Often times when I'm sitting in my car during my 3-hour commute to work I will listen to podcasts to pass the time. I figure if I have to be stuck in the car, I might as well try to learn something useful. One of my favorite podcasts to indulge in is Gary Vaynerchuck's "The #AskGaryVee" show. If you haven't heard of or listened to GaryVee, I highly recommend it. He's a brash, foul-mouthed entrepreneur and investor who uses basic common sense when it comes to business and marketing. And he's made millions doing it. He's not for everyone, but he's definitely meant for me.
I am 100% guilty of being a perfectionist. It is my strong suit, yet my demise.
A few days ago, as I was making my way round the 495 Beltway and I heard Gary Vee say these words, "Speed is four billion times more important than perfection. The amount of you who are crippled by getting shit right instead of getting shit done is insane." Immediately, I knew he was talking to me. I am 100% guilty of being of being a perfectionist. It is my strong suit, yet my demise. I am one of those people who has let fear get in the way of trying something new, simply because I knew it wouldn't be perfect. I was afraid of what people were going to think and I let that fear hold me back.
The world of calligraphy and design was something I always loved but never allowed myself to pursue at a professional level for fear of not being good enough. It was an area of my life I was always interested in but because of my own self-perceptions: lack of experience, lack of knowledge (thus a big learning curve), lack of confidence in my talents, I sat on the sidelines and watched. I even discussed the idea of pursuing this professionally with a few people close to me and they too weren't terribly encouraging. More like discouraging. I had already allowed myself to fail before I even tried.
All of that changed for me almost one year ago. On January 8, 2016, I decided I was going to not let fear and the need for perfection dictate my world any longer. I downloaded a faux calligraphy exemplar from Lindsey Bugbee of The Postman's Knock and started. I grabbed a normal, run of the mill ink pen from our junk drawer in the kitchen and the rest is history.
I took a photo that night so I could have something to look back on. I wanted to be able to document my progress and see exactly how far I would come in this journey.
I knew in order for me to improve, as it goes for anything in life, I would need to practice. I would have to make time, time I didn't really have. Working full-time, being a mother to two kids under two and a running a household didn't really lend itself to spare blocks of time where I could sit down in a quiet space to practice calligraphy. Let's try never. Nonetheless, I made adjustments in my world and slowly the practice became part of my routine. It became something I found solace in. It became an escape I desperately needed.
Shortly after taking the plunge with my faux calligraphy exemplar, I used the $50 Amazon gift card my boss gave me for Christmas and purchased my first pointed pen, nib, ink and notepad. I decided if I was going to do this, I was going to do it right.
I made adjustments in my world and slowly the practice became a part of my routine. It became something I found solace in. It became an escape I desperately needed.
I've not looked back since that evening in January 2016. The "trying" was 90% of the battle in getting to where I am today. I've got a budding business and I couldn't be happier. It's been an amazing journey and it's only just begun.
But I will say this . . .because I tried, I practiced and educated myself, that is the only reason I've come to the place I am today. I recognize I still have so much to learn and I'm thrilled to know I am only going to get better.
Without putting in the work, you won't get very far regardless of what you're attempting to do. So, if you have an idea or desire to try something new, then just go do it! If you're hemming and hawing over the one thing your heartstrings have been pulling at, then just go do it. And once you start, start putting in the work. Don't worry if it's not perfect. I promise, in the beginning, it won't be. It will be perfectly imperfect.
So, if you don't start now, where are you going to be 5 years from now?
That's a simple one . . . NOWHERE.