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It’s never about whether the work you do will work out the way you hope each time. It’s about you understanding the overall vision, purpose, and the change you want to make. Despite the outcome, the work you do is part of the process, and like all successful people before us, we all have to go through the process.
These people, the ones who have gathered audiences to follow their lead, focus on the process. They understand that the process involves trying new things, risking failure, pursuing discovery, and denying the opinions of the masses. They do not focus on the outcome. They place their focus on the process.
Most people don’t like getting things wrongs. Before they ship their work, they ask themselves, “What if it goes wrong?” The answer, they conclude, is, if it goes wrong, they will judge me. So they freeze. They do nothing. They leave their ideas with the mountains of unattempted ideas thought up by others too afraid to fail.
Growing up, we learnt to focus on getting things right – standing in line, only leaving class only when the bell rings and scoring high on the end of year exam. If we didn’t do those things well, we were made to feel inadequate. We learnt that getting things right was the outcome that made us accepted in society.
However, the process of developing discernment, picking ourselves up when we fall, understanding why we fell in the first place, making the necessary changes, and becoming stronger and wiser through our failed attempts, is where we should receive most of our praise.
I used to focus on the outcome. Like many others, I would ask myself, “If I create this work, how can I be sure the audience will like me?” It was all about me and my ego and what the world would think of me. I stuck to doing work that followed the status quo, that got liked, but no one truly cared about. And worst of all, barely anyone would ever remember. How could they? My work was no different to everyone else. There was nothing remarkable to remember.
Doing great work that makes people feel something and sparks conversation should never be about you. It should be about the change you want to make and the people you want to serve. But like many others, I was afraid, so my riskier works, which I thought the audience would reject, got relegated to that same mountain the other non-starters threw their ideas.
But then, one particular day, I had an idea to do something that I knew people would ignore. I decided that what they did or didn’t do didn’t matter. I decided to focus on the process, and instead of guessing what the outcome would be, I would focus on delivering the best experience, having fun and learning from it. So I could do it again but better.
It was freeing; I created my truth, and I was right. The audience did ignore me, but I wasn’t hurt and left feeling deflated. I was still having fun.
Then, I used the outcome to my advantage by making it part of the story. I told the audience that they had ignored me, and this time they took notice. They wanted to know what they had missed.
When you focus on the process, you permit yourself to be as creative as you like without the burden of what will happen. What will happen is still important but only as part of the process and not as a definer of you and your ability to create good work. Whether the outcome is good or bad, you don’t stop there. You use the result to inform the next step, but you never stop.
To be truly creative, we mustn’t be concerned with what the critics will say or how many Facebook likes we will get. No matter how great your work is, there’ll always be someone ready to tell you why it isn’t as fabulous as you thought.
Creators who focus on the process are daring. They are willing to try something new. Occasionally they get it wrong, and that’s ok because they are learning, and once in a while, they also hit the nail right in the head and create work that is not only original, fresh and authentic but enough people like it to spread the word.
I highly recommended you read Seth Godin’s book – This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See, if you would like to discover more about marketing and shipping work that audiences care about. This book is timeless and incredibly inspiring. Click here, buy it and read it.
Also, to all the CEOs, Marketing Professionals, Founders, if you would like me to work with you on your Content Marketing Strategies to build brand presence and profitability? Awesome! I’ve got a fabulous Consulting package which I’m sure you will love. Click here to learn all about it and book your first session.
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