You’re failing because you’re making shit fucking complicated.
I’m what is called an idea guy. While some people are genetically predisposed to contract this condition, once you have it, you have it for life. It’s a bit like herpes… or glitter.
I could share a menagerie of examples of projects from my past that, had they been seen through to completion, would have dramatically altered the financial landscape of my life.
It wasn’t until last year that I learned how to manage my condition.
Daily meditation, acknowledgement that sacrifices (like forgone dates and social events) are temporary, results oriented goal setting, and accountability all help in their own way.
However there’s one thing of which I am perpetually reminding myself…
Last night, Daniel H. shared with me the story of Jon Rimmerman. Jon knew a ton about wine and wanted to start a wine distribution business, but he had no money. Thankfully, his bank account had a lack of funding equivalent to his lack of fucks and excuses.
Jon started emailing people… daily. Every day he’d drink some wine (hard life, I know) and then email a super descriptive synopsis of the wine. People started buying wine. Jon’s business, Garagiste, now generates $4.5M in annual net revenue… with plain text emails.
Exception to the rules you say? Don’t fucking challenge me.
In 2012, Ryan Shell was living in a one bedroom apartment in New York City. He really fucking loved New York and it prompted an idea. He started selling t-shirts with a silhouette of the state of New York and the word ‘home’ in American Typewriter font over the top.
Apparently other people who live in New York share a love for New York too, because people started buying Ryan’s shirts… a lot of them. Fun fact, New York is one of 50 states. He made shirts with silhouettes of the other 49 states with the same ‘home’ design. This was the birth of The Home T which generates something like $8.5M annual net revenue.
I collect these stories because they remind me to keep things simple.
Stop, take a deep breath, grab a red marker, and go to fucking town. Cross out the things that aren’t mission critical. It doesn’t need to be frightening, assess them one at a time.
Let’s practice, ask yourself…
Do I need ____ right now in order to complete ____?
Scroll down for the answer.
Cut the complex, simple is sexy. Get the fuck to work.
P.S. Thank you Brooke E, Madi T, Alon S, and Claire C. for responding to yesterday’s Not Mother’s Leverage with a mix of concern, drunken motivation, and offers of support.
P.P.S. Thank you to Trent Nelson for inspiring this email with his response on Facebook.