Business

Why It’s Better To Create Than Consume

By default we are all consumers.  You don’t have to ever try to consume something.  it is in our nature to get what we want, whether that be food, clothes, tickets to an awesome event, scrolling through mindlessly on LinkedIn or other platforms. The real challenge is creating something that isn’t a humblebrag and actually adds value to those who read it.
Please, create something fun, create something intriguing, create something that sparks a new thought, even if its a potentially controversial one.  Think of a hobby you have, a conversation that made you think, an organization that you volunteer for and create something that isn’t focused on you, but brings light to something that you want the world to know about.
A word of caution, don’t only create content that makes you look awesome.  If you actually want to bring value to those around you, get beyond your big head and ego, and bring OTHERS value. What brings others value? Think about what brings brings them joy, stretches them in some capacity, or shines a light on something that could bring about a new passion or cause to fight for.  Don’t think too much about the content itself, and instead, take the words of the great company Nike to heart… “Just do it.”
(The 5 pics in this post are just random shots that added a visual element. They are nothing special.  Capture and create.)
Helpful Hints

How To Be More Creative: Stop Editing And Just Write

I learned something from a wise sage, Jon Acuff, a little over a year ago and it has worked wonders for me as I have been trying to create content.  His big piece of advice, which I wish I would have learned in school and applied years ago, is to keep writing.  When you are first capturing your thoughts, don’t worry about the edits and what you could say differently.  When you are switching from jotting ideas down to editing, you are activating two different parts of your brain which ends up hurting the creative process.  Only after your initial draft is done should you start editing.  

Another lesson I have learned along this creative journey is that you need to let what you write just sit there on the screen.  Don’t always go from capturing your thoughts to editing.  The reason you should allow some space is because your unconscious mind is still processing through what you wrote and is making edits that you are not consciously aware of.  These edits and ideas will become apparent as you go back to your document and re-read it and start the editing process. 

This simple idea of just capturing my ideas and thoughts, no matter how good or bad, has been a true game changer.  It’s something that we all need to apply to our work whether we are writing an article, business proposal, potential contract or anything of importance.

(Example of this process: Started with the title 10/22. First draft 10/23.  First edit 10/29. Final edit 10/30)

Helpful Hints

Creating Momentum To Make A Difference: Why You Shouldn’t Let Perfection Stop You

What we create is rarely, if ever, perfect.  If you take a look at my website you will see that data is missing, pictures are blurry and not sized correctly, and there are grammatical errors.  Regardless, this imperfection is not going to stop me from producing content or building relationships and sharing in others stories.

The best advice that I can give to fight off the curse of perfection is to just hit send.  Hitting send and putting our project, post, idea, or app out into the world creates momentum.  When momentum is created, it is easier to take the next step.  Momentum is also what allows us to break though fear and to keep plugging away at our passions and jobs so that we can make a difference within those around us.

Now please don’t read this as me saying you should send out crap.  What I am suggesting is that just because your logo isn’t the perfect shade of brick dust, your story isn’t the perfect length, your first iteration doesn’t have all the features, or you don’t have that speech quite memorized, publish it and put it out into the world.  Our first efforts will never be perfect, but when we send them out into the world, it allows us to get feedback and create something that really matters.

Stop worrying about perfection and start making a difference. Take some encouragement from a guy who definitely doesn’t have it all together and let that project loose into the world.  I promise, once you take that first step, the next one is just a little easier to stomach.