Thinking is Investing

Thinking about what you are doing is important. What are all the moving parts around you and what are all the questions that go along with these moving parts?

  • Are the parts working the way they should?
  • Are you interacting with them at the right times?
  • How many cogs are there in your system?
  • What parts do you need help with?
  • What parts can you let go of and when can you let go of them?

Those are 5 I came up with off the top of my head.

We need to take the time to not only research the happenings in our industries, but we need to turn our learning eyes on ourselves. It is easy for the organism growing around us to grow faster in areas that we don’t realize are getting quite large and energy intensive.

Take the time to think about what is happening around you. The more you check in early on, the easier it is to make adjustments as you go. (Honestly, this is a mantra because I think I have written this 3 or 4 times in the last 5 days) The changes and the check ins we make now will pay dividends down the road and allow us to not be surprised later.

Remind Me Until its Habit

It takes a lot of time to do a craft. If you want to take that craft to another level, you need to dedicate the time. When you are starting out, there could be an extended period where you mind wants to fight the process. Getting up every weekend and working your craft. Do you get up at the same time, do you start work at the same time?

Weeks, months, or years down the road people will see how much you can accomplish in the course of a few hours. The truth is, what you accomplish in those hours will be set up by reminding yourself everyday for a long time to work your craft.

There will be many times where it is easier to watch the next episode or listen to one more song and play one more video……and…….thats ok. As long as you are looking towards the end goal.

Its almost like you can tell yourself it is ok to take a break, or delay your morning work knowing that tomorrow you will start a little bit earlier.

I’m not saying this is for everyone, it takes a lot of discipline to not let yourself fall into the trap of never working. You have to reminder yourself to get going everyday until it becomes a habit. Once you are going everyday, reminder yourself to get started a little earlier. Keep your end goal in mind as you build your own process. Just like the products we build, we also need to build the process and that is not as straight forward as it seems.

Remember the Awesome

Regardless of what you do, and how difficult it seems to be, there is a lot of awesome involved when you work your passions. Work is rewarding and I call it work on purpose because there is a change from something being a hobby to something becoming work, but that work has it’s awesome elements.

When the going gets tough, remember the things that got you to where you are. We have talked in the past about not allowing yourself to forget the original intent of the project by getting bogged down in the unknown. That means that when you are able to focus on the things you love to do, do them, swim in them, wrap yourself in the blanket that is your project.

The rewards provided by the awesome work provides the fuel for getting through the chaff. I don’t know who said it, but it was a professional athlete. The gist of the quote was, “I will play the games from free, the team pays me to go to practice.” I think this was Ray Lewis and while I could look it up, I write these posts on a 10 min timer and will allow you to look it up yourself if you wish.

While that quote is not a direct comparison to the projects you and I are working on, the sentiment is there. If I need to slog my way through the tough bits in order to do what I love for 4 hours next week, so be it. This is the price I am willing to pay. We need to keep our eye on the goal and part of that helping ourselves through the rough bits by remembering what got us to this point in the first place.

Compartmentalizing Fear

There are a lot of things that scare me as I do what I want to do. When I was younger I would have told myself that it was ok to quit. Now I don’t have any issues with quitting, but quitting for the wrong reasons is what worries me.

But this isn’t about quitting…..

As what we do becomes more serious, I need to look at my fears and tell myself that it is ok to be “afraid”. I use air quotes here because I don’t want to give the word more power than it deserves. I can carry on doing what I want to do and have the fears along for the ride.

The fears need to be understood as to why they are there and what are the things I can do to make those fears go away. Sometimes the answer is…..there is nothing you can do right now. What do I do about that? I need to place that fear in its own place to be dealt with later. I need to carry on with the things that I love and let the fears work themselves out when the time comes. I know the fears are there and I can identify when I think they should be dealt with.

Giving fears their own place to exist outside the scope of the passion is what allows me to function. Knowing the fears are there and coming up with a plan to get past them will give me a road map for going forward.

I Don’t Know How to Do That

Just because you don’t know how to do something, doesn’t mean that you are not qualified to do it try it. I’m not saying the results of your trying are going to be good but don’t let your lack of knowledge be the reason you don’t do it.

I’ve been trying to thing of some abstract way to make this point but I can’t some up with anything that I feel helps make my point without getting lost in my own thoughts. So I will use myself as the example.

A little over a year ago I had never edited audio of video. Looking at today, I have a rough idea of the basics of audio editing and I am not afraid to sit in front of a video editing program and see what I can do.

There are barriers to doing what you want to do and not knowing how to do them should not be a real barrier. Are there other barriers that can hold you up? Of course, and if you don’t currently have the available time to get over the initial learning curve, fine, come back later. If you have the passion and the time to learn it, learn it, make your thing badly. The pride of creating a thing is a drug. The same way I felt when we finished building a picnic table in High School is the same way I feel when I’m done with a podcast episode.

Letting the lack of knowledge stop you from doing is dangerous. Not knowing how to do something is ok, figure it out if that is what you need to do.

Keep Going

Doing your passion is really difficult. There are a lot of “things” that want to get in the way of your goals. The trouble is, those “things” will win almost all the time when it comes to you doing what you want to do. The challenge is finding a way to give your passions a seat in the front row.

Sometimes, in order to do the work, you have to find ways to be able to do the work.

But that can’t let you stop from doing little bits of work in the mean time. Its almost like a mortgage. For the first several years of the payment plan, you are paying off the interest. Only after you have paid the principle down by little bits are you afforded the chance to spend larger amounts of time doing your passion project(s).

Time is often listed as the enemy, but time should be looked at as your friend. Time should be seen as a resource that can be tapped into whenever it is available. Early on, time will be measure in moments. Whats important is that you don’t view that early on as requiring you to be young. Your passion does not care how old you are. The people who will benefit from your passion do not care how old you are.

Keep going……keep going towards the horizon and travel the roads that need to be traveled in order to succeed. The best part is you get to define what success is. The obstacles, the requirements of the day to day need to be taken care of but the passion will have its moments and those moments will turn into the star of the show.

Keep going because we do the things we have to so we can support the passions that drive us. There are times when we are lost, tired and unsure of what to do next. If we are following our passions, we get to define the path we take and the way to cure that lost feeling is to…

…Keep Going.

Designer Interview #40 Chip Beauvais

Today we chat with Chip Beauvais and his Kickstarter, Universal Rule.



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