Mediocrity is the creative’s best friend.

Tolerate not a pixel of mediocrity.

“But I’m just starting out. I’m not that good at graphic design/video editing/public speaking/whatever. If I can’t tolerate mediocrity now, I’ll never publish anything.”

Right. Publish anything. Get your work out there, no matter how amateur.

You need to earn the right to make mediocrity unacceptable. You need to experience mediocrity firsthand by sucking and sucking and sucking some more. You need to deeply familiarize yourself with mediocrity so that when you charge clients a high price, you know you won’t be delivering garbage.

I know it’s a bit contradictory, but mediocrity is simultaneously terrible and useful. Mediocrity is actually the creatives best friend. Mediocrity serves as an example of what to never, ever ship to a client. And that’s incredibly valuable information. A deep understanding of mediocrity will save you lots of money and time.

Give yourself unpaid opportunities to practice your craft, to suck, suck, suck so you can get better. Start a YouTube channel to practice video editing before you ask for people’s money. Start a free blog before you begin a paid substack. Speak in front of your dog, record it, put it on Twitter.

Publish your mediocre work. Because hey, it might not be as mediocre as you think.

Everything starts out crappy. With repetitions and reiterations, things improve. So don’t scrap a project just because it’s not good enough. It’s not good enough yet. Once you’re finished, once everything is as good as you can make it, that’s when you scrap it. I mean that metaphorically: after you’ve finished working, tell yourself both, “this is great,” and, “I can do better.”

Be proud of your hard work, but keep your eyes looking straight ahead. There’s always something you can improve on. Always another level you haven’t yet reached.

Mediocrity is the creative’s best friend.

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