get to first base
To make a good start; really begin; succeed,
Joe had a long paper to write for history class, but when the teacher asked for it, Joe hadn't got to first base yet.
Suppose Sam falls in love with Betty. Can he even get to first base with her?
George wants to go to college and become a teacher, but I'll be surprised if he even reaches first base.
If you don't dress neatly, you won't get to first base when you look for a job.
Compare: FIRST BASE.