Most people have goals that make them feel good because they want to be the type of person that has accomplished something. These goals are perfect in their imagination but they rarely put them into action.
They say they want to write a book, but really they simply want to have written a book they don’t want to give up parts of their life currently to do the hard work, years of hard work, to become an author.
Maybe for you, it’s not a book, but you want to have a YouTube channel and create full time. That thing you dream of isn’t the work to get there though, it’s the finished product when you have money coming in and can simply do what you want with your day. You desire the end result, spending time investigating what you find interesting without needing to pander to a boss.
Let’s talk about what it’s going to take to get you that dream.
Bias Towards Action
You only know what you make. Ali Abdaal
First off, if you can take action on something there is nothing holding you back1. Oh, you may tell yourself that you can’t start a YouTube channel yet because you don’t have a nice enough camera, but that’s just an excuse. The real problem is that you are finding excuses to not take a step towards your desires yet. If you don’t take a step then you can maintain the fallacy that you’ll succeed because you won’t generate any evidence to contradict your fantasy.
Stop looking at which writing tool is best and start writing. Don’t worry about which camera you have, plug a mic into your phone and start recording a video. Face a window and put your thoughts out there for others to see. Don’t agonize over the “best” idea for your first videos because no one will watch them anyway.
The thing about action is, it doesn’t even have to be big action. A single wiggle that’s headed in the proper direction is a start. Success comes from moving in one direction consistently over time2. Not from taking 2 steps in one direction, then when it doesn’t take off immediately, backtracking to take 4 steps in another direction.
I have over 800 videos on YouTube with the first ones being added in 2012. I didn’t really get any “traction” until partway through 2019 and then it was only minor. Three years later I’m still putting out videos regularly and it’s actually turned into something that earns a bit of money, but the effort I put in doesn’t bring in enough money to live on yet.
I’m still in the grind of action regularly in the right direction. I’m still pushing the flywheel every week to get it spinning strong enough to turn my content into something more.
You’ll Never Be Good Enough
I’m still not as good as I want to be on YouTube. I have over 3000 blog posts and 6 books published, but I’m not the writer I wish I was. If I never put my work out in public because I wasn’t good enough yet, you would never have heard of me because I’d have produced nothing.
Just today I was told that my voice was a downer and I should stop doing YouTube videos. I get at least one comment like that a week, but I don’t let it hold me back because I know that 99% of the time the person making the comment is producing nothing but biting comments that try to tear people down.
You’ll also never find the perfect tool. There will always be things you don’t like about your video editing software. You’ll struggle to connect notes into something good enough to produce a video.
The amateur blames the tool and goes looking for a magic solution. The professional sits down and tries again with just a bit more experience under their belt.
Stop looking for perfection, just keep taking steps in one direction.
Put Away Feel Good Goals
So when you’re frustrated in pursuit of your own goals, don’t sit there and compalin that you don’t have what you want or that this obstacle won’t budge. If you haven’t even tried yet, then of course you will still be in the exact same place. You haven’t actually pursued anything. 3
So put away feel-good goals. Instead of saying that you’re writing a book, share your daily progress via the Obsidian writing dashboard I showed off last week. Join a group of like-minded people that are going to hold your feet to the fire when you don’t publish something every week.
By just saying you’re “starting a YouTube channel” you let yourself feel good about inaction. Grab iMovie and your iPhone and record something. You’re not starting a YouTube channel until you have been putting videos out regularly for a while.
Until you’ve put in the action, you’re just making yourself feel good.
> PS: If you want help making progress on your goals join my coaching course to help you build something that is biassed towards action.
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