stuff that jumps you forward because you – YES, YOU – are capable of making BIG SHIT HAPPEN. The little stuff will fall into place.
Now, go get ’em, tiger. You got this.