Done is the engine of more
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My email subscription headlines constantly hit me hard . As a founder, ongoing learning and reading is part of my life — however, the veracity with which ‘snake-oil’ click bait hits my inbox is akin to a face-slapping kipper, beating you into submission with subject lines that can make you feel inadequate.
‘5 reasons why businesses fail’ announced a bronzed New Yorker who had spoken to ‘leaders all over the world and why they succeed’.
‘Never fail in your dreams for 2018’ someone clumsies.
‘19 AWESOME actions that millionaires do before 4am’ enthused a preview line like a kid on a Twix.
Running any business, this kind of stuff can pick at your psyche like the school bully ripping you for the length of your trousers. Or the Geography teacher telling you that your head is so full of magic, you’ll amount to nothing more than a glass-blower in Barnsley by the time you grow up. It’s the internal dialogue that beams and barks with enthusiastic bluster about your desire to ‘digitally detox’, change your poor ‘sleep regime’ and ‘stick-it-to-the- man’ approach to work one day only for you to become a blue screen-watching-insomniac-work-mood-hoover the next.
We’re all susceptible to it. We can all succumb to a complete collapse of the best laid plans. The reason?
A lot of the time, they remain just that. Best laid plans.
We write them down, we polish the wording, the ambition, the intent. We print them on high gloss paper…and not just any old ink, colour ink. We laminate them, think about putting them on the fridge and instead put them in the new Moleskine we treated ourselves to and promised to use everyday to write down our ‘thoughts and feelings’ and…there they stay.
Hands up if you’ve done that (I’m temporarily suspending my typing whilst I raise mine skyward…double hands). Of course — we all have. We’re all fallible. And we don’t need an inbox full of internal dialogue inducing subject lines to remind us.
A few people have asked me what I do to overcome the dialogue and make things happen. Well, nothing is 100% foolproof but just as there’s planning and knowing what you want to achieve, elements of challenge, stretch and learning there’s also a massive chunk of simply DOING.
Doing trumps theory
Getting on with what you said you would do is the only way to get it done. Procrastination, as well as being the thief of time, is a best laid plan serial killer.
As too is the quest for perfection — polishing, buffing and shining up something that could turn out to be the executional equivalent of rolling a t*rd in glitter.
We spend an inordinate amount of time thinking, talking and wishing we were doing something rather than simply just doing it. Nike wouldn’t be much of a cultural icon if Phil Knight had turned round and said ‘Just procrastinate about it’. Rick Mayall’s wonderfully lustful Lord Flashheart didn’t say ‘Let’s think about it’. They both espouse the power of ‘Doing it’. The only way to achieve what you want to is…guess what…to do it.
Starting out 4 years ago, I was introduced to a manifesto that fuels everything I now do. The power of the ‘Cult of Done’ manifesto is in its acknowledgment of WHY we don’t move forward and short sharp actions to take to ensure we do. It pulls no punches but then, why would it. It was written in 20 minutes as one stream of consciousness by Bre Pettis and Kio Stark (who don’t believe in editing stages).
It’s particularly relevant in this fast moving, iterative world where the person talking about disruption is usually being interrupted by the person actually doing it.
It’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Not everyone likes the drive, the language, the interpretation. I LOVE it — I found it refreshing, truthful and inspiring. It’s on my desktop, at the top of my business plan and if you haven’t seen it before, it’s just below this. It is over 9 years old but hasn’t lost any of its potency.
The biggest insight of all is saved until last. The more you do, the more you’re able to get done. ‘Done is the engine of more’. Nothing you need a degree for there but something that we often overlook. The feeling of achievement you get when you’ve actually done something is palpable…tangible…real.
“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week”
If you want to build a more positive internal dialogue, encourage your friends or family and fulfil the opportunities that this beautiful life will invariably throw your and their way stop talking, overly planning and procrastinating — get out there and DO.
Scott Morrison is the founder and bringer of the Boom! and has worked with and at brands including Saatchi and Saatchi, Wieden and Kennedy, Nike, Levi’s, XBox, Activision and Diesel.
the Boom! have worked with over 30 clients helping them and their teams unblock old ways of thinking, unlock new ways to join their creative and commercial dots and unleash their people and ideas in their business
You can learn more at our website here
The Cult of Done Manifesto
- There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.
- Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
- There is no editing stage.
- Pretending you know what you’re doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you’re doing even if you don’t and do it.
- Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
- The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
- Once you’re done you can throw it away.
- Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps you from being done.
- People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
- Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
- Destruction is a variant of done.
- If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
- Done is the engine of more.