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Just Ship It Even Before You’re Ready

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Don’t settle for less, but… don’t let ‘perfectionitis’, paralyze you. Just ship it! That’s what we’re doing with the brand vision for iCreateDaily.

We had been discussing the concept of a brand for creators for a few years now. We love working with, serving and hanging out with creators, and these conversations began to take shape via a domain name we claimed in January of 2017.

The timing wasn’t right.

But… is it ever?

“The only thing worse than starting something and failing is not starting something.”
~Seth Godin, visionary, teacher, author, speaker, AltMBA, b.7/10/1960

SETH GODIN QUOTE on STARTING SOMETHING
“The only thing worse than starting something and failing is not starting something.”
~Seth Godin, visionary, teacher, author, speaker, AltMBA, b.7/10/1960, #SethGodinQuote #FailingQuote #StartingSomething #DoTheWork #iCreateDaily #JustStart
Begin.Mug Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

And so we did.

Table of Contents

Audio Article: Just Ship It!

No Time? Start Anyway!

We didn’t have the time that would be needed to do it “right” (and we still don’t). We were already working seven days a week building other businesses, #TheEntrepreneurLife, so we shelved it.

But eight months later we couldn’t stuff it back into the treasure chest of ideas any more. Like characters in a book that demand to be written into the story, it wouldn’t leave us alone, so we had to do it… to just start.

While we didn’t have the time, we knew we were committed to doing this, and so we did.

“The right moment is now.”
~Tina Roth Eisenbergh, designer, entrepreneur

The right moment is now. ~Tina Roth Eisenbergh, serial entrepreneur, #swiss-miss. #JustShipIt #ShipIt #SethGodinQuote #EntrepreneurQuote

Business Plans Are Out… Brand Vision and Goals Are in

Most business plans never end up seeing the light of day beyond the initial creation. In fact, most successful entrepreneurs we know have said that business plans are a waste of time, excepting in how they can serve to force you to identify and clarify your goals and objectives.

Even the best plans always change once you’re in the journey. The good news is that you don’t have to have it all figured out before heading in the direction of your dreams.

“Daily steps in the direction of your dreams is a proven path to success.”
~LeAura Alderson, cofounder – iCreateDaily.com®

Even the best plans always change once you're in the journey. The good news is that you don't have to have it all figured out before heading in the direction of your dreams. #JustShipIt #ShipIt #SethGodinQuote #EntrepreneurQuote #YourDreams #SuccessQuote #DreamsQuote #iCreateDaily

Head in the Direction You Wish to Go

The iCreateDaily 90 Day Goals Journal and Planner is a perfect example of how it is in the journey that the way becomes more clear.

Prior to beginning the iCreateDaily brand, we had not even conceived of the idea creating a goals journal let alone publishing and selling multiple versions on Amazon. We knew there would be products to come—because we’re creators after all—but the 90 Day Goals Journal had not even entered our minds.

It was in the process of hosting a creator’s challenge using another journal that our audience’s feedback started our ideation for an iCreateDaily Journal. The current journal wasn’t working so well for them. They wanted a 90 Day Journal that was segmented into months, weeks and days and set up for goal setting, tracking, inspiration and accountability.

And so we created one.

“It should be simple…” Beware those words!! Things rarely are as simple as we imagine they might be. However there’s a blessing in such blindspots else we might never proceed!

Sara Blakely, the Billionaire founder of Spanx, Inc, has said it this way:

Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.
~Sara Blakely, founder-Spanx Inc., author, b.2/27/1971

Focus on Progress not Perfection

Today, we’re four years in of the many planned in our growing brand vision for iCreateDaily. We’re often behind where we wanted to be, and needed to pause our podcast publishing schedule for the time being when Devani decided to pursue a totally different life. We’ve already stumbled and sidestepped our way to here.

We’ve gone through crises of identity and purpose, but we’ve also made tremendous progress.

It’s not always pretty. It’s often more hectic and chaotic than we’d idealize. The startup and entrepreneur life is messy. It’s a lot construction projects or house cleaning. It’s always messier during the process of what author, Scott Belsky calls, The Messy Middle.

But each day that you’re growing and building, you’re making positive progress. Even through the mistakes and failures because those are simply lessons that inform and help us grow and improve.

Years ago when first getting into fitness, my personal trainer pushed me beyond what I thought I could do. She was right… I could do so much more than I realized, and I wouldn’t have discovered that greater capacity if she hadn’t.

Now, I’ve learned to push myself, and am always rewarded with the kind of gratification and confidence that can only come from the labor of one’s own efforts.

Most of us don’t love exercise but we love the results. It’s the same thing when you push your creative boundaries and beyond what you thought you could do.
~LeAura Alderson, cofounder-iCreateDaily®

The Gift of Goal Setting for Getting Things Done

Precisely because we pushed ourselves we completed the publishing of our first 90 day goals journal in the third quarter of 2017. Then, in 2018 we completed 8 more totally new journals, plus an update of the first one! From not even having the idea, to 9 complete journals in less than a year!

If we had planned this, we would’ve assumed it was too ambitious. By diving into daily doing—and pushing ourselves to do more than we’d done before, than we thought we could do — we got so much more done!

By pushing our boundaries, we accomplished more than we thought possible

In sharing just this portion of what we did from Q4 2017 – Q1 2019, you can see an example of breaking down a challenging task into manageable steps, which is exactly what goal setting, monthly, weekly and daily is all about.

5 Quarters… 9 Journals Published!

  • 2017 – Q4:
    • Created the first 90 Day Goals Journal (idea->decision->daily doing->done)!
  • 2018 – Q1:
    • Completely updated the first journal based on audience feedback and our own observations
    • Created 3 completely new versions of the 90 Day Goals Journal (same format, different content)
  • 2018 – Q2:
    • Published all 3 of the newest journals and set up our Amazon store
  • 2018 – Q3
    • Started selling the iCreateDaily journals on Amazon
  • 2018 – Q3
    • Created a new 90 Day Gratitude Journal
  • 2018 – Q4
  • 2019 – Q1
    • 1/9/19 – iArtDaily Journals arrive
      • Take photos for listings and social
      • Create Amazon listing
      • Create iCreateDaily journal shop pages
    •  1/10/19
      • Ship to Amazon
      • Optimize Amazon listings

“As you travel toward your horizon, it expands. Achieve one goal and the next is easier. With greater achievement comes greater opportunities. The day is the way.”
~LeAura Alderson, cofounder – iCreateDaily.com®

90 day goals journals, art journals

By doing more than we had time to do, we pushed the boundaries of possibility and got more done.
~LeAura Alderson, cofounder-iCreateDaily®

Set Sail for the Horizon of Your Dreams

Changes, tweaks and pivots are all a part of the journey toward better. This is why we’re such fans of diving into your journey and figuring it out as you go. If you know the direction you wish to go, then head there. You can read the signposts along the way and adjust as your vision expands.

Set sail… daily doing is the wind in your sails. Your goals are your horizon.

Identify your vision for your brand, then begin to plot a course toward that through goal setting. Head in that direction, creating daily. Test, tweak and refine. You will learn far more through hands on, in the field work than all the planning you can do ahead of time.

The signposts are in the journey.

“It is in the journey that the way becomes more clear.”
~LeAura Alderson, cofounder iCreateDaily.com®

Set Sail for the Horizon of Your Dreams.
Changes, tweaks and pivots are all a part of the journey toward better.  If you know the direction you wish to go, then head there. You can read the signposts along the way and adjust as your vision expands. #ShipIt #SethGodinQuote #EntrepreneurQuote #YourDreams #SuccessQuote #DreamsQuote #iCreateDaily #TheDayIsTheWay

Brand Vision for iCreateDaily

Here’s a brief summary of the brand vision for iCreateDaily. Of course it is still very much a work in progress, but this is our vision and the direction we’re heading.

  1. CREATION: Creating inspiring and educational content that serves creators
  2. COLLABORATION: A community for and of resources for creators by creators
  3. CONNECTION: Support within a community of creators.
  4. CONTRIBUTION: Helping creatives in growing their work in the world

We weren’t ready to start this project yet. Our timing wasn’t perfect. All our ducks were not in a row. Our busy schedules were not free and clear, and yes, there are others out there doing good work in this area. BUT…

We were compelled to start… to finally just do it… to ship before we were ready. And so we did.

We’re compelled to do the work of our hearts, no matter how hard to start.
~LeAura Alderson, cofounder – iCreateDaily.com®

These days you don't need a map... you need a compass. The journey is the way. Step onto your path and the way will appear.
#ShipIt #SethGodinQuote #EntrepreneurQuote #YourDreams #SuccessQuote #DreamsQuote #iCreateDaily #TheDayIsTheWay

Just Ship It

Ship it Before You Are Ready

One of our favorite thought leaders, Seth Godin, has written and spoken extensively on this subject of “Just Ship it”. You can enjoy the full pamphlet for free from Seth here: Ship it is “A Little Pamphlet for People who Can”.

But this comment by popular artist, Sia, sums up the strategy:

“I don’t think that I’m necessarily, like, a super-talented songwriter. I think I’m just really productive. One out of 10 songs is a hit. So where a lot of people will spend three weeks on one song, I will write 10 in three weeks.”
~Sia, Australian singer-songwriter, b.12/18/1975

The more prolific we are the greater our progress through more rapid iteration and improvement. These days you don’t need a map… you need a GPS. Step onto your path and the way will appear. The journey is the way.

Ship often. Ship lousy stuff, but ship. Ship constantly.
~Seth Godin, author, speaker, founder AltMBA

Fight the Fear… Don’t Let the Lizard Win

“The lizard brain is eternally vigilant, trying to keep people from noticing you (which is dangerous). The lizard brain hates failure, and thus it hates creativity or the launch of anything that might make a fuss (which can lead to failure). The lizard brain creates the resistance.”
~Seth Godin, American author, visionary, founder-AltMBA

So when you feel yourself resisting, ask whether you’re resisting because it’s not in alignment with your vision, or, if you’re resisting because it’s hard or scary. If it’s the latter, then remember:

To push against the gravity of that resistance is to grow stronger and better. Fear is from the lower self… we can’t let it win.

Great, is a daily journey toward better.

DO THE WORK:
Make art
Give gifts
Connect
Lead
Ship
Make a difference
Do work that matters

~Seth Godin, visionary, author, teacher, b.7/10/1960
SOURCE: Seth Godin, Linchpin Keynote
Do work that matters. Seth Godin Quote

“When we’re doing art, we say, ‘How can I do more?’ When we’re doing work, we say, ‘How can I do less?'”
~Seth Godin, visionary, author, teacher, b.7/10/1960

SOURCE: on The Futur, Make Something Everyday

More Work = More Feedback = More Growth

The other very important reason to ship before you think you’re ready? Feedback from your audience or prospective audience, as well as yourself as your survey the manifestation of your ideas.

We could be creating what we think is a wonderful program, but if we create what we think you need, or just what we like, it may not serve YOU. And you are our reason for being here. It doesn’t mean we won’t create what we wish to create, but we will definitely consider how it may serve you.

Same for your audience. If you wish to create to sell, you will need to build a following. In order to build a following, you put more of your work out there.

As creatives, that there are MANY options for us of what to create. So hearing what your fans like helps you to follow your next best path of opportunity toward getting your work out into the world in a bigger way.

So create daily, create like crazy. More words… more clay… more paint… more bits and bytes and bites.

Grow like plants in spring. You can weed out the garden later.
~LeAura Alderson, cofounder – iCreateDaily.com®

So create daily, create like crazy. More words… more clay… more paint... more bits and bytes and bites.  #ShipIt #SethGodinQuote #EntrepreneurQuote #YourDreams #SuccessQuote #DreamsQuote #iCreateDaily #TheDayIsTheWay

It’s Safest Outside Your Comfort Zone

At the gym, the only way to make progress toward better physical health and fitness, is to get uncomfortable. It’s the same thing with your art… with your business… with your goals.

The safest thing you can do, is take a risk.
The riskiest thing you can do is play it safe.
~Seth Godin, author, speaker, founder AltMBA

For an inspiring interview with Seth on this topic, you may enjoy this full interview.

Lastly, for some amazing inspiration on this theme, you will love this video by Lindsey Stirling, titled The Arena. It’s one of our all time favorites. You can also read more about “The Critic” for context“.

The Arena with Lindsey Stirling

We love, love, LOVE this music video with the amazingly beautiful and talented Lindsey Stirling.

Lindsey is one of those artists who enchants with her music as well as her extraordinarily creative dance choreography. In this video, Lindsey partners with Dancing with the Stars’ celebrity dancer, Derek Hough to create a truly riveting and poignant performance.

A must see for every creator.

If you put yourself in a position where you have to stretch outside your comfort zone, then you are forced to expand your consciousness.
~Les Brown, motivational speaker, author, b.2/17/1945

At the gym, the only way to make progress toward better physical health and fitness, is to get uncomfortable. It's the same thing with your art... with your business... with your goals. #ShipIt #JustShipIt #LesBrownQuote #ComfortZoneQuote #OutsideYourComfortZone #iCreateDaily

And then there’s Brené Brown’s talks and books on this critical topic for creatives. She writes a lot on this and you can read an excellent article by Brené published on Vogue here.

“When we’re doing art, we say, ‘How can I do more?’ When we’re doing work, we say, ‘How can I do less?'”
~Seth Godin, visionary, author, speaker, teacher, born 7/10/1960

SOURCE: on The Futur, Make Something Everyday

Doing more of your art will connect you more fully with your heart!

She Just Shipped It x 2

Recently, iCreateDaily community member, Shannon Schofield, published her second book, almost one year after her first book. YAY, SHANNON!!

Upon sharing that, she mentioned something about her next book, which will be a book of poetry. #WAY! She’s already planning and working on book 3!! We recently shared about the author, Joyce Carol Oates. She’s published 70+ books to date and is still writing and publishing around two per year now in her 80’s!! It starts, one book at a time, and then another.

The Creative Habit Takes On a Life of Its Own

Shannon is an excellent example of how once we get in the flow of the habit of creativity, it’s easier to stay there and to pick up momentum. The more she writes the more ideas she has to write and the possibilities for future books.

A prolific poet, capable of rapid outpouring of heartfelt poems, I suggested that she take the time to go deep on each poem as she goes through editing them to get them ready for her third book, which will be a book of poetry. From my experience of writing and editing, there’s always more that I see to do to improve. AND… there’s also a point at which you have to let go the compulsion to perfection and to “just ship it” as Seth Godin coined.

Then I shared that I’m listening to the Leonardo Da Vinci audiobook by renowned biographer, Walter Isaacson, and learned that surprisingly, Da Vinci kept more of his work than he ever sold. Apparently he would often go back and touch up and change and improve much of his work for years, and some for his entire life.

Shannon said, “Kudos to da Vinci. I dunno if I’ll do that. I’m more of a river. Do it to the best of my ability, learn, grow, and move on to the next. It takes all I have to stay focused on one for a year ?  Maybe that’ll get better with time and age.”

LOL! Shannon is exactly right! We need to continue refining and improving, (editing and revising) our work. Yet at some point we have to set it free to sail into the world and be what it will be. AND… vastly better to ship it, even before we think it’s ready than to spend undo time in endless tweaks toward an unattainable perfection.

Set It Free to Be – Lessons of the Art

Like our children, we do our best to prepare them to voyage into becoming before we set them free to be. We do our study, research and our work. We do the best we can to get the word out and grow an audience of fans who appreciate our work., and then we set them free to be.  And with each one we learn the lessons of the art, and the heart… and the art and heart of lessons.

With each one we learn, grow and improve vastly more than if we kept working on it to perfection before ever putting it out there. Da Vinci, in all his brilliance, left the majority of his work unfinished, unmanifest and unrealized. 

We can only imagine what else may have been his legacy had he had not… had he finished more of his work. And yet, all of his efforts served to develop his skills, and his incredible mind and imagination. So… it was not lost, and indeed still serves the world today.

Leonardo Da Vinci’s greatest assets were his childlike curiosity, his incessant practice, keen powers of observation and application through interdisciplinary mediums, and his ability to vision and imagine.

Don’t Get Stuck

So don’t get stuck in procrastination or atelophobia. The time we have in this precious life is too important for that. Do the work… your work, and watch it grow and reflect back to you that growth.  But if you do, this article about feeling stuck may help.

Lacking Clarity?

And if you don’t yet know what your work is to be, just start where you are with what you’re inclined toward, and more will be revealed to you.

The more prolific we are the greater our progress through more rapid iteration and improvement. These days you don’t need a map… you need a GPS, that can quickly recalculate your route as you make tweaks along the way.

Step onto your path and the way will appear. The journey is the way.

Ship often. Ship lousy stuff, but ship. Ship constantly.
~Seth Godin, author, speaker, founder AltMBA

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