Making stuff is easy

Hosting a podcast. Writing a blog. Sending out a newsletter. These things aren’t that difficult.

What’s a podcast, anyway? One or two people talking into a mic about stuff that other people might find interesting? What could be so hard about that?

And what, exactly, is a blog post? Words on a screen under a domain name on the Internet.
Not much to it.

But a podcast that thousands of people listen to every week? A blog that kicks off the morning of a thousand people every Thursday?

Still, not that difficult.

One or two people talking into a mic (plus a thousand people listening). Words on a screen under a domain name on the Internet (plus a thousand people reading).

But trying something over and over again until you get the formula right? That’s the hard part.

“If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” applies to creativity, too.

If your project breaks, if you’re not getting the engagement you want, no need to reinvent your wheel.

Instead, try plugging up all the air holes. Tighten your approach. Apply specific constraints. Choose to be this, not that. Stick to a routine. Be relentlessly yourself. Set a ludicrously high bar. If you’re not getting the engagement you want, there’s probably too many holes in your approach. Which means too many excuses for people to listen to any other podcast, to read any other blog but yours.

Making stuff is easy. And it’s especially easy for you because you already have the talent, taste, and tools to make something great.

But there’s a fourth ingredient. An ingredient you need. An ingredient that all the great creators use in their recipes everyday.

Flexibility.

From Cullin McGrath to Salman Ansari. From John Daub to Austin Calvert. These creators have a sixth sense for change. They fine-tune their approach until they get it right. They reiterate until everything is in its right place. They stick to what works for them – not for what works for the others. The best creators administer the proper dosage of flexibility.

Because if you use too much flexibility, you’ll end up changing your approach every week and confusing the hell out of everyone. But if you use the right amount of flexibility, you’ll recognize when your approach isn’t helping you get to where you’d like to be.