No, but srsly, just do it

I sit there, staring at my screen, four hours into drawing a new ‘skull’ icon for Bare Bones. This will be the fourth update since the brand started, but I’m convinced an update will make a huge difference. So, I’m analysing each stroke on the screen like one misplaced brush stroke will result in the loss of a future customer. I’m up to version no.42 saving each separately in case I realise that ‘skull v.37_final-final_b’ was always the one — constantly searching for which shift of the pixel will level-up my brand and initiate send my sales skyrocketing.

The funny thing is (not funny haha), I know that it doesn’t matter, but I want it to be perfect and I keep telling myself that it WILL make a difference. It won’t. It doesn’t.

This belief that every detail needs to be perfect before I launch something is one I’ve struggled with over the years. If I’m not 110% happy, then I’m thinking “This isn’t good enough. You aren’t taking this seriously and people will see it straight away and everything will come crumbling down around you. Plan for bankruptcy now!” Totes dramatic, I know.

I also think it is a way of me stalling. When I’m unsure of exactly what I’m doing or maybe I’m frightened to launch another thing that ‘fails’ then I end up fixating on the smallest of details just so it feels like I’m in control. But it never really helps.

Here’s what I’ve learnt (and have to keep coming back to) :

Start with good, then, if necessary, work towards perfect.

The quicker you get started, the quicker you get feedback and the quicker you can revise until it’s perfect, if you need to. What we consider ‘perfect’, and spend all our valuable striving for, can be quite different to what the customer actually cares about. You might even find that what you’ve started with ends up being ‘perfectly good’. (see what I did there?!)

So, to steal a well known phrase from Shia LeboufJust do it.

No, but srsly, do it already.

Get started with that idea.
Make the product.
Launch the website.
Start the blog.

Just do it and get it out there and you’ll very quickly learn what your next step should be. The one thing you can trust about the internet is that it’ll give you an opinion — whether you want it or not. At least then, you’ve got something to work with.

Success isn’t linear and sometimes we need to put our best foot forward in order to take a few steps back, and then one step to the left with a slight diagonal shuffle with a south-facing twist before we can keep moving in a general forward direction. You can quote me on that.

I guess what I’m saying is, you gotta start. So, here’s my first post.*

Paul 🤘

* Ironically (and perhaps in the Alanis Morissette kinda way), I spent a whole day trying to design a logo for these series of posts that I'm calling 'Learning to Fail' (none of which I used) and rewrote this post 6 times. I put off launching this for two months until I had outlined all the emails and come up with a 'really strong approach' and have even spent way too long designing this really simple email template. Why? If I'm honest, I think it's because I was afraid that, even in a series about 'Learning to Fail', I was worried this would be another thing I'd fail at. So I stalled and told myself I just needed to get things all in order and perfect before I started. Until, finally, I had two people say to me "sounds like you need to take your own advice and just do it, already". So I rewatched Shia's video, to really cement the advice and got started.
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