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Starter, Finishers and Freaks… Oh, My!

Last week I decided to let the cat out of the bag1 and revealed to you how you can easily take the stress out of running your business.

I was happy to see so many of you sold on the idea of creating systems for your business so its runs like the proverbial clock. You get that doing so is the only way to create a more profitable business without running around like chickens with your wee little heads cut off.

However, some of you brought up a very good point. Actually, the challenge that you described is one of the greatest weaknesses in most businesses and the main reason why so many amazing ideas never see the light of day.

Creative entrepreneurs have no shortage of ideas, right? You are cranking those babies out All Day Long. That’s the easy part. The really hard part is sticking with the plan, implementing it and seeing those ideas through to completion. And by completion I mean, seeing the project all the way through to profitability not being killed off out of boredom and frustration.

See, we get a good idea, get really excited about it and swear up and down that we will commit to doing whatever it takes to get the project done.


Then something happens along the way, we start losing steam. We get bogged down with the details, other projects and those damn ever-present shiny objects. Why are there so many awesome shiny objects in the world? Anyhoo, we start procrastinating and missing deadlines. Next thing we know the project takes forever to finish, if it ever gets finished at all.

Sound painfully familiar?

Have you tried to put more structure into your empire but somehow never get around to doing it?

If you are guilty of starting things, but not finishing them in your business or personal life don’t fret, stop being so hard on yourself you are perfectly normal. Actually, most uber-successful business babes are the same way.

See, we are all wired differently, some of us are awesome at starting things and some of us are great at finishing things. The trick is to figure out how you are wired and then take steps to balance things out so your brilliant ideas get a shot at seeing the light of day.

Ok, so lemme get a bit more of my technical mojo on:

You are a true Starter if…

• You are brilliant, very creative, love to invent, innovate coming up with new ways for things, but you tend to also be a bit impatient

• You can definitely see the bigger picture and even come up with a plan (but get overwhelmed and stuck spinning your wheels figuring out the steps of what needs to be done to achieve that vision)

• You get so bored with the details and routine tasks, you’d rather have a root canal

• You get going really fast, and lots of things happen, but you very often over-stretch how much of you can go around by setting unrealistic expectations

• You start on one idea today, and before the day ends you are already thinking about the next project that can grow your business (c’mon how many projects have you got on your to-do list?)

You are a Finisher if…

• You love to line up your projects like duckies in neat little rows and work on them until they are beautiful swans

• You get a high (like a kid in a candy store) crossing items off your to-do list

• You have a crystal clear idea of what you want to do and know how to set priorities and boundaries

• You get that it’s not about managing time, its all about managing yourself better

• You can easily rattle off the steps needed to complete your next project

So, how are you wired? Are you a Starter, a Finisher or both?

If after reading this you determined you are both a starter and finisher congratulations – you’re a freak, umm, I mean you are a rare and wonderful bird my dear! Wallow in all your glory. Maniacal laughter is optional.

If however, you are a great starter then here are a few things you can do to help you balance the scale a bit ::

• Surround yourself with people who are ninja finishers. Even if you hire that person for a couple of hours a week you NEED someone to finish what you started.

• Create systems and automate as much as possible so you can become stronger at finishing your projects. Otherwise you will lose confidence and your half-baked ideas will never make you money

• Put things on your calendar, if it’s not scheduled its not real. Nuff said.

• Join a mastermind group, hire a high level mentor (hint hint), find one person who can give you a gentle kick in the pants to help you finish what you start. Especially for tasks that only you can do.

• Figure out ways to stay motivated throughout the life of the project.

If you are a finisher then you are doing pretty good, just make sure you celebrate your achievements and connect with someone who can help you flush out your ideas. We all need to bounce off ideas on other people to get a better perspective on things.

Every business no matter what size needs starters – people with big ideas, visions and plans. Just as importantly, every business needs finishers – people who execute on the plan to get the work done. Without both you won’t get projects to start nor anyone to finish them and that would totally suck.

I’m one of the frea…um, I mean rare birds in that I can be both a starter and finisher. I must admit though, that there have been times where I have slacked off just like everyone else. But, even if you are like me, you still need a team of people who can help you implement since you cannot accomplish Big Things™ all by your lonesome.

Remember, you will only see the results of your efforts (make more money) when you surround yourself with the right environment, people, resources and you implement. That’s when your business will hum along, grow by leaps and bounds while fewer things fall through the cracks.



1. Who the heck started this saying? I mean seriously, who was putting cats in bags in the first place? Who was around witnessing the catastrophe (pun intended) that it caught on as a phrase? How long was appropriate before you let the cat out? Are there some international standards for cat-bagging? Why can’t I turn these thoughts off?



  1. Another GREAT article Yvette! I am definitely a starter…BUT, I do get a charge to put things on my DONE LIST! Thanks for a great article…now, I just need to find that assistant that will make my life easier!
    xo, Tina

  2. Hmm….I think I’m bordering on freak….but I definitely find it challenging to finish what I started sometimes. There’s no doubt that hiring outside help makes a big difference, but being part of a mastermind group AND having a coach I think are the two most important elements of success for me. Great article Yvette!

  3. I’m definitely a starter. Finishing is hard, although I can do it. Thanks for all the great tips to help with this issue!

  4. I would have to say I am a bit of both as well, I love checking things of the list, but prefer to have things automated so I am not stuck in the boredom of the same routine. Thanks for the great insights.

    • You’re welcome Sheila!

  5. Definitely a starter too. Wanna implement too many ideas at the same time and end up … doing nothing 🙂 Have to remind myself often to do 1 thing at a time. And to do just that 1 thing! Thanks for the tips, Yvette.

    • Yup, doing one thing at a time is the best strategy for getting things done. Thanks, An!

  6. Yes, yes and yes! I’ve learned that I dont finish things that I dont like to do, so I started hiring people for those tasks, and it feels so good! I can relax and focus on what I love to do 🙂

    • “it feels so good! I can relax and focus on what I love to do” YES, Erika you got it!!

  7. Yvette – love to hear your humor shining through! I’m also a freak. Comes from my years as magazine art director/production manager where I had to both be creative & get the magazine out the door every month. But lately my finisher side has been procrastinating. So surrounding myself w/masterminds and great support is key!

    • Thanks, Christie! We are freaks – yay 😉 I love mastermind groups the support is key & priceless!

  8. I generally have a good balance of both, but lately I have been stuck in starter mode. I have had to force myself to do the finisher duties and have been procrastinating a lot. I did join a mastermind group that started today, so hopefully we can turn this around quickly. Thanks for your timely post. 😉

    • You’re welcome Heather. Let us know how it goes with your new mastermind group, when you find a good one the support is gold.

  9. Starter. Starter. Starter. Finishing is definitely not my strong suit. This reminds me of Kathy Kolbe’s 4 action styles as described in the Kolbe Index. Fact finder (research, research, research); Quick Start (A true starter–without reading directions); Implementer (one who can put the stuff in place–not me, baby.); Follow through (Here’s your finisher.)

    • Sarah – love these descriptions!

  10. Yvette,

    Systems have been a life-changer for me, because I am a true starter – though I do get excited to make lists and cross items off as well. But details make me want to poke my eyes out. I’m a global visionary, and that’s what I love doing.

    There’s nothing wrong with that…the world needs people like us. But we do have to be visionary enough to realize that we may need to delegate the implementation or completion to someone who has our backs.

    Great post!


    • Yes, the world needs all of us! So happy to hear that you have embraced systems way to go! Thanks Dana.

  11. I love how you have placed both starters and finishers in such amazing lights. They are both so important and the qualities of each are integral to the success of any project! Amazing article!!!!

    • Awww, thanks Anastasia!!

  12. As always…our great minds are thinking alike! I have had the “great ideas All Day Long” conversation with two different clients this week alone – which led directly into the “starter” and “finisher” conversation although it wasn’t quite as eloquent as this post. It is usually a relief for people to know that they don’t (and usually shouldn’t try to) fit into both categories.

    I double ditto you on everything here – and, of course, I think you are fabulous rare bird 🙂

    Jennifer Peek
    Find Your New Groove
    Left-Brained Strategy for Right-Brained Entrepreneurs

    • Thank you so much hon! And yes, I agree with you, most people think they have to do it all themselves, its a common thread I see. Lets start a revolution to stop that insanity 😉

  13. Wow! Have you been crawling around inside my head? I am a starter, through and through. I have so many ideas! But figuring out which ones to follow and how to implement them? Not my strong suit.

  14. It is funny, I used to be a finisher. In my biz building world, I am definitely a starter. Now to strike the balance!

    I’m scheduling, I’m masterminding, and I’m working hard to get my team in place… I think without the systems, I’ll just be a hobbiest and not a true biz builder. I’m getting serious about growing my biz so I need to start and finish for my brand!

    Love your posts!

  15. Yvette! Great post! thank you!! I am both. I DO start projects and launch them, even when a bit scary to do so! and I DO finish them. You know where I am challenged? is moving the dimensional whole brain experience of the project into its 2 dimensional form. I think its the way my brain is wired. The thing is, once it is there, I can do it and will. I can write and set up program, create pdfs, perform my webinars, etc. But something about that transitional space… I pace, I talk to others about it, I feel it, see it… and it feels SO AGITATING and difficult to move it onto the page. I am looking forward to the chips in the brain that will allow me to work dimensionally. Does that make sense? Would LOVE to hear your feedback on this!

    Your posts are sooooo RICH and full and engaging! thank you for them!

  16. oops, you mean I’m supposed to finish what I start. ugh!!!
    thanks for the great post!

    • Thanks! You are funny…LOL

  17. Hi Yvette,

    I was just introduced to your work and your site by a friend. Having wandered a bit around I couldn’t NOT fall in love with your writing style and great wisdom! I love how approachable you make business systems sound and how well you know your audience.



    • Hi Natasha, ooh who is our common friend?? Thank you so much sweets, so excited to be connected, love your branding!

  18. I used to be a good starter and finisher, until I realized that trying to be everything was sucking my life force out of me. So now i just start :o)

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