Knowing When to Stop

The hardest part of any project (at least for me) is knowing when to stop. Knowing when it’s the time to stop perfecting it, stop iterating, stop sweating over bits and pieces and show it to the world.

And I bet that a lot of you feels the same way.

There’s always a bit more you can do. There’s always an extra detail you can sweat over, there’s always a slightly better solution to the problem, there’s always a different and better way to structure the sentence, there’s always… you get the point.

Yes, it is a bad thing if you ship it before it’s ready, but It seems that most of us is shipping too late, rather than too soon. If it’s good enough, show it to the world. Responses are never as bad as you think they will be. Quite the contrary, actually.

Problems, Solutions, Questions and Answers

If you’re looking for problems, you’ll find problems. And if you’re looking for solutions, you’ll find solutions.

This may be an oversimplification, but you can use it to your advantage.

You’ll find a series of problems for every solution you find. But you’ll also find a series of solutions for every problem you find.

The same goes, even though it doesn’t seem so at first, for questions and answers, too.

Sometimes…

Sometimes it seems to me that I’m not working hard enough, sometimes that I’m not good enough.

Sometimes it seems to me that I should be more productive, sometimes that I should do more with my time.

Sometimes it seems to me that I’m not knowledgeable enough, sometimes that I can’t do any better.

Sometimes it seems to me that I’m sleeping too much, sometimes that I’m not paying enough attention.

Sometimes it seems to me that nothing makes any sense, sometimes that I shouldn’t be wasting so much time.

Sometimes it seems to me that it’s not worth it, sometimes that I should just give up.

And sometimes, just sometimes, it seems to me that I should pay no attention to the sometimes that are bothering me.

And sometimes, just sometimes, it seems to me that something I do is actually worth something to someone.

And that’s exactly why sometimes matter.

The Power of Thank You

A seemingly simple thank you can have very transformative power.

Thank you can:

  • make or break the project
  • shift deadlines
  • change one’s attitude
  • win (or lose) you the job
  • change the way you think about your audience
  • change the way your audience thinks about you
  • get you more (or less) money for the same amount of work
  • disempower (or empower) your competition
  • increase (or decrease) your revenue
  • change your level of satisfaction and happiness
  • get you to your goal faster

A thank you goes a long way; it’s incredibly powerful, doesn’t cost much and it cannot be overused. But there’s one catch to it. You have to really mean it, otherwise it won’t work.

Thank you so very much for reading.

Critics vs. Artists

It’s incredibly easy to look at the work of others and find mistakes, faults and problems. Every work has holes and faults and every artist makes mistakes.

But are these mistakes really what matters? Should we be focusing on mistakes and errors? Or is the conveyed idea more important? Should we even be judging the work of others?

We probably shouldn’t, but still… we always do.

And the reason for that is quite simple. It’s easy to criticize. But it’s hard to create the art by yourself (with or without all the aforementioned mistakes).

That’s exactly why we have more critics than artists and that’s exactly why we need more artists than critics.

Hit Publish Regularly

Sometimes you have to force yourself to hit publish, to ship anything (even if the quality is questionable), just to build the habit, just to start moving, just to overcome the demon of not shipping.

Yes, quality over quantity should be your motto and releasing something of real value should be your primary objective, but when you get stuck, the easiest way to get unstuck is to hit publish without much thinking and analyzing.

Don’t worry about quality or perfection too early; worry only and solely about putting your art out there. Once you gain the momentum, once you start shipping at a regular pace, you can concentrate on quality.

Never underestimate the power of frequency and inertia.

Go Out of Your Way (If You Want to Be Remarkable)

If you want to achieve something extraordinary or if you want to create something really valuable, you have to go out of your way, you have to become remarkable (because no one notices ordinary and no one cares about average). And being remarkable is actually much easier than you might think.

If it’s not expected from you to give away something for free, but you do it anyway, that’s remarkable.

If it’s not expected from you to tackle a particular bug, but you do it anyway, that’s remarkable.

If it’s not expected from you to answer customer’s email or complaint immediately but you do it anyway even though it’s weekend, that’s remarkable.

If it’s expected from you to do something that will hurt your brand, your company or your product, but you refuse to do it, that’s remarkable.

If you deliver much before the deadline, that’s remarkable.

If it’s expected from you to improve a feature of the product, but you remove it instead because it’s not adding any real value, that’s remarkable.

If you show up early, that’s (generally speaking) remarkable.

If you solve a problem that you don’t have to solve, that’s remarkable.

So, if you didn’t do anything remarkable yesterday, you have an opportunity obligation to do it today. And if you did something remarkable yesterday, do something remarkable today anyway, because that’s remarkable.

Reaching Your Destination

Most of us have goals, dreams, wishes and destinations. Some people say that having those is inherently bad since it distances us from the present moment, but I don’t agree with them entirely. I don’t think that goals and dreams are the problem; the problem is that people want to make them happen tomorrow (or better yet, today). As you would have guessed it, this is rarely possible.

The route to any destination worth traveling to is bumpy, curvy and pretty much uncertain. It takes a lot of steps to get to a place where you want to be. Instead of focusing on the distant goal, it’s much smarter and much more important to focus on the next step, on the step that’ll take you… well, one step closer to your destination.

If you want to write a bestselling book, first step is not actually writing a book that will become a bestseller. First step might be to write a poem. Second step to open a blog. Third might be writing a short blog post, fourth getting a first reader, and so on and on until you’re at the place where you can actually write a bestselling book while making a small step.

Always keep in mind that you probably won’t reach your destination with your next step; but your next step will take you one step closer to your destination — that alone is reason enough to take it.

And don’t forget, in case you reach your destination, it’s time to start going towards another destination.

Your great idea…

…is completely worthless.

And not only your great idea. The fact of the matter is that each and every idea, no matter how great or groundbreaking, is worthless until someone (hopefully you) makes it happen.

Everyone has a dozen of great ideas, yet very few people actually do something to make them come to life.

And that’s really the most important part of any idea: a realization.

So, about your great idea… stop thinking and strategizing about it, go and make it happen. It’s the only thing that counts.