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Just Start And Keep Going

As of today, I’ve written nearly 500 posts for this blog, recorded approximately 250 podcasts, and recorded over 60 innovation videos (not counting the other 300 plus videos I recorded in my dark, distant past). I’ve written four books on innovation, one in its second edition, and wrote a science fiction young adult novel.

Prior to this podcast, from 2005-2009, I had a new technology and libertarian politics podcast which eventually reached over 900 episodes (until the hosting provider I had them with went belly up, and I lost all of those files – my bad for not saving them myself – learned a hard lesson about trusting hosting providers that day).

I host a weekly Shut Up and Write session in a town near me once a week (its like a meetup, but instead of talking to each other, we shut up and focus on writing for a solid hour – this blog post itself is being created at one of these meetups, as the rest of the attendees work on their own writing).

People sometimes say to me – how did you do that – how do you find the time to do all that – how did you get to 100, 200, 500, 900 or anything? It seems like a lot of work.

So they never start. Or they start and stop, unhappy with what they created.

Let me tell you a little non-secret about how I got to the numbers you see above. I started – and then I didn’t stop. I just set up a time every week, or every day, and just cranked out the content.

The first podcast I did which made it up to 900 shows I recorded in my car on the way to work, edited when I got to the office, then uploaded when I got there. Our local news even interviewed me. I made it to 900 shows because I started, and didn’t stop.

I didn’t listen to my show and thought it was terrible and deleted it. I didn’t take negative feedback from my listeners and get disheartened. I just started, and I kept going. Even if the work wasn’t as good as I thought it could be, I kept going.

Even if I said the wrong word, or wrote a blog post which I later read and thought was terrible, I didn’t stop. I just kept creating – kept writing – kept podcasting – kept making videos – kept creating content. Eventually, I looked back one day and said – wow I have over 200 podcasts or nearly 500 blog posts and think, that’s not bad.

However, if I stopped and read those posts, and kept on polishing and reviewing and tweaking until I was pleased with them, then they may have never been published.

Perfect may be the enemy of the good, but stopping is the enemy of greatness. If no one else has said that yet, I take full credit.

Think of it like yoga – writing, blogging, podcasting, making videos, creating a startup, inventing a new product for your company, its a practice. And like most practice, the more you do it, the better you get. I’m sure many a famous blogger or podcaster cringes when they go back and read or listen to some of their very first posts and podcasts. But if they stuck with it – if they kept going – then they got better. Much better in some cases.

They didn’t stop, and that’s the reason they can boost the numbers of posts, podcasts, videos, followers, etc. They started, and they never stopped. And if you are looking to create successfully, then you need to do the same – start, and never quit, no matter how bad you might think it is, it might just find its audience. Believe it or not, some of my worst work (in my mind) is the stuff that has the most traction. Just show you that you are never sure what your customer wants until they experience it.

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