‘I’ve got a great idea!’, you think to yourself.
From a distance, all our ideas look good. We have a feeling they are going to work.
Some of us even sit down and write a simple business plan, and share it with our partner, friends or even family.
But as the dream and thought bubble takes form our humanity and fear show up on our shoulders, taking on the shape of demons in the center stage of our minds.
They glower in the dark of night. They whisper in our ears in the early waking hours, somewhere between our dreams and a nightmare.
This non-virtuous circle of fear is fed by ourselves and other people too.
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3 big reasons you never go from idea to action
- Self-doubt: Your mind starts asking questions on a loop – “Will this actually work?”
- A guarantee: We go looking for surety and that looks like this internal conversation “If I know it will work then I will do it”.
- Friendly fire: Friends and family sit at our elbows and project their own fears. The mental diatribe? Are you crazy? “It will never work, think of your family”.
What’s the solution?
The monkey mind mayhem stopping you from starting is never-ending. But there is a solution.
To make your side hustle dream a reality you need a routine, or as Seth Godin says “a practice”.
- Athletes show up every morning and practice.
- Musicians sit down every day and play riffs and scales and practice.
- Chefs turn up and cook trial dishes that sometimes are put in the trash. That’s practice.
- Writers craft hundreds of words every day and wrangle them into magic. They practice.
And they all do it despite how they are feeling that day. They aren’t waiting for applause. Not expecting affirmation. No guarantees of success.
But they show up.
Many of them set a time to start and a time to stop. Some writers set a goal to write 500 words.
The Jerry Seinfeld Approach
Jerry Seinfeld became famous because he got good at telling jokes. How did he do it?
“Jerry said it was simple. To be a better comic, write better jokes. To write better jokes, write every day”.
His system: Don’t break the chain:
Get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker. He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day.
“After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job is to not break the chain.”
He didn’t write a whole monolugue. He just committed to the priactice of writing one joke per day. He didn’t care if it was good or bad. He just wrote one joke.
So show up. Sit down. Strap yourself in. And start. Don’t wait to be perfect.
Make creating and starting your art, your side hustle… a daily “practice”. A routine.
There are no guarantees. But magic will appear if you strap yourself in and do the work. Start your art. One day at a time.