If I could give just one piece of advice to anyone wanting to do their own thing–whether you plan to start a business, write a book, share your talent on Youtube, or whatever–it would be this. Enjoy the process.
Because if you want to do something well, you must be willing to do something badly, at first. You need to write shitty first drafts (like this one.) You need to have failed businesses (like I do.) You need to hit a couple (thousand) wrong notes. Nobody rides a unicycle out of the womb.
You only get better at something by sucking at it for a long, long, very long time–by falling off, and adjusting course, by scraping your knee and installing rocks in your shin. Such is the process, so you might as well learn to enjoy it. Because even Chuck Norris, despite what you may have read about him somewhere online, wasn’t born with the ability to kill 100% of whatever he wants. He had to work at it. Just as we all do.
And the reason I say this, is because what stops people more than anything from being creative is they’re afraid of being criticized and they’re afraid of not feeling ready enough. Only, here’s the thing: You’re never going to feel ready enough, and even if you were, you’d still be criticized. Because we’re dealing with people on the internet, here. These aren’t, like, normal people, you know.
So there will ALWAYS be something for someone to attack you over: A stray chin hair, shaky sound quality on a youtube video, why in the hell did you name your kid Meara, etc.
But guess what? None of that matters. Because who are they? What power do they hold over you? Plus, it’s always going to be easy for people on the sidelines of social media to run their mouths. Just, you can’t let that stop you, is all, because there are so many people out there in the world who could use your help, who deserve your talent.
So start before you’re ready. Accept that not everybody is going to dig what you do. And you know what, that’s fine. Because somebody will. Somebody will always love what you do. Your mom. You can always count on her. No matter what.
And here’s another thing: When I look back on the stuff I wrote years ago–shit, the stuff I wrote a month ago, a week ago, yesterday!–I think, no human could ever write that. It’s just so awful. What am I even doing with my life? But then someone will come along and tell me how much they enjoyed it. So then I’m like, oh, well, OK. Thanks.
Same with fitness. I think how little I knew starting out and how embarrassing it is to look back on my older work. Again, how could I ever let myself do that? I was so deliciously naive. So, half-baked, really. But you know what? I’m glad I did. I’m glad I had those years of apprenticeship and getting hilariously attacked online. Because sucking is the only thing that has ever made me better in life.
And business, too. I’ve had more flops and failures than you’ll ever hear me flaunting about on Facebook, that’s for sure. And so here’s just one other thing (because look, we’ve just got a lot of “things” today): You only need one winner, and that’s it. So be willing to play the game of probability. Be willing to fail. Because success is what comes only after you learn how not to stumble, by stripping the training wheels off, and having an honest go at it.
So again, put yourself out there, and start before you’re ready. Face your critics and confront your fears. Create, create, create! The world deserves to see what you can do. Don’t lock yourself away, especially when you know you have something to contribute. Get out, and make a mess. Enjoy the process.