It’s been awhile since I’ve done a random thought here, and this one actually has nothing to do with home stuff! But I think it’s important enough to pop on and see if I can quickly articulate this thought and hopefully give some of you the swift kick in the behind you need.
I want you to think about that thing you’ve been thinking of doing but putting off. Why are you putting it off?
Did you just think something along the lines of “because I need to do this (whatever) first”? “I need to learn this first.” “I need to get this product first.” “I need to do this other thing first.”
A few weeks ago I met someone who just graduated college and started working in an office environment, but has a real passion for ceramics and wants to pursue this and eventually have her own shop. She may even be reading this! (HI!!!) I was so impressed and I started asking her what she is doing to pursue her ceramics goal. Next, she talked about how she isn’t doing much at the current moment because she rents and it’s hard to set up an at home studio, and the equipment is expensive and heavy. Then she would need to make a bunch of different stuff and figure out what would sell well, THEN make the inventory…
There is soooo much here that I can unpack, but we’ll just talk about a couple for now:
- She is limiting herself to an at home studio and the “perfect” set up that quite possibly might never happen
- She is creating a step to spend time figuring out what her market would want to buy from her
These concepts are VERY common things I hear all the time when talking with people. Not necessarily specific just to her or ceramics. So let’s break these down further shall we?
Things will never be perfect for anything, regardless of what it is you are working towards. Sorry, but so not sorry for that reality check. Perfection isn’t something you should wait to happen before you can start something. You wouldn’t put off losing weight until you have a house with a large enough space for a full at home gym. Why limit yourself to that for any other endeavor? Also, by starting along whatever your journey is, you learn things you would never have known at the start. This will probably even cause your idea of that “perfect setup” to change along the way. Instead of waiting for your ideal conditions, there is always a solution or workaround, something you can do for the short term to start working towards your goal now rather than putting it off. Yes, maybe that means renting collaborative space and working during their hours at an offsite location. Maybe that means getting a gym membership. Maybe that means setting up a website with an inexpensive service for now and upgrading later. Maybe that means you start a blog without that perfect camera for photos… But at least you are starting and, more importantly, LEARNING FROM YOUR EXPERIENCES rather than just thinking you know.
This one is harder to spot as an issue, because it seems like a good thing to do research before hand. But here, it’s a hindrance. In my scenario above with the ceramic shop hopeful, she is going to spend time trying to determine what her target market would like to buy before trying to sell anything. Does she actually know and understand her target market? Does she really know what they would be interested in? Does she know how much to price things for this market she is thinking of? Does she know whether the seasons will affect what people buy from her during those periods of time? Do you see where I’m going with this yet? This again, is another place where you will waste time thinking you are learning. But what you are really doing is determining things for an imaginary “perfect” scenario. But reality could be very different. This isn’t just for creatives or entrepreneurs. Take our weight lose example again – you could spend all this time doing research beforehand trying to find what everyone says is the best workout, what will produce the best results, what are the best diets, and what are the best shoes for this type of workout. Then you finally start your workout on your predetermined perfect start date, and find out your body doesn’t respond to that type of workout… or you just flat out hate it! So you just spent all this time learning about systems that don’t even apply to you, rather than just starting something, working toward your goal and learning as you go.
I heard something the other day that was pretty profound for me, maybe it will be for you too: you can either experience the discomfort of inaction, or the discomfort of growing. Which one would you prefer?
So to my ceramics girl – why are you limiting your own potential?! You have the passion, go for it! Find the time if you really want to make it happen. Schedule time at a community ceramic studio. Rent kiln space. Make friends with the other people in that space and learn from them. Start that Etsy shop now! You don’t need to purchase that perfect backdrop for photos, just make something work for now because you can always change it later. You’ve got this and will go further than you even think possible if you just start!
Are you holding yourself back from anything you want to do? Be really honest with yourself here. If you want it enough, there is a way to make it happen. It may not be Instagram perfect, but who cares? You are going after what you want and there is nothing better than that.
The best thing I can think of to sum all of this up is this, even though it seems cheesy – Life is a journey. Learn as you go. Stop limiting your own potential with excuses of waiting for perfection to be able to begin. You have the ability to begin RIGHT NOW! You are the only one holding yourself back. As soon as you realize that, there is no stopping you! Now go out there and do it.
Last modified: September 6, 2018