Thinking is such as waste of time. Trust me, it is. If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time you’d notice the gaps between the blog posts. You may even have judged me for my inconsistencies and the lack of self-discipline. And I would respectfully accept that.
Being a content creator, this is the least one can expect from me.
If you’re wondering what happened? Here’s what happened — I waited for that perfect moment to block out some time and put this post online. 33 days and counting… it didn’t go up. Until now.
You may have heard Guroos say, “you have to block out time to get things done.” They’re right. For the most part. Time management has become a blanket statement to fix all your productivity-related challenges. It doesn’t work all the time. And wishing that things would work perfectly is just being silly. And I’m putting that gently.
Seth Godin says, “ship it!” And goes on to ask (in his Ship it! journal):
What are you afraid of?
What else (the truth this time)?
Why are you afraid?
These are hard questions, but ones that should be asked often.
Here’s the truth: I think I’m a perfectionist. I’m hell bent on creating value for people. All the time. Every time. I want people to think of me as someone who’s always in command of what he’s saying or sharing with the public. I want people to think that I’m afraid of nothing.
That’s BS! And that’s the truth.
Here’s another powerful line from Seth’s journal: Does anyone else matter? If so, can you ignore them?
Takes a lot of courage to digest that and act on it. I’ve had a hard time brooding over it and taking out time from my “busy” schedule to hash this post out.
My biggest obstacle for the past year or two when it comes to creating value is this: I relate value with intense research loads of interviews, educational videos and other fancy stuff that info-marketers seem to churn out consistency with so much ease. In fact, I’m one of those content-whores who’d rather go in debt to buy the latest and greatest product by some Guroo than reflect and implement on the ones I already have.
Frustrated, I emailed Ben Settle asking this:
Quick question: do you plan your content or just write what you feel like? Curious… My biggest hurdle is that I constantly worry about the value that I’ll provide to the audience. Any specific products that you recommend?
And here’s his response, which happen to hit close to 500,000 (or whatever that number is) of his email subscribers!
There’s your bottleneck:
You’re too focused on “value” and not focusing on the relationship.
In my opinion (which, yes, makes it a *fact*) the whole point — the #1 thing to do over everything else — is build the relationship with your list. And (cue up the Empire’s Imperial March music…) next month’s December “Email Players” issue goes into many ways to do this. Specifically on pages 7 & 8 which talks about how A-list celebrity Johnny Carson (who was arguably more familiar to Americans than the president of the US during his 30 year run on The Tonight Show) bonded with his audience, and built an unbreakable relationship with them that resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for the network and himself.
All without providing any “value” whatsoever.
(At least, the way most people think of value.)
That’s a punch right in my face! Ouch! It hurt. But he was right.
Call it serendipity. Robin Williams of LetsWorkshop.com sent me an email titled “How south park creates a great product in just five days” a few days later. Here’s an excerpt of what he said:
You see, South Park is unique because each episode is made from scratch in 5 days. That’s it.
It’s written, recorded, and animated in less than a week. That’s 30 times faster than the average show. Way faster than most cartoons.
Eliminate writer’s block by slacking off until the very last second.
When you give yourself 5 days to make a show, there’s literally no time to procrastinate. It doesn’t matter whether you think you have a good idea — you simply have to run with what you have. This is a challenge, of course, but it’s also an opportunity. It means the entire team is forced to rise to the occasion. Animators have to storyboard, character design, and background design all at once — which is unheard of. The rule is simple: if you don’t work fast, you can’t contribute.
Apparently, thinking too much can too much time away from a lot more doing than what you would actually want.
Stop worrying about what you’re going to write. Just “ship it!”