I recently had a chat with a friend who has filmmaking ambitions.
He’s itching to create some projects. But something he said hit me.
“I can’t do anything at the moment because it relies on other people being available.”
It made me think how many times in the past I’ve thought that way too.
Perhaps you have as well?
But when you analyse this closer, it becomes obvious that thinking like this becomes extremely self-limiting.
It’s happened to me many times before.
For one, it happened with a web design/development business I was running.
Eventually, it seemed like all I ever did was wait for others (usually clients) to either provide further instructions, give feedback, authorise prototypes, or even just pay me for the service they were receiving!
That’s not a criticism of them, though. It’s just a statement of the realities of running that kind of business. There was a lot of inertia.
Years ago, I wanted to produce my own comedy television show.
It almost never happened because I was constantly relying, and waiting on, other people who turned out to not be very reliable (hey, that’s to be expected – everyone has their own life to live).
So the only way I managed to save that project, and finally make it happen, was to start doing more stuff MYSELF.
Instead of relying (and waiting) on others to generate certain ideas, organise certain things, or write certain scripts, I did as much of the initial work as I could.
I’m not trying to imply that you have to be a “control freak” about this. Obviously, that’s not healthy either.
But the other extreme is to always be waiting for either someone else’s permission, or someone else’s input into something.
And when this happens the majority of the time, you lose momentum, you lose enthusiasm, and eventually you forget why you wanted to do this in the first place.
And that sucks.
So what’s my point?
Never let others’ delays stop you from doing what you want to do.
Chances are that there is ALWAYS something you can do yourself instead. And if you can’t, then perhaps it’s time to reconsider what you’re doing, or how you’re doing it.
Yes, getting others’ input is important.
Yes, so is teamwork.
But ask anyone who has achieved great success in something, and they’ll probably admit that they initially spent a lot of intensely focused solo time doing their stuff.
You need to do the same.
Otherwise these constant delays will paralyse you from doing the things you truly want to do.
And if the friend I was referring to at the start of this article is reading this, then I only have this to say:
“Start something today. Fire up a word processor, start writing ideas and scripts. Grab any camera you can find. Start filming stuff. And if you have trouble finding enough people to help, use that limitation to create scripts that are simpler and less resource-intensive. Whatever you do, find a way to make your stuff happen NOW! If it’s any good, people will eventually want to be a part of it. And they’ll be far more enthusiastic and reliable than you imagined.”