When I was writing my end of year post for 2014 I realized I have two major regrets. They are both listed in the “What didn’t go well this year” section – 1. I didn’t open a new business and 2. I didn’t ship new plugins. This month a few things happened that cured me of my hesitation and feeling of not being ready.
Don’t get me wrong: Last year was a great year. We finally got to travel the world as a family. We lived in London, Berlin, Paris and New York City. I was successful in moving back to profitable independent work. And I made some great new connections in the WordPress world. But, as I stand at the top of the water slide of 2015 looking down I know that I don’t want to reach January 1st 2016 and still be making concessions for not doing what I really want to be doing.
When reading my review I had my friend Curtis McHale’s voice in my head – “Well what are you going to do about it?” Curtis is the kind of guy you want around when you need a kick in the pants. He won’t let you wallow in self-doubt and regret, but rather acknowledge the past for what it is while making a plan to get the hell out of it. If you’re a business owner I highly suggest hiring him as a business coach. I’ve learned a lot of actionable knowledge from his blog, videos, and one-on-one conversations with him and I’m a better business owner because of it.
My answer to Curtis’ question is that I’m not going to let my true desires fall victim to hesitation, fear of failure, or the tyranny of the urgent. I’m going to kill that regret before it grows.
This month I also started reading Dan Norriss’ “The 7 Day Startup.” I needed a non-fiction book to read and had gotten the book when it was free on Amazon. In the book Dan talks about the “wantrepreneuer” categorizing them as “someone who wants to be an entrepreneur, but is so obsessed with watching TED talks and talking about their business ideas that they never launch them” (p. 60).
This phrase hit me like a Hollywood flashback. All of the business ideas, domain names, and half-cooked ideas of my past flew in front of my eyes. I was guilty of the “talking over ideas” part. I’ve talked with friends, family members, and most of all my wife Amanda. Amanda is eternally supportive of me, but has more than one time said “You’ve been talking about this for a while but haven’t done it.”
I’m tired of my own words rattling around in my brain. So for her sake and mine I decided that I need to ship or shut the fuck up. I put a stake in the ground that my current ideas need to ship or have significant momentum by the end of February or I’m not allowed to talk about them to anyone ever again.
No more extensions. No more concessions.
A few days ago my friend Matt Medeiros emailed his list and asked a simple question – Where are you right now?
Matt wasn’t stalking his list. It was a rhetorical question. It was his lead in to have us acknowledge where we are in the context of running our businesses. I had just done this with killing regret, stopping the talk, and making a plan for action.
I did something I don’t normally do and replied to the newsletter. This was easy since I knew who was on the other end of the email. I just told Matt:
It was this email that crystalized the post in my mind.
The Accountability Part!
For those of you watching at home here’s where you come in. These are four ideas that need to be launched by the end of February 2015 or I can never mention them in civilized company. If I don’t launch and talk about them give you full permission to shoulder punch me as hard as you can. Got it? Good.
- Shop Plugins (Update: Launched February 2015)- This is my new plugin marketplace to sell ecommerce plugins with a little twist.
- Getting Started with WooCommerce (Update: Launched April 2016)- This is something that I talked about with a friend at Pressnomics 2. Yes, 15 months ago. It’s past time to finish this up.
- Roving Coder – This is my vlogging idea that I started when I asked How Would a Web Developer Vlog? It’s time to get the planned episodes out and hit Publish. (Speaking of vlogging have you seen what Coen is up to?)
That’s it. Ready. Set. Go!