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How JP Sears & Elizabeth Gilbert Helped Me to Ditch Perfection

JP Sears & Elizabeth Gilbert Blog Post

What is the one creative idea that you’ve been sitting on? You know what I’m talking about. The one that follows you around, creeps into your mind as your falling asleep, and consistently shows up on your list of things you promise to do “once the time is right.”

The “right time” being when you have more time, when you have better equipment, when you have more skills...

But, SPOILER ALERT, the “right time” never comes.

And so you have to learn to move forward in spite of that. 

So again, what is your thing?

Do you want to write more? Paint more? Start a podcast? Chances are, we all have something creative that we keep putting off…and putting off….and putting off...

I’m just as guilty of this--don’t let this blog post fool you. 

For months, I’ve been sitting on some ideas that I have for comedic, self-deprecating, satirical videos about growing a personal brand and an online business. Let’s be serious, the material is endless.

I’ve actually lost countless hours of sleep because the ideas just start flowing out of me. I giggle to myself in bed as I furiously try to type them all in my Evernote. My dog looks at me like I’m the rudest person for disrupting her slumber, but I don’t care, because in that moment I’m a GENIUS.

But then morning comes and I do nothing. I continue delaying production because I have all the normal excuses: My camera sucks. I don’t have an external mic. I need lighting. My hair should probably be cut by someone other than myself… 

The list goes on and on. 

In a recent Facebook Live, Elizabeth Gilbert was talking about the concept in her book, Big Magic, that ideas don’t stay with one person indefinitely. There’s a finite time that we are blessed with each idea, before eventually inaction leads them to leave us, and they (the ideas) go find another human more willing to take advantage of their magic. 

I think I audibly gasped when I heard this. 

“Mine!" I thought. I want these videos to be mine! 

Not in a selfish way (or maybe totally in a selfish way). All I knew was that my time for feeling inspired by and motivated by the concept for these funny videos was limited, and if I didn’t act soon, I’d inevitably forget what the point was. 

So I decided to get over myself.  


Since I knew that the process for filming the series of satirical videos would be somewhat time intensive, and I wouldn’t see the ROI for a while, I decided to simultaneously start building my youtube channel with content I was already creating on a weekly basis— the Podcast

What this means is, in addition to the audio file which you'll still be able to listen to on your phone via iTunes, stitcher, soundclound, etc. you’ll also be able to view each interview on Youtube

This is a great confidence-boosting first step because it gets me more comfortable with seeing my face on the screen, and the rewarding effect of seeing a growing archive of videos on my channel is encouraging to produce more. 

My recent interview with JP Sears was the perfect episode to kickstart this new podcast format for a few reasons: 

A) Because he’s obviously comfortable in front of the camera.
B) Because people are used to seeing him in front of a camera (and seem to dig it).
C) Because he is someone (in addition to Liz Gilbert) who inspired me to stop waiting until I “feel” like a pro, and just start now. 

If you look at JP’s famous youtube series, How to be Ultra Spiritual, he uses mostly natural light, and edits in iMovie. 

I have access to both of these things. 

JP didn’t wait until he had the most expensive equipment, and a full time video editor before he started. He didn’t stress about how to connect the dots from where he was, to the massive presence he’s grown over the past two years. 

In actuality, there’s no way JP could have predicted the level of success those videos have achieved, and if he had known the impact it may have paralyzed him into inaction by how daunting and overwhelming it would have seemed. 

No, instead, he just listened to his gut. And his gut said “You’re funny. Be funny. Share this part of you. Trust me."

And so he did. 

And then, I followed suit.  

I decided that instead of looping the same tired excuses in my mind about why I still wasn't ready, I researched the best tips for recording videos using your iPhone, ordered the best/cheapest lavaliere mic from amazon, and asked a friend if I could borrow his Diva Light. 

Lights, camera, action.

Whether it’s recording videos, writing content, or getting a website up, whatever you’re waiting to feel good enough to do, just do it now. Chunk it down, decide on bite sized steps for moving forward, and just start with one thing at a time. 

In reality, it takes time to build traction, and for your followers to grow. Chances are good, not that many people will even see your early efforts.

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Before I had professional photos, my site was just a blog with pictures I’d pulled from Canva, or taken with my iPhone. But people started to engage because they were excited to see that I was writing, and wanted to know what this whole Bold Life Movement thing was all about. Not once did someone comment on my lack of professional photos. 

So if you’re waiting to launch that project that’s been tapping you on the proverbial shoulder for months, start now. And start small. Don't wait until everything is perfect, because it never will be.

If you’re building a website, start with something easy like Squarespace, and just start publishing content. If it makes you feel more comfortable, ask a friend to edit it!

If you’ve got an idea for a podcast, start recording episodes with your iPhones headset and the free quicktime player on your computer. Before I ordered my Yeti mic, this was more than sufficient for my first Free Audio Training. 

Want to ramp up your video as well? Grab a cheap lav mic that plugs into your iPhone. Rig together some lights from home depot, and edit in iMovie. 

You’re never going to feel ready, so you might as well just start. 

Do the thing, and you’ll get the energy to do the thing.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Want to be sure you don’t miss one of my forthcoming vids? Subscribe here on Youtube.