It may sound counterintuitive – after all, these are the people who start things, who lead, who create change – but their fear is very real.
Every instigator experiences this same fear.
From the moment he begins, through every setback and project-halting mistake, to the gut-checking ship date, fear of finishing plagues every step along the path of a worthwhile endeavor.
Every leader wonders whether his work is good enough.
Every leader wonders how the tribe will react.
Every leader wonders whether he’ll be jeered and criticized (or worse, laughed at).
This (naturally) leads to thoughts of scrapping the project entirely, procrastinating in the name of perfection, and avoiding the publish button at all costs.
Every one of these reactions is merely a way to avoid finishing, avoid shipping, and, ultimately, to avoid the pain of standing out.
Here's the thing:
There is no angry group of critics waiting to dis your product.
There are no mobs of people waiting to judge you when you publish.
While you stress out over making it “perfect” and wonder if your tribe will hate you, you’re missing this glaring fact:
your tribe doesn't exist.
“There is no tribe. That gang or posse that we imagine is sustaining us by the bonds we share is in fact a conglomeration of individuals who are just as fucked up as we are and just as terrified. Each individual is so caught up in his own bullshit that he doesn’t have two seconds to worry about yours or mine, or to reject or diminish us because of it.” – Steven Pressfield [Turning Pro]
So stop worrying about this imaginary group of people watching you.
Don’t stress about negative reactions to your product (note: more than likely they simply won’t notice).
All you have control over is your work.
Do it every day.
Finish your product and push it out to the market, because...
“If you don’t intersect with the market, it doesn’t matter.” – Seth Godin
“There is no tribe, and there never was.” – Steven Pressfield
p.s. I'll be heading to the Seth Godin seminar this weekend in New York (hence the picture of his books above, conveniently placed next to my limited edition business card 🙂 ). I'll take copious notes and hope to meet some incredible people. If you're going, drop me a line. If you're not, what question would you like to ask Seth, if you could ask anything?
Share your questions (and thoughts) in the comments below.
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