I have a tremendous respect for Todd Henry and his company Accidental Creative. He enables thousands of creatives all over the world to create consistently and that’s no small feat. His tweet yesterday was meant to be an encouragement and it served that purpose for me. My retweet and additional commentary was meant for the majority of people who read tweets, blogs and books and yet have very little if any output. They digest but they don’t create. This is such a waste. Here are a few ways you (and I) are guilty of failing to achieve our goals.
RT @toddhenry: Morning, all! Make something great today. // or make anything which is more than u did yesterday.
— Andy Traub (@andytraub) February 28, 2012
Five proven ways to fail to achieve anything
1. Save it for later
If you have a great idea keep it in a file on your computer and wait for the perfect time to work on it. Wait for the right partner for the project, the funding, the free time and the mood to strike. If you save it for JUST the right time then you’re sure to fail. That never happens. The best post about this is written by Chris Guillebeau and is called (Never) Save It For Later.
2. Use your family as an excuse
Jon Acuff writes about this beautifully in his book Quitter (affiliate). (Jon will be a guest on the Linchpin Podcast in March). If you have a needy wife (because it’s so unreasonable that your wife has needs isn’t it?) or kids that demand so much of your free time then you’ve got a valid excuse right? Unless you’re a jerk and leave your family then they’re not going anywhere. That excuse sucks. God gave you your family and your dreams and gifts. Don’t think that one (your family) cancels out the other (your dreams). Make it work and if you don’t know then read Quitter. Jon explains how he pulled it off (and screwed up royally along the way).
3. Read all the time
If you sit in bed and eat you’ll get fat. If you sit and read inspirational content all day long then you’ll get motivationally bloated. You won’t go anywhere because you’ll be paralyzed by information. When everything is an option you usually end up choosing nothing. Stop reading so much and create time to create.
4. Do it all yourself
Sit alone. Don’t ask for help. Don’t collaborate. Don’t humble yourself enough to admit you suck at some things. Just keep trying to do everything yourself. This is a SURE way to fail to achieve your dreams. Charles Lee, author of “Good Idea, Now What” said this on his recent appearance on the Linchpin Podcast. “Any great idea should involve more than one person.” I agree. Include other people or fail. You do not need other people to write a blog post or create your podcast but to create bigger dreams you need others. Share the profits too. Thirty percent of 100% is cheaper than 0% of 0%. Trust me.
5. Blame your tools
My computer is slow.
I don’t have a Mac.
My office is too small.
I don’t have an office.
I don’t have my own URL.
I don’t own a smart phone.
You need a keyboard and a screen and an “RETURN” key. Create something. Stop making excuses because that’s all they are, excuses. It’s not about the tool, it’s about the artist. You think Picasso could make art with a Crayola crayon? Damn right he could. So grab your crayon and a partner and make some art.
What have YOU been doing to ensure your failure and what are you going to do differently?