I’m committing to brutally creating vs consuming in my life and career.
I don’t want to be a pundit that knows how every successful product is built because they never built one.
Over the past 18 months, I’ve fought hard with ego tied to my personality. I left school to join a startup where I kicked-off my design career. Everyone learnt on the job and we eventually failed woefully. Until we failed, as a team we assumed the personality of rockstars et visionaries that were building a revolutionary product that would impact all of Western Africa, and possibly the world.
Accepting failure is hard, and to find answers as to why we failed I resulted to consume everything I could find on the internet that talked about good design and building successful products — Books, Blogs, Videos, Podcasts, Tweets, everything. Within a year, I had a good understanding of certain parts of building successful products and startups theoretically.
I got hooked and enticed with the philosophical aspects of building a successful product and company completely ignoring the two main things that caused us to fail — lack of self-awareness and no execution.
I put strategy on such a high pedestal and totally relegated execution far to the back. Being overly bullish on strategy and no execution made me become so philosophical about a lot of things, including design and the tech industry as a whole. Strengthening my philosophical perspectives has led me to consume so much more than I create. The more I consumed, the more I craved for more, skipping time to execute and satisfying the crazy juices in my head.
“Strategy is glorified and EXECUTION is underestimated. When you DO — strategy happens in real time. Indecisiveness, debate, pontification, and ultimately EGO — is stopping so many people from being successful.” — Gary Vaynerchuck
Over time, I became more analytical, I became a design and product pundit, I became a critic and I became toxic. I ended up filling my life with so much negative energy and I began to breed a know-it-all mentality all based on ego. I built bad habits and my mental health went bad.
I took a lot of time out at the beginning of the year to reflect on my life and past choices, and I decided to let go of all the toxic mentality to become a better person. I’ve chosen a growth-mindset, I chose to scale down drastically on all the contents I consume, find a job, and time to do meaningful work. I don’t want to be a pundit that knows how every successful product is built because they never built one.
The first quater of the year is almost gone, It’s time to check on how I’ve done so far. While I’ve drastically scaled down on consuming (this is still a work in progress) it has led to me having quite a lot of idle moments that I need to fill up with both meaningful work and play.
I don’t want to be a pundit that knows how every successful product is built because they never built one
The skill of execution is hard, but it’s the one I’ve identified as the most important for me at this stage of my career. I want to create more, show my work more, show up more and ‘talk’ less.
I’d start from my own ideas, designing and or building them. This means I’d have to learn the technical skills needed to conceptualize and put out weekend projects publicly. I don’t want to keep having ideas in my head and refining them in my thoughts without any actual data/feedback.
I’ve been so inspired by the makers community on Product Hunt and Twitter and the indie creatives doing amazing things. It’s a community I want to be part of, doing things that actually make me grow.
The skill of execution is hard, but it’s the one I’ve identified as the most important for me at this stage of my career. I want to create more, show my work more, show up more and talk less.
For the remaining months of the year, I’m committing to designing and building in public. I’d try to make tangible my ideas in design or code. For the ones I feel strongly interested in, I’d purchase domains for them and make them go live. Within the space of 1 year when the domain expires, I’d look to see which ones got successful and which ones did not.
I don’t want to keep having ideas in my head and refining them in my thoughts without any actual data/feedback.
Most importantly for me, I want to build the skill of execution and I’ll be calling this “Work in Public 2019”. If you have any suggestions for me, pls do let me know, you can follow me on Twitter to track my goal. I can’t wait to share my learnings.