An important reminder to get started because you learn faster by doing.
One of the great mistakes we make in life is waiting to act until we know everything there is to know about a subject. It seems we want to know everything there is to know about running a business before we start one. We want to know everything there is to know about investing before we commit our money. We want to know how to write a book before we actually write a book. And we want to know everything there is to know about raising a child before we ever have sex*. (* My kids may be reading this.)
Most of this quest for knowledge is simply procrastination. Starting the process is the greatest teacher of all. Because standard-issue humans learn best by doing.
When you take the first step the next step reveals itself. (Unless you are Eddie Rabbit, in which case you take that first step, ask her out, and treat her like a lady.) You will get better and smarter faster by starting than by studying alone. Until you take the first steps you don’t know what you don’t know. However, once you begin you quickly learn what you need to know next.
A Case in Point
I had thought about sharing some video lessons from my book What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? for a long time. I knew that the summaries from each chapter would translate into good shareable video messages. But I never acted on it. Because I wasn’t clear on the best way to do it.
Then one morning when I got to work I talked to Taylor Amann, our social media manager at The Weaponry (and resident American Ninja Warrior) to help me get started.
Here’s What happened.
2. We explored recording the video standing up and sitting down.
3. We placed my laptop behind the phone so I could read the script.
3. We found a teleprompter app on my computer that allowed us to scroll the script like the teleprompter a newscaster uses to deliver lines directly to the camera. (And, yes, I reminded San Diego to stay classy.)
4. After getting a take we liked Taylor found a good app that automatically translated my spoken word into words on the screen. So viewers could read the words I was saying as I said them. This is not only great for reinforcing the lesson I shared, but it made the video fully digestible with the audio off.
5. Then we discovered that the app, also had a teleprompter. Which would lead to an even better sightline to the camera than the laptop teleprompter offered.
6. Finally, we rerecorded the video, on the halo light tripod, using the new app, which turned Taylor’s phone into a perfect teleprompter/camera combo. The app automatically added the supers so you could read what I said in real time.
What stood out to me about this process is that by getting started we kept getting smarter and smarter. Within 30 minutes we went from never having tried to record a video like this to having discovered the perfect app that made it simple to combine the recording, the teleprompter, the supers, and even add music, or a zany slide whistle.
The video is not perfect. My shirt is all scurzumpled. I don’t have the energy I’d want for a shareable recording. But we quickly went from nothing to knowing how to create the video we wanted through a simple progression of testing, learning, and improving.
Don’t wait to get started until you know everything. Condition yourself to take the first step sooner. Because the first step is the kindergarten step. All other learnings and lessons come as a result of that first step. What you learn from a book, class or video is just theory. The application is where the quick and useable lessons kick in. So get going. Get smarter as you go. And get back to me when you realize how useful this approach is.
*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.