Kicking Your Own Butt Into Gear

May 10, 2012

Last night Chris Guillebeau’s new book, The $100 Startup, arrived in the mail.

Naturally, I got all excited because I love Chris’ stuff; it’s all super applicable to my own entrepreneurial and life goals.

kick butt

There's that kick I needed.

Yet I also kind of groaned to myself. I’m trying to meet a deadline this month (finishing How to Create a Freakin’ Fabulous Social Media Strategy before giving a webinar on the topic), and I knew I couldn’t afford to spend several evenings plowing through the book.

I’ll just read a few pages while my dinner bakes, I told myself, figuring I’d then have to tear the book out of my own hands. Just several pages in, I hit this fabulous line:

There’s no rehab program for being addiction to freedom. Once you’ve seen what it’s like on the other side, good luck trying to follow someone else’s rules ever again.

I nodded at that one, and kept reading about what Chris calls the “quest for freedom.” I learned about several people who are hustling to make a living doing what they love.

And then I read this line, about a business method that Chris says works again and again:

Build something that people want and give it to them.

That’s when I stopped. I was only on page 19, but something funny happened. I realized that I was already in the midst of building something that people wanted, and I’d never be able to fulfill the second part of that task — the giving — if I didn’t finish it. I realized that the only way I would ever find my own freedom was by sitting down and doing the work.

No book, no matter how good, was going to do that for me. I had to do it myself.

Motivation and inspiration can go a long way toward helping you get where you want to be. Sometimes blogs and books and in-person meetings give me that push or ah-ha moment I need to get moving. But when it comes to creating something awesome, whether that’s a book or a business or some other exciting project, you have to step away from all those sources of energy and create. As Sarah Orne Jewett once wrote in a letter to Willa Cather, “you must find your own quiet center of life, and write from that to the world.”

So while Chris’ book continues to stare at my from my bed stand, I won’t be reading it today. Instead, I’m heading to a coffee shop to finish. my. ebook.

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