How to affect perfection. Chapter three start. Let's read the opener in the long process of rising to greatness or even goodness. Starting is the hardest. It's a commitment and like all commitments. It's scary partly because when we started implies ownership, our journey becomes real. It's like jumping out of an airplane with a parachute that you have to trust. There's no going back, but you can't see the world without crossing an ocean. So just start. The first step is a doozy. So listen, all beginnings are hard and what I want to do it through some understanding of starting is to make it easier for you. Okay, when is the best time to start? Yesterday? Yesterday when you had that thought, when you got that urge, when you thought this would be a good idea yesterday and if you didn't start yesterday, then I suggest today start now. So when I started, when I began as a, as a designer as a creator, it was the day I left art school. I was 21, I was just thrown out of art school after I was...
thrown out of another university. Um, and I didn't know what I was doing. I was unqualified. I was ill equipped. I wasn't ready. Right? But my fear and my excitement carried me. Listen, nobody is ever ready to begin, right? We all want a few plastic practice rounds. Not for real. He's just kind of a warm up, but bad news, you'll never be ready. You'll never actually feel like you're prepared. Even when you're doing it right? So you'll never have all your ducks in a row or your pencils lined up. You just got to go and waiting is the enemy waiting is a form of self sabotage. Waiting is a good excuse to quit while you're behind right? Experiences great. And practice has its place. But boldness, man boldness makes way for action. Boldness avoids perfection and it procrastination stop waiting. You just gotta start. A bunch of years ago I had an assistant in the studio named chris chris was a newbie, right? And any time a new project came into the studio, he would say, what do they want? What do they want? How would I know what they want, right? I have no idea how to guess what my client wants or what their objective is. Um, what do they want from us? I think they wanted us. I think they wanted me. Even with all the marketing tools in the world, finding out what the client wants are finding what the audience wants is still just a guess, an educated guess, right? My thought is what the world wants is the world wants you, the world wants you, it wants you and your opinion. It wants you and your history, it wants you and your sexuality and your sense of humor. Everything about you. As Eleanor Roosevelt said you may as well do what's in your heart for, you'll be criticized for it. Anyway, damned if you do and damned if you don't. So create work or a business that reflects you. That reflects your genuine passion, your enthusiasm at the cellular level, literally your vibration in your work creates excitement. Your excitement breeds excitement in others. Right? So this is how you become attractive. So you become attractive to clients, attractive to relationships and attractive to money. I work to make myself happy. Um, this seems to make my clients happy because my enthusiasm and my energy translates through the project. The idea is to make yourself happy. First being a little bit selfish. Here is not a bad thing is similar to to in an airplane putting on the oxygen mask for you so you can take care of other people. Similarly as a father, if I don't take care of my own needs and I don't make myself happy first, then I'm not serving as a good parent, right? Um, it's the same for work if I don't take care of myself and make myself happy and put myself and my energies into my work, it's not gonna make my client happy or my audience happy and it's not going to make me happy. Taking care of yourself and your happiness is an act of self love, write that down. That's a good one. That's a keeper. When I taught at university, I used to ask my students what they thought the first rule of business was, and they would come up with terms like profit. Um, uh, stay in business. Uh, things they've heard their fathers say basically. Um my first rule of business is the most ludicrous and crazy thing I could think about. That's why it's so strong. That's why it's so smart. The first rule of business is fun. My first rule of business is fun because if it's not fun for you, then the energy for the long term is not there. Your excitement is that there your commitment and lasting commitment is not their fun is the first rule of business. Fun is knowing how to play and incorporating play and joy and wonder into your work and being open to mistakes, right? Um It reminds us that we don't have to work. We get to work. And there's a big difference there without fun. You're merely one of the working dead, right? You're loitering for a paycheck. Um uh fun is more important than profit. And staying business because it makes those things happen, right? It makes those other things happen going into business or a career doesn't mean that you leave joy and play behind. It means that you now get paid for it also start small. Right? Most of us start by stopping, right? We want it all and we want it all done now. We want the bills paid and the laundry done and the bank fat and happy, right? Um All greatness started out as a clumsy beginner. It all starts out with baby steps. You know the only beauty and greatness that we result comes through time and patience and a lot of practice. So start small. You know, you want it all and you you want it now and you can't have it all now and don't look down the road, certainly don't look down the road because the the the immense nous of it all will make you stop. And that's what happens for most people. They get this beautiful idea and then they go, this is I got to do what Right? So most people start by stopping and when you start small, you have to take the first step, a baby step, you have to take the first step and you the second step will not be revealed to you until you take the first step is the indiana jones trick, right? You just take that first step and the second will be revealed. Um All greatness starts with baby steps, write that down, write that down in the book. I wrote about having a plan, but I've learned so much since I wrote the book that I have a new idea for you. You don't have a plan, You have a vision, right? Have a vision. Um I started mine when I was 19, I moved to New York, didn't know what I was doing. I tried to go to art school, didn't work out. I wanted to be the best poster designer in the world. Kind of got there. What? Um but I gave myself a long time, but I always had a vision, no matter what happened, whether I got fired from a job or whatever. I always had that vision to remind me of where I was going. That was much more important than having a plan. Your plan isn't uh written stone, right? It's just your true north. It's something that you can keep following and keep falling, falling back on going. No, I know where I'm going to go, I know where I'm supposed to be. I've got a vision these days. I often sound like barney the purple dinosaur, you know, saying you can't score score without without a plan, but it's true, you can't you can't score unless you have a goal and that's what your vision is and that's what's going to carry you. It helps define who you are and it helps create personal and professional boundaries. It says what you will and will not accept in your life and in your work, right? That vision allows that. It's a way to focus. This is a major theme of these videos is the idea of focus, so create that beautiful vision for yourself because over time, priorities change and shit happens. We know it's happening all over the place right now, right? But your your vision shows you that path and lets you know that you are completely ready and worthy of it. Okay, Yeah, how to affect perfection. Chapter three start, I want to show you some of the pieces inside of the book and how I made them. Um and the first one is super important, this one is awesome! So the beautiful piece, that one of the pieces I really love out of this book is this little running exclamation point, This little like self portrait of uh me as exclamation point, right? This little guy and this was not made exclusively for my book. Okay. The first time I made this was actually when I was the, when I had an article, a column when I wrote regularly for entrepreneur magazine, I had a column in the magazine for well over a year and it was called resolutely difficult advice. And this column was actually a big beginning for me to start putting these ideas together into the book effect perfection. So I drew this exclamation point and just pain is just like two colors of paints mush mush mush, right, Right. And the little legs and and my signature, everything else is on a black layer and came in after. Um but here's the funny thing. So this is what the page from the magazine looks like, right? But here's the thing as a designer, I'm a bit of a perfectionist, you know, I want my proportions in my everything to feel comfortable and when I originally drew this exclamation point for the magazine, I had a sketch in my mind, right? And it had to be a certain size, but when I painted the exclamation point, I love the color, I love the dot. It was great, but it was tall. So what I did was I cut it just basically cut it, uh, like almost a full inch, it would have been a full inch taller, but I cut it shorter and I just retaped it and if you can see right there, there was a scene, there's a seam and it shows up in the magazine and it shows up in the book and you know what, I don't care. That's fine. I've never, I don't have to pretend that I'm just like a genius and I'm making these things look so beautiful. I don't care if I show my fingerprints, fingerprints in the work or if there's a cat hair or, or even if the tape shows up, that's not important, right? I don't want to hide the fact that a human being made this thing. So I originally made it for entrepreneur magazine and then it showed up and it shows up in the book for just start. Um, and then, uh, he's got a little shadow there and that's just actually a little, a little smudge of colored pencil. Um, so that is that now another super important piece that I need to show and I need to talk to you about. This is really important in the same chapter under, this is called excitement breeds excitement. You know, you're excitement breeds excitement in others and the image was this was how one smile was starting off this whole domino effect of other smiles and this is what it looked like in the book. And it's not really important how it was drawn, but I'm gonna show you how it was drawn. Um and this is it. So I drew a bunch of mouths through a bunch of, generally I just draw in black and then we, you know, obviously pick colors in the computer. But I drew a bunch of these smiles and then there's an overlay, a second scan that fits and these are all the teeth to make them look like, you know, smiling mounds. Now here's the important part about this piece. I created this and it was in the first dummy that I had made of the book. I put the assembled the whole book together and then I printed it all out at home, just a black and white copy. So I kind of start looking through and start feeling the rhythm and feeling the pacing and feeling how it goes and where. I didn't want all the good art in the front of the bad stuff in the back or whatever. But I had this piece and I really, in my heart of heart, I felt this was like for excitement breeding excitement. I felt this was like a college level answer, a college level solution. Like one of my students at the university would bring this right and I really questioned it and but I had shown this early dummy to my creative partner and she's looking through the book and then I created another piece of art. I was like, I don't think I like this and I think I'll hide that and put that away. And I created something else. And then just before we went to the publisher, I showed a new, revised, just black and white dummy to my partner and she's flipping through it and she said, oh, wasn't there a different piece of art for this? And I was like, um yes, um yes, she said I like the first one better. So I switched it and it was huge for me because I had to learn how to affect perfection. I had to learn to let go, I had to learn to dis attach from my love or, or hate of my own work. I had to learn not to judge my work because the things I'm judging, nobody sees and nobody cares, I have to, I have to relax into this creator that I am right and you do as well and not judge my work. So I took the new stuff out and this happened where there were three different pieces that, that she said wasn't that different piece. So I put them all back and you know what, nobody cares, no one's called me and said James that was that the level of, you know, execution on that piece was sophomoric, right? This is super important to know because we kill ourselves with these new Delhi little details that don't have mean to anybody but us. So Those are some of the pieces from um chapter three start from how to affect perfection. Thank you. Mhm. Mhm.