Stop FOLLOWING, Start DOING!

You have an idea and you want to get it off the ground.  You’re probably doing what we all do, looking to the experts before you jump into that big, scary water.  What stage are you in?  Are you just getting started or have you been looking at videos, reading, and doing research for A LONG time, just waiting for the right moment to start?  The answer to that will determine your ultimate success.

Stop Following

There are definite benefits to doing your research, learning from those that have come before.  You don’t want to jump into that beautiful lake head first just to find out that you dove right into a huge rock.  However, if you keep waiting and watching everyone else get into the water you’ll end up staying on the beach and never getting that cool relief you so desire (and deserve).

Start Doing

As they always say, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.” I’m not one for skinning anything (cat, dog, cows…my knee) so let’s update that phrase, shall we?

“There’s more than one way to grow potatoes”.  Yeah, much better.

Anyway, I was at the gym today and wasn’t feeling it.  I don’t mean a casual “I’d rather do something else.” I mean a severe loathing of all things physical.  It was ‘shoulder day’, something that I’m usually not psyched about.  After struggling for far too long I had that defeated thought we all have on those days, you know the one – “I’ll just call it and go home.  I’ll do better next time.”  Somehow I had the presence of mind not to give up.  Instead I pretended it was leg day (super secret time: I wish EVERY day was leg day!)  At that point I made the leg press machine wish it was never born!

The point of this is that there are those that will tell you to stick to your regiment, no matter how much it sucks.  Just cause you don’t want to do something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.  And they’re right, but they’re also wrong.

Using Your Brain

Everything we do is psychological.  Learning to trick your mind (you can’t really trick it btw, it’s just letting you think you can) is key to successful anything.  I’m a firm believer that getting out of your comfort zone helps you grow.  I’m also an advocate of nourishing what you like and what you’re good at to ensure you keep at it (whatever ‘it’ is).

Be A Leader

If you’re always following other people’s advice you’ll lose sight that you already know how to do it, you just have to listen to yourself.  Sure, there are tips and tricks you can learn from someone else’s mistakes – like I said, cats and potatoes make great life lessons.  Just because Peter McKinnon does “buttery slo-mo” with insane and unique transitions doesn’t mean you have to.  Having the tutelage of someone like Helene In Between is great but even she’ll tell you, do it your own way.  What these folks (and many others) have in common is that they are leaders in their own right.  Everyone has it in themselves to be great and inspiring, it’s just a matter of finding your voice. 

If you have a minute, stop off at 5 Things I WISH I knew BEFORE Design Schooland scroll down to “2) Find Your OWN Voice”.  There’s a small morsel of wisdom from me and a great bit from James Victore.    

Start Following

This might be a bit confusing because I’ve spent the entirety of this article telling you NOT to follow.  Here’s the thing, the best leaders draw their inspiration from somewhere.  A great leader takes that inspiration and acts upon it.  Find people that draw you in.  Get in contact with those you look up to (I can tell you from personal experience that hearing back from your ‘idols’ gives you a HUGE boost. I’m looking at you Peter McKinnon and Thomas Heaton!)

Be Your Awesome Self

At the end of the day it’s all about YOU.  You know how incredible you are, you just have to act upon it.  If you’re launching a blog, just start.  Doing a new YouTube channel?  Throw up that video!  Take solace in the fact that nobody knows who you are yet and you have no followers – it’s surprising how relieving that can be.  You won’t get success overnight and that’s a good thing.  It lets you create your voice and style in anonymity, helping you work out the kinks in peace, allowing for full enjoyment (if you allow yourself to enjoy it).

Until next time!

~Dave

Featured Image: Thanks to Ian Parker

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