Who’s with me?This week I’ve realised I’ve been indulging in extreme procrastination. I’ s really been ready for months to launch a new venture but I’ve been busy perfecting and talking and doing a million other things that could be done instead of acting. This is a familiar step in the creative process. Whether you are ready to launch a new business idea or you are about to create a new artwork. Sometimes the task seems so big and fraught with opportunities for failure that it’s easier to avoid. But this is time to ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’ because, after all, living with the fear is often a lot harder than carrying out the action and dealing with the consequences.
So how do we overcome our internal resistance to action. David and Tom Kelley, in their book “Creative Confidence:unleashing the creative potential within us all” offer these five suggestions:
1. Get Help: recruit someone else to help you and make your problem theirs for a while. You might collectively come up with a new solution.
2. Create Peer Pressure: Be answerable to someone. Even if they don’t get involved, have someone who you have to make a progress report to. I find that a regular meeting with a network of other entrepreneurs helps keep me to my milestones. No-one wants to turn having had no progress since the last meeting.
3. Gather An Audience: Find someone who will help you move the idea out of your head and into a valid plan. When working with people with ideas I like to use the Business Model Canvas. It helps to validate the idea and develop a pathway to implementation.
4. Do A Bad Job: Sometimes creating anything is better that being frozen in inaction. I have created prototypes on my kitchen table using an old swimsuit, swimhat and glue. They don’t look pretty and nothing like the end product, but at least I could demonstrate a concept to a potential user.
5. Lower The Stakes: if you are not acting because the problem you are tackling feels hugely important, make it less important. Instead of coming up with the best twitter marketing idea ever, challenge yourself to come up with 10 mediocre ones. Once that constraint is gone, it’s amazing how quickly the ideas will come.
In the end, you must remind yourself why you wanted to act in the first place. In my case, I truly believe in what I do, and it’s benefits. When you see someone break though their judgement, play and then present a story or create a product that is truly unique, there is no better feeling.
This post has been written with John Cale in my head..