Bret, once your best pal, nervously unfolds the wrinkled papers on which he has written the words he's about to share. Adjusting the mic, feedback screams through the church. Bret clears his throat.
"I think this is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. [insert your name here] was my best friend. [insert your name here] lived life to the absolute fullest...."
Really? Did you really live life to the fullest? Or, would the real eulogy sound like this:
"I'd hoped so badly that the parent's of [insert your name here] wouldn't ask me to do this. Sure [insert your name here] was my best pal but jeez, what a life of mediocrity. [insert your name here] had so much talent. So many great ideas. Genius. The problem? [insert your name here] had no courage. No balls.
Could've, would've but didn't. Now? Rest in peace [insert your name here].
I titled this post Fuck Your Ideas! Harsh words? Absolutely.
There is a vast sea of brilliance out there in the world. So many great ideas in the brains of the young and old. World changing ideas of creativity, of technology, of innovation. The problem?
THEY ARE ALL JUST YOUR FUCKING IDEAS!
What good are they sitting between your two wax filled orifices on the sides of your head?
Unless you execute those ideas your awesome idea is shit. I could mutter off a list of cliche adages here; words of motivation and inspiration that are as old as my busted up Chucks . . . but I won't. I share the motivational quotes on Twitter and Facebook. Here is where things get ugly. Here I have the character allocation to drop bombs of knowledge on your head. I digress.
Where were we? Yes, executing your brilliant idea. You see, there's one big barrier to entry here, a self imposed barrier to entry. A big pink elephant standing between your great idea and its becoming a reality.
F E A R
Flag on the play? Come on, let me hear all of the great excuses while cursing me at the same time.
"I'm too old."
"I'm too young."
"I don't have enough money."
"But my job."
"But the kids."
"If I didn't have this mortgage."
"If I wasn't so busy."
"They would laugh at me."
Get the point? I can go on and on and on. These excuses? Born by fear.
Age? Don't get me started here. Know when I first became serious with a camera? I was 30. If you're wondering, I'm 37. And no, it didn't take a lifetime did it? It took ass busting hard work. It took 10,000 hours and more.
Money? Is money even really a variable needed to execute this idea? Look, where there's a will there's a way. Me? Ok, I use a pretty sumptuous camera rig but beyond that I'm pretty frugal. I've shot the biggest of clients with Vivitar 285HV strobes, one of which is broken and gaffed together. These babies cost less than 100 USD each. Bottom line here? Again, where there's a will there's a way.
Job? Quit. Can't quit at this given moment? Ok, work less. . . . and less, while at the same time planning an exit strategy.
Bills? Yes, this relates with the thing, I know. Stop buying shit. Seriously. You know how many credit cards I use? ZERO. If I don't have the extra cash flow, I don't buy it. Crazy concept, I know. You gotta be bare bones people. Cut back the cable. Stop running your AC. Pack a lunch. Stop buying coffee at Starbuck's and start making your own. These things add up people. I promise.
Kids? Ok, I don't have any just yet so I will keep my mouth shut here until I can better defend this category.
Busy? Stop crying. We are all busy. You just have to prioritize. What's more important? Going to drink beer at your nephew's birthday party, discussing football and lawn mowers or missing the party to focus on your project? Right now, as I'm writing this, I'm missing a family event. Why? Because over four years ago, when I had the blog idea, before executing, I made the commitment to be consistent and dedicated to writing on a once a week basis. Working on many projects at the moment, today had to be the blog day. Therefore, I miss the party. Yes, I get bitched at and nagged at from time to time but guess what? And I hope they don't read this. My work, my creativity, my art, my blog all take the front seat. . . . EVERY SINGLE TIME. It's a sacrifice, a big one.
Acceptance? This all falls under the big fear umbrella. The big P word hits me here and it rhymes with fussy. Need I say more? You can't hide your creations in your mommy's basement. If nobody sees them, they won't know you exist. I put myself out in front of the world on a regular basis. It wasn't easy at first and it's still stressful from time to time, especially when trying to land a client. And you know what? Enduring rejection is part of the process. Hearing NO sucks but you gotta have thick skin my friends. Courage, plain and simple.
The problem that occurs is that your self induced fear syndrome blocks your brain from finding the simple solutions to your bullshit excuses. I mean really, the answers aren't an enigma wrapped in a riddle wrapped in a mystery. Pretty simple stuff.
Easier said than done you say? I understand. You've watched a million YouTube videos about success and taking action and you tell yourself that it's easy for these dudes and dudettes to preach about taking action from a stage. What about in the real world, here on the city streets, in the one bedroom apartments?
I'm here to tell you that I am you. I'm not on a pedestal on a TEDx stage. I'm here, at my desk, executing, taking action. I take steps, no matter how big or small, to make positive progressions. Action people! At all times.
My friends, I didn't pick up a camera and magically make marketable and miraculous photographs. I SUCKED but I had unbridled passion. I wanted to make awesome images so I learned the camera inside and out. And then I created.
It wasn't long before I began to get my work critiqued. Thick skin my friends. Trust me, if you can't handle the truth and this truth can hurt, then you may be better off living in your miserable cubicle for the rest of your days. On the other hand, if you have can take the heat, then you are on your way to awesomeness.
- turn off the freaking Facebook, Twitter, etc. (unless you are using to build your business)
- smash the life sucking video games
- fantasy football friends? Really? Do I really need to address this one? How old are you?
- surround yourself with ONLY likeminded peers (the synergistic energy becomes euphoric, trust me)
- close your eyes
- deep breath
- prepare for pure awesomeness