Recently I have suffered from a serve dose of procrastination. I have been struggling to do anything. I couldn't work out why.
The procrastination lead to a lack of progress on my projects and then to a lack of confidence.
Not good times.
I sat down to try and work out what was causing the procrastination and I realised it was because I had a fear of shipping.
- I'm afraid that this newsletter would not resonate and bring value.
- I don't want to post on Hacker News or [insert hot new growth hack here] because people will ignore me or worse, not like my stuff.
- I'm afraid that my writing is not good enough.
- I'm not a very experienced marketer, so I'm anxious about achieving the growth I need to be successful.
- I'm afraid that changing the format and price of my conference will alienate the existing community.
All these fears involve shipping of some kind. Sending emails, exposing my products/ideas/efforts to criticism, putting suggestions into the world.
Fear of shipping is why you encounter the developer who is focusing on building product rather than finding a market or marketing channel because they are in their comfort zone.
Or the company who take months to create products only to not release it, because they are worried about damaging their existing brand.
Or the people with good ideas who are afraid to speak up in meetings.
The only cure for the fear of shipping is ...
Here are a few resources that have helped me
- How to overcome the fear of shipping
- Joel from Buffer on the fear of shipping
- Seth Godin: the truth about shipping
- Seth Godin's useful journal - good list of questions for help clarify and distil your fears for not shipping.
Finally, Lean Startup comes to the rescue. This talk from Lauren Gilchrist at the Lean Startup conference 2014 about Getting comfortable with shipping imperfect products. Aim to be more of a scientist and not an expert.