Like most people I tend to hesitate to publish anything to the public until the point I think my creations are perfect or at least good enough for public consumption. But sadly this way of thinking has limited me from seeing most projects I’ve started come to fruition. I believe I’ve found a better way and this is why.
I’ve worked on several personal projects but for reasons I could not understand at the time, I just couldn’t see them to completion. No matter how hard I tried, soon enough, I ran out of steam and the projects were eventually abandoned. I realised that I was going about it the wrong way, that will power alone was not going to get me there. So, I got my friend to keep me accountable, and in turn I would also keep him accountable. This worked well for some time, but soon enough we both ran out of steam and were back to our regular lives.
This was very frustrating but I knew they had to be an answer and I was right. After listening to several people that have taken similar journeys and were successful I realised what I was doing wrong and like most things it seemed so obvious but somehow I missed it. The solution is to start small.
Start small, publish daily
I have to admit starting small is not as easy or intuitive as I thought it would be. An example is this blog post, which I wrote while at lunch. There’s a resistance within my perfectionist mind as I write that’s trying to justify why I need more time. To me starting small means publishing or delivering value daily. There’s always a temptation to wait a few more days which then turn into weeks then the weeks into months and eventually the excitement fades and nothing gets done or you die. Publishing or delivering daily to me is understanding that each day counts and should have results. I use the word publish deliberately to imply that there has to be other people to witness your daily creations and publish in this context is not limited to writing.
- Consistently making small deliverables daily has a compounding effect benefit where what starts small will eventually be big.
- Small deliverables enable us to fail small enough to recover and learn.
- Being able to deliver regularly keeps us motivated.
- Building small enables us to get feedback early enough to know whether what we are building will work before investing too much into it.
Aiming for perfection is the easiest way to end up with no results. Working in small increments and regularly receiving feedback will keep you motivated and going longer. It is better to fail small than to fail big. Make everyday count.