Are You A Great Finisher But A Poor Starter

When I was 14, I was criticized by one of my coaches for being a dilettante.I signed up for a summer camp, where he was a counselor. Thinking I would love it and stay for 12 weeks, I cut that arduous tour of play down to a measly two weeks, to his chagrin, and impoverishment. (I think he was on a commission pay plan at the camp!).

I went out for a number of sports, he supported that, but my practice time was cut by the operetta in which, suddenly, I had a leading role.Who knew I could sing?.Anyway, on a remote Native American village basketball court in New Mexico, he chastised me for being a flake."You're going to have to finish what you start!" he admonished in the harshest tone I ever heard from this otherwise, low key, 6'-8" behemoth.

As you can tell, I never forgot his lecture, and I took it so seriously that I completed 5 college degrees, wrote a dozen books, and taught at 40 universities, and as you might imagine, all of these tasks required me to be a FINISHER.But, as Paul Harvey was famous for saying, that's just part of the story!.A few years ago I happened upon a book that entertained a thesis in direct opposition to that of my coach. It says, generally, most people are great finishers.What we could use some help with is, STARTING.

Specifically, getting started is a problem, as you have no doubt noticed if you procrastinate.This author's adage could be summed up as "Well begun is half-done!".We need to undertake more things, period, instead of concentrating on too few.

It's an interesting point, worth examining.I just wish I had that book at 14, to hand to my coach.Then again, maybe I benefited from that lecture, after all!.


Dr. Gary S. Goodman, President of, is a popular keynote speaker, management consultant, and seminar leader and the best-selling author of 12 books, including Reach Out & Sell Someone® and Monitoring, Measuring & Managing Customer Service, and the audio program, "The Law of Large Numbers: How To Make Success Inevitable," published by Nightingale-Conant. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, worldwide.

A Ph.D. from USC's Annenberg School, a Loyola lawyer, and an MBA from the Peter F. Drucker School at Claremont Graduate University, Gary offers programs through UCLA Extension and numerous universities, trade associations, and other organizations in the United States and abroad. He holds the rank of Shodan, 1st Degree Black Belt in Kenpo Karate. He is headquartered in Glendale, California, and he can be reached at (818) 243-7338 or at: gary@customersatisfaction.


By: Dr. Gary S. Goodman

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