Dan Kennedy, in his book, No B.S. Wealth Attraction In The New Economy, says this:
“…The New Economy is very, very intolerant of the slow. We live in a nowtime world, people consumed by connectivity, instant communication, news known as it occurs or mere minutes later, and constant change in just about every field of endeavor. In business, what’s called speed-to-market in corporate circles has never been more important.”
Have you been noticing this? I have.
A former boss of mine would often come into my office and say, “Let’s record an interview.”
“Now?” I’d ask as I extracted myself from whatever I was working on at the moment.
“Yep. Let’s do it!”
He was always as giddy as a kid when he’d say this. I never could tell if it was because he was being impulsive (which usually was his definition of being creative) or if he simply got a kick out of steering me away from the paved road I liked and onto some crazy dirt path of his own making.
I’ll be brutally honest, here. I really don’t like the New Economy.
Nope. I’m the planner—the one who likes to have lists and calendars and who walks her efforts backwards in order to give herself plenty of time to hit her milestones in any project.
I love order. Linear action. Focus.
Unfortunately, our New Economy doesn’t favor me.
It favors someone like my boss.
In spite of my own preferences, I realized he had a point. We had to get faster with our marketing and didn’t have the luxury of developing a six-month plan before launching something.
That “something” was usually a podcast, video or blog post that could be quickly pulled together. However, I still held my ground when I talked about email campaigns although even those sped up, too.
The marketing expert, Seth Godin, often talks about the importance of shipping. And he made two very important distinctions.
If you find yourself not starting something because you know you’ll eventually have to ship it, then you need to find out why you’re afraid.
If you’re not shipping something you’ve started, you need to go through all the developmental stages and figure out why you’re not shipping what you produced.
There are varying degrees of risk in whatever you do. If you write a blog post (which according to Seth in this video, is around 12 cents), the risk is low. If you spend a billion dollars on producing a car, the shipping part of the equation is much higher.
But whatever it is you’re building, it’s important to know that there will be a day when you release it into the world. Why build anything if you’re not going to let it go?
It’s difficult for the artist to lay down the brush and say, “It is finished.” It’s difficult for the web developer to push away from the keyboard and say, “It’s done.”
It is difficult for anyone to create anything and to put it in a box, address it, and mail it to the lucky recipient.
We have the tendency to think, “just one more brush stroke of blue, here…” or “one more line of code, here…” or “a better word can be inserted, here…”
However, we’ll be forever tweaking and revising and adding to our work while meanwhile, a hungry world will find someone else’s burger to eat.
We need to create faster and ship faster not just because our world is moving at a faster pace, but because we’re getting ourselves into a rhythm of industry, a pace that lightly sketches out the plans, develops the project, executes and releases it quickly into the wild so we can continue to flow with even more ideas.
Look at the geniuses of the world. The artists. The musicians. The inventors.
They didn’t fiddle around with just one thing for years and years. They focused on it, developed it, and then shipped it so they could start to develop another fantastic idea.
Although I encourage excellence, there’s also another side of creating.
Your first novel may not be the most amazing thing you write. But the first novel has to be written so you can write the second novel. And that one needs to be written so you can write a third. And so on, and so on until you write your tenth novel and that becomes the most amazing thing you write.
Or it could be your fourth novel.
Look at your own creativity as a river that flows, producing an ongoing array of works that continues to get better and better with time.
Our society often celebrates the “overnight successes” when the person knows their success is anything but overnight. Years of practice went into being an overnight success.
Practice. Hours of starting and shipping. Then doing it all over again.
This week look at what you’re starting and make a commitment to not start unless you’ll ship it. And if you’ve got something to ship but you’ve not let it go, do it.
Let it go. Ship it.
Then move on to the next thing.