I have a specific goal this year. It’s the most important goal I have ever set for myself as a writer, as an entrepreneur, and, quite honestly, as a person.
And if I may be so bold, I think, maybe, just maybe, it could be the most important goal you set for yourself, too. Then again, you might think I’ve gone and lost my mind.
Several years ago I wrote a short, humorous eBook about living life with ADHD titled, “10 Things I Hate about ADHD” and I gave it away for free. It was a laugh-at-myself sort of book and a lot of people thought it was kind of funny.
Over 100,000 people downloaded it. That’s a heck of a lot more than I expected.
With that kind of traction I thought it would be a neat idea to write an extended edition, a real, honest-to-goodness, “book” and sell it as a Kindle download.
So I spent two years writing it, expanding on the 10 jokes and adding another 10 for good measure. The extended edition is ready to be uploaded to Amazon.
But, and this is a big BUT, the book has been ready for over a year already.
I’m stuck at the finish line. Stuck in extended hesitation.
Maybe you’ve been here, too?
Maybe you wanted to do something, like, say, write a book, and yet when you’re nearly there, nearly complete, getting ever closer to the finish line, you begin to slow down, to stall, to hesitate, and eventually you come to a total shutdown.
I hope not. But…
How many of us sabotage ourselves from finishing? Or taking the next, critical step to publication? Or shipping? Or whatever your next step might be.
Perhaps you (like me) fear failure and don’t want to confront this fear.
My short, free eBook was downloaded over One – Hundred – Thousand times. How can I ever hope to compete with that?
There’s no way I’ll ever sell that many copies. No way. Who the hell do I think I am?
I mean, really, why should I put myself through the terrible disappointment that is sure to come?
Or perhaps you (like me) fear success and don’t want to confront this fear either.
What if I sell more copies? Would my life then change dramatically? What would I write to follow up after such a massive success? Or would I stop writing and retire?
This might sound crazy to some (probably not to you), but the possibility of success might actually be scarier than the risk of failure.
Either way, both have caused me to stop right at the finish line.
The questions, the doubts, and all of the, “What if’s…”
Maybe it’s better to not follow through? Perhaps it’s better to stop and never cross the line? Why did I ever think I could compete with the luck I had?
If I stop, I won’t have to confront my fears, no matter how rational or irrational they might be.
Unfortunately, crossing the finish line may be the hardest thing you or I will ever do for our work.
Crossing the finish line may be the hardest thing you will ever do for your work. (Click to Tweet)
If you give it some thought I’m sure you can identify something(s) you started that you stopped for seemingly no reason at all.
But there was a reason.
Do yourself a favor and go back to whatever it was and finish it, don’t worry about what will come.
Free it. Publish it. Ship it.
As they say, what will come will come. And you know what? It will be okay.
It’s worth it.
“Whatever it takes to finish things, finish. You will learn more from a glorious failure than you ever will from something you never finished.” ―Neil Gaiman
Whatever it takes to finish things, finish. (Click to Tweet)
There’s a tension between success and failure, a place where we feel uncomfortable because we are uncertain. In such moments when we feel like stopping, it helps to remember why we started in the first place.
Don’t finish for the promise of money or accolades, finish because that’s what you do after you start something.
This year my goal is to finish what I started.
Don’t you think that’s a pretty important goal? Do you have a project you haven’t shipped yet? Maybe talking about it and sharing it with us will reignite your passion to finish it. Tell us about it in the comments.
Let’s finish what we started this year. Let’s do that. What do you say?