I’ve talked a lot about starting and how it’s the most important thing you can do, but I think I’ve been glossing over the second hardest part, finishing.
Once you’ve started your project you’ve done something incredible and taken the first step on an exciting journey, but it’s a journey that doesn’t matter if you never finish.
Because it is fear that stops us from finishing, fear that tells us the book will never sell don’t bother finishing it, the business will never make any money don’t bother carrying on, the painting will look terrible don’t finish it no one will buy it just start another one instead.
And it’s the loop of always starting something new that is dangerous, because it’s hard to finish something then show it to people and say look I made this, they might not like it, it might not sell, but you’ve finished it, you’ve done it, it’s out there. You are officially a creator, and if it doesn’t work that’s fine, you can move on to your next one with new knowledge and you can try again.
With open-ended projects like a blog or a podcast it’s a little different, because a blog is never finished and that’s ok, you’re finishing every post and hitting publish, each time you do that you get a little better at it, especially if you publish posts you’re not happy with, that’s fine you can publish more later.
Likewise, for the project as a whole you can have some sort of time deadline, 12 months say, that you get to work on it, only after that point do you get to decide if it’s worth finishing as it is or carrying on. If it’s not working that’s fine, it doesn’t often happen first try now you get to try again.
As Steven Pressfield said in his book War of Art “It’s better to be in the arena, getting stomped by the bull, than up in the stands or out in the parking lot”
P.S I wrote a guest post for The Firestarter titled Your FI Dreams Can’t Wait, You Need To Start Them Now, which you can read here if you’d like. And to the new readers who’ve come from there welcome, I hope you like the daily posts, we do.