Every Master was Once a Disaster

Are you trying too hard to be perfect? Does procrastination stop you from getting things done?

The source of your problems may be covered in this video. Don’t be afraid to suck! When you first start a new project or venture, you are a rookie. There is no denying it and there is no escaping it. Even the most talented performers and business people had their first gig. They were probably terrible.

Are you willing to be terrible? If so, you have a chance at success. But everyone has to start somewhere. Check out what Brad and I have to say about diving in and being willing to suck at the beginning of a new journey.

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6 Responses to Every Master was Once a Disaster

  1. Shelly Sargent March 12, 2010 at 2:16 pm #

    Thanks for this Justin & Brad!

    As an artist, writer and business person, I have spent a lot of time over the years obsessing about being perfect. That “obsessing” often caused me to give up on projects early in frustration, pass over opportunities out of fear and destroy “less that wonderful” work I had done in case someone saw it and learned my secret (that I wasn’t perfect). In short, it paralysed me.

    Then I realized a few years ago that – if children refused to walk until they were “experts”, we’d all be sitting on our asses in our 90’s! So I started gritting my teeth and letting the world see my mistakes. And wonder of wonders, we all lived through it (me, the world, my critics, my fans!). But more importantly, I’ve grown leaps and bounds – as an artist, a writer and a person.

    I’m going through another bout of growing pains recently and I think I really needed to hear this message again.
    It reminded me that it isn’t about the destination – its about the journey. And as Beverly Sills once said “You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.”

  2. Justin Popovic March 12, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

    Thanks for the comment Shelly and for your honesty. I don’t think any of us are alone when we face the fact that we fear having our work criticized.

    The most successful people that I have observed all had the phenomenal ability to constantly ask for feedback *knowing* that there was always room to improve. They just knew they needed the feedback to continue to grow and they gladly accepted the criticism as it came. As a result, they became amazing.

    Thanks for the quote too!

  3. Karen March 14, 2010 at 1:10 pm #

    Hi Justin and Brad,

    You bring up some great points about the fear of being successful. It’s so easy to see what others have done and want to be able to have that level of success, but you don’t realize how much hard work was done behind the scenes. You see people who appear to write effortlessly and flawlessly, but you don’t see the tons of writing practise behind the scenes. No one is perfect right out of the gate, it all takes time.

    I try to keep this in mind when I’m writing and starting to doubt myself. No, it’s not perfect, but it’s all going into the experience toolbox, which will help me in the future when I am developing my skills.

    Public speaking is terrifying. Joining a club like Toastmasters can help you with this. Plus, just looking for opportunities to overcome the fear is very helpful.

    You also have to think of the end goal – the first small steps are necessary to get further along the journey on the way to the end result. Knowing how important you goal is will help motivate you to overcome what you need to do in order to be successful.

    Another great video, guys. I really appreciate the subtitles, too. It makes it easier to follow along with the video.


  4. Tracy Brown March 14, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

    Justin and Brad – great video! (Justin, thanks for sending me the link today.)

    This video reminds me a bit of the Ready… Fire… Aim! strategy. Sometimes, you just must pull the trigger, even if you already know you won’t hit it out of the park. (Blending a couple of metaphors there!)

    It’s easy to spend a good chunk of your life not doing anything because you worry that it won’t be good enough or worse – that you will just plain suck. And, I admit, I wasted a few years of my own potential because of those worries. But there comes a time when you have the opportunity to just go for it, and really, you must. You find yourself stepping way out of your comfort zones and saying, you know what? To heck with it! I’m doing it!

    And your heart races, and your smile might quiver… but you walk out in front of the world and deliver the best you have at that moment and you make that impossible leap.

    Years later you might cringe a bit when you see the recording, or read the words you published… or even think about the awkwardness of it all… but that first step.. that step is probably the one that set you on one of your greatest journeys.

    I’ve found it’s worth it.

    Again, wonderful video, Justin and Brad. I’ll tweet it tonight and look forward to more from you.

    All my best,

  5. Justin Popovic March 15, 2010 at 10:55 am #

    @Karen, I like your comment about your “experience toolbox” because that is exactly what all of this becomes. Every time we take action and do something significant, it becomes an experience we can draw upon in the future.

    @Tracy, Thanks for sending this to your twitter list 🙂 It really is all about the journey. The more you can see every step as a form of adventure, the easier it becomes to take action and truly embrace the moment for what it is…living full out!

  6. Garry March 25, 2010 at 9:09 am #

    Brad & Justin

    Awesome video…I always think of Malcolm Gladwell when thinking of starting out, he says that to become an authority or expert at something takes 5000 hours and it starts with the first one. In that first hour you cannot and should not expect yourself to be great.

    It’s something I’m trying hard to remember as I start working on different projects.


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