Soft light. Hard focus.
I was talking to someone the other day who told me he had all kinds of ideas for things he wanted to do and found himself with some time to finally go after some of them. Ironically, he was struggling with figuring out which to do.
We’ve all got lots of ideas. And we think about them all the time.
Unfortunately, being hardwired for loss aversion, we don’t want to squander our newfound bandwidth by making the wrong choice so we obsess over making the best possible decision—which is, ironically, a good way to squander said opportunity. (Perfection is the enemy of done, after all.)
Look, I need to preface what I’m about to say by clarifying that I KNOW it’s not a be-all, end-all solution. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. People can and do lose money. Your mileage may vary. See dealer for details. Etc.
When you find yourself struggling to find something to do next—by all means—give serious thought to all your available options. That’s a smart thing to do. But remember, perfection is the enemy of done.
Pick one and get after it.
10 years ago, I started a DSM magazine. It quickly evolved into a Mitsubishi magazine. And then it evolved into a media outlet built around brands (like Mitsubishi, GM, and Honda) and motorsport (like Rally, Drag, and Drifting).
Before I knew it, I was publishing my own monthly print magazines, dreaming about online course creation, and talking about high-concept, life-changing ideologies everybody loved—after I’d had a couple hours to explain it all to them.
One night (earlier this year), I’m having dinner with Josh and he tells me, “Everybody loves your energy and passion and commitment—but we have NO idea WTF you’re actually DOING.”
Fortunately, he told me this right after I told him I was doubling down and only working on the super issue, but still. I spent 10 years trying to build half a dozen big ideas in parallel. And nobody could follow.
You know what I want to build these days?
What we’re actually, actively, building?
A cross between a blog, a magazine, a forum, LinkedIn, Angie’s List, Udemy, professional services agency, and global consultancy. All of the above, built one brick at a time, as one member of the TGP Alliance reaches the point where it’s time to start building the next piece to support him or her on the journey to work-life parallel.
And it all starts with the super issue.
There is incredibly clarity in doing one thing at a time. Our attentions have been shanghai’d by lazy, corporate marketeers and the greedy speculators driving their business decisions.
Multi-tasking is bullshit and we all know it. You can dovetail a bit and blend complementary tasks to complete both in less time, sure. You can replace your dirty paper air filter with a K&N and clean your MAF sensor while you do it—but the more you try doing at once, the less you can complete of any of it.
I doubled down and went all-in on the super issue.
I have not been this excited about what I’m working toward—to include being motivated to work myself to the point of exhaustion in pursuit of same—since the earlliest days of GBXM.
Focus has lead me to a partner. It’s lead to a baker’s dozen exceptional gearheads willing to get up early and stay up late to share their stories with me—with you—so we can help each other evolve and reach the next level.
Soft light. Hard focus.
I don’t remember where I heard this. And neither Todd nor I could find anything about it when googling around last week when I asked if he was familiar. But it makes sense.
In photography, soft light is generous light. It’s something well-lit so you can see all of it.
Hard focus is sharp and clear. It’s enlarged to show detail.
We’ve all got ideas coming out our ears. We are filled with ideas.
If you’re struggling to pick one to try, shoot from the hip, go with your gut, start working on the one that keeps coming to mind—regardless how crazy it might seem! There’s a reason you keep coming back to it!
If it doesn’t work out, you understand WHY it didn’t work out. And you either try a new approach or move on—now without the distraction of WHAT IF around it.
And you know what? Even if everybody else thinks you’re crazy—if you’re a gearhead like us, there’s a place where you can hash out your crazy idea with people who know how it feels to want something more—and are willing to step up and help you make it happen.
Life’s too short to spend on things that do not matter to us.
Choose yourself. Double down. Go all in.