Have an idea? Do it.

Julien Smith and myself, when we each had facial hair. I have no idea what the hell I’m drinking, nor have I ever seen Julien wear shades.
Julien and I have great conversations. I look forward to our chats because I always end up with new ideas or new motivation for old ideas after we speak. We met thanks to and lived through the podcasting “bubble” and have each approached staying up on current “internet stuff” from different angles, which lets us have conversations where it’s not just both of us agreeing about something Seth Godin wrote.
In December, we drove out to Ottawa together for the inaugural CreatorCamp, and the 2hr drive was over in what seemed like a minute thanks to the great conversations. In one chat,  Julien explained what he’d learned from shutupandgettowork.com, and the lessons learned from a site that is so simple yet got so much attention. It made me think about ideas and projects I have had, and how sometimes they get stuck at the idea phase.
So as we drove through towns like Vankleek Hill and Casselman. we flushed out some of the lessons learned from some of our projects. While they may seem obvious, I find it a good idea to think about these things once in a while.

100% of the projects you don’t try will fail

failure isn’t just a lack of success. It can take many forms. one of the ones we identified was that a lost opportunity to learn is a failure.

Nobody buys a band’s “Worst hits” Album

If you throw enough crap, some of it will stick to the wall. Those are your greatest hits. No one cares about the less than successful ones (Unless it cost them something). I could come up with quite the list of failed personal projects (although all my client projects are HUGE successes, hehehe…).. If you come up with 5 bad ideas, and 1 great idea, you will be remembered (and rewarded)  for  that 1 great idea.

If you need a foil, get one

I’ve come up with some good ideas, but a few stalled because I didn’t have the oomph to go from idea to action. Often telling a (supportive) person will help you get the idea closer to reality. My most recent example is probably CreatorCamp, which I  was about to let die on its own, but Mark Blevis picked up on it and together we have a new event that’s being planned everywhere from Ottawa to Calgary to Chicago – how cool is that?

Shut Up and Get to work

Really, that’s the idea here. You could stay on twitter emulating the other idiots who only mimic successful people, or you can set about your own path, and see where that takes you. If you fail, you will learn. If you succeed, you will shine. If you emulate others, you will be nothing.

Photo Credit :Bob and Julien Talk,  by Chris Brogan.
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One Comment

  1. Thanks for the breath of fresh air. I remember as a kid when we’d get ideas to do things, even as stupid as they were, we’d just do it. Jump our bikes off ramps, climb trees we knew were too high, challenge each other to do things (you remember the double and triple dog dares). As we get older we get wary, cautious, and lose our edge when it comes to risk. Most importantly it’s the fear of failure because failure is such an ugly word it’s drilled into us that it’s the worst thing that can happen to us.

    Failure is a part of life and your statement about how our ideas are just as much a failure, if not bigger, when we don’t try them.

    This post made me pull out a list I made of things I wanted to do in life, projects to start, and has made me rethink and retool efforts to try them out.

    Thanks for sharing!

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