This entire journey started very simple...
I wanted to beat my perfectionism and procrastination tendencies.
Well, let me tell ya... when you allow yourself to SUCK, you really do flip perfectionism off because you're putting things out there that aren't "ready" and you become braver and braver in your creation process. So much so, you're shipping things in days!
It allows you to skip steps like self-doubt and editing which make the process less smooth and more time-consuming. Imagine an artist who keeps painting over their initial idea until the coat of paint is thicker than the canvas. I don't even know if that's possible, but I like the comparison. Constantly second-guessing your work and fixing it endlessly won't bring you closer to shipping. It will get you further away.
If I hadn't done the 30 Days of Sucking challenge, I would not have shipped The Creative Business Companion so fast, or ever. And what a shame that would've been. Listen, I know you have AMAZING things inside of you, but you cannot keep them in there forever. Because the world needs them more than you do.
Now let's see what else got unlocked because of this experiment...
You know, it's not that I was born brave or that I learned to be brave somehow. I believe you can develop a habit of being courageous in all kinds of situations. For instance, when you put something creative out there into the world, you fear criticism. Or you fear nobody will like or buy it. But that fear is not as strong as a habit.
You see, habits make 80% of our decisions every day. You can be courageous and do brave stuff by default if you develop the habit of making brave choices.
Like any other habit, it takes about 30 days and no skipping days.
By doing The Creative Rebel Podcast consistently over a month, I became used to going to Soundcloud whenever I had an idea that was not quite blog-ready. I would record myself for 10 minutes and instead of worrying about how lousy it is and trying to learn how to edit audio, I learned to be comfortable with my imperfect podcasts.
Maybe imperfection isn't so bad. Maybe it's what makes things beautiful.
This might sound strange, but the agreement that whatever I create would suck actually made me want to create more stuff. Saying this to my creativity was the magic key to unlocking it. Now, apart from blogging and podcasting, I also:
- doodle (all over the place)
- mind-map (for products and clients)
- sketchnote (I'm learning how to)
- make (rebellious) posters
- do (awkward) video
Can you imagine? I never even knew I could doodle or that mind-mapping could be so fun. Or that I could produce something you could put on your wall. :)
Now I am not only creating more, but I am also seeing the beauty in my imperfect creations. In Japan, there is something called Wabi-sabi. It's the idea that beauty comes from imperfection, that we should celebrate instead of banish it. It states that a pot can't be beautiful without having a chink in it. Imperfection makes it beautiful.
Which is exactly what I have found in my creations, too.
After the 30 days were done, I noticed something odd.
Suddenly, I was more confident about recording myself speaking. I was making fewer mistakes and generally becoming less dissatisfied with the results. Suddenly, I liked everything I was putting out there and happily promoted all of it!
(Bear in mind, those are recordings where I don't always follow a script and sometimes I don't even have notes. Not to mention, none of them are even edited.)
The whole process feels so natural now that instead of the dread I once felt when I had to record my voice or show my face, now I feel EXCITEMENT and JOY when I do it. It feels like being a kid again - playing without thinking about the result! Once you prove to yourself you can do it and do it well, you also gain the confidence that you can pretty much do anything, which is an amazing way to feel.
I can't recommend the challenge enough. It changed my life completely.
Sucking is awesome! (No dirty puns intended.)
Specifically, here are the outcomes of 30 Days of Sucking:
- In 30 days I was a better podcaster!
- I started branching out in mind mapping, doodling, etc.
- I got the confidence and motivation to suck in a ton of other things.
- I had fun!!! Which was also fun for my peeps.
Now it's up to you to try it yourself. Have fun and good luck!