1/15/2016: Experiment

One of the most common struggles that creatives often share with me is the fear they have of putting out work that’s “not good enough” or of moving forward with a project before it’s perfect. And my advice to them is always this statement, the mantra that has completely shifted the way that I approach my life and my business: It’s ALL an experiment.

Life is an experiment. Business is an experiment. So often we confuse *assuming* with *knowing.* We assume that people won’t like our art if it’s not this way. Or we assume people won’t buy our product if it’s not that way. Well, maybe they won’t… but there’s an equally likely chance that they will. You’ll never know unless you go for it. Taking this “experimenter’s approach” has gone such a long way for me in removing the fear of moving forward because I know that if something doesn’t work, at least I’ll have REAL data to learn from and REAL experience to aid me in future efforts -- not assumptions.

It’s also a fantastic way to shift my own measures of success for any endeavor. The goal doesn’t have to be whatever outcome I’m hoping for; instead the goal can simply be to run the experiment. If I do that, if I simply make the thing or launch the product or share the piece of art every day (😉) what happens after is less important than the very fact that I did it — that I ran the experiment in an effort to learn something.

Whatever you’re holding back on right now because you want it to be perfect, ask yourself if you’re doing so based on real facts or just assumptions. And consider the idea that the way we run our businesses and our lives is all just an experiment anyway — a matter of taking a guess, running the test, seeing what happens and then doing it all over again based on what we learn.