"" bshawise: Tadpole to Frog (part 3)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tadpole to Frog (part 3)

Thought #3: Tadpoles need momentum

Maintaining momentum is a pretty crucial part of the process for me. Tadpole-ideas are my crack. I could spend all day giving birth to them. I even stay pretty engaged when they start growing legs. But once the little buggers start becoming kind of real, I lose the original fervor I had when they were born. I'm often a deadbeat dad with ideas and perhaps you are too. The question is, Why?

Momentum Killer #1: Perfectionism

Maybe you have an idea for a blog, book, home-improvement project, diet, song, hobby, etc. but you know what the perfect version of that could/should look like. Because of this, you don't ever start or you've convinced yourself you need to wait for just the right moment when you have enough time, money, inspiration, etc. to get started. I think you have two options if you're facing this brand of perfection.
1. Give your idea up for adoption. If it really is a good idea, maybe someone else can take it and run. Or maybe you just need to walk away and stop beating yourself up for not starting/finishing it.
2. Quit being so damned silly. There's no such thing as enough time, money, inspiration, etc. There's no such thing as perfection. Waiting for those things would be like waiting at the Ford dealership for a flying car to go on sale. Maybe someday you'll be the luckiest person EVER and get that flying car. Until then, get in your used Corolla and drive. The lessons and experiences you'll gain are far better out on the road than they are in the parking lot.

Momentum Killer #2: The Joneses

When I start paying attention to what other people are doing and what other people are going to think I lose momentum. I have an unhealthy need to be different. So when I see that there are four million people out there who want to create or are in the process of creating the same thing I'm doing I get discouraged. It's not healthy for me to go to blogs where people are talking about how to get published, make movies, get savvy, etc. because those blogs make want to quit. I can also worry too much about too wide of an audience. First and foremost, I have to create things that I like. I'm my own worst critic so I don't need to worry about what you you all will think until later on in the process. Now, that said, I do need to know who my audience is and I need to have a desired outcome/objective. But that's the trigger mechanism for me. It's the numerous chefs in the kitchen thing. Know who you have to please (boss, wife, dog) and only think about them. If you worry what your step uncle is going to think you're going to lose focus which turns into lost momentum.

Momentum Killer #3: The Soothsayer

Trying to prognosticate the exact future of your project is worthless. You should have a goal/picture that you're working towards. But hold that loosely. When my bro-in-law, Justin, and I were adding onto my deck recently it was hard to picture the finished deck. We had holes and wood and tools. To get the deck finished we had to take each step as its own project that we needed to complete before moving on. That's the only way to get crap done. We all know this. But it's easy to get overwhelmed and jump ahead and worry about how it's going to come together, will it work, bla bla bla. Trust your initial idea and take each step. One after another.

With every good thing I've ever created I've had freakout moments where I don't know if it's going to work. I didn't know if The {RE} Gifter was going to work until after the first show. Focus on the steps in front of you. Trust the process and the Reds, Masters and Bouncers you've brought into to project. Just keep on dancing, the magic will happen.

1 comment:

Alex Green said...

I can't bring myself to push the play button on that video for fear the song will get stuck in my head. However, Mr. Shaw, this is an excellent little series. Thanks for doing it.