failure

Fucking Up

So for this coming week, I'm going to be talking about a system of content creation I've been using over the past week.

I kind of fucked up last week. You probably don't know it, unless you're following this blog pretty closely right now. But Thursday through Saturday weren't posted until last night, and now I'm doing Sunday through Tuesday in the space of a few hours - I had some difficulties, and I had to make these posts later, then backdate them. Right now, I know that I'm backdating this post to about 60 hours before it's being written, so it's odd in the reverse case of the "time travel" posts I've made before.

Now, here's the thing about fucking up. Nobody needs to know exactly why. Nobody needs your fuckup to persist. You should fix your fuckup - I'm doing that right now. Just because I didn't post on Thursday doesn't mean my blog needs to have no Thursday post forever.

But by the same token, my ability to post on Thursday of last week tonight does not erase the simple fact that I didn't post on Thursday and that was my own stupid fault. I need to accept - and admit - that I didn't post and it was my fault.

At the same time, I need to make it invisible as much as possible, so it doesn't fuck up my later audience's enjoyment of this blog. Yes, on Wednesday, I said "I will post this tomorrow" and then I didn't. But when someone comes along later, he doesn't need any fucking excuses. He wants to see that something was posted for the next day even if it wasn't posted on the next day.

This isn't hell. You don't need to suffer for all eternity when you fuck up. Some people act like it does.

The single most important lesson to learn as an entrepreneur is that failure is temporary. Covering it up is not a lie, per se, but your duty. Are you perfect? No. Do you always perform perfectly? Hell no.

But when you perform imperfectly, it is temporary, and the record will reflect differently... on the surface. It's not that you need to deny anything or actively conceal it - that would be dishonest - but that you want things to look good in the end. That's what you do.

When I first started this blog, I added images of various sizes to it as "featured images," then went to a strict 154 by 154 size. At some point, I'm going to go back to those old posts and replace their featured images.

Is this dishonest?

If you do a bad job, then go back and fix it later, it will look like you did a good job. Is that dishonest? Should you leave your bad job the way it is?

No work of art is ever finished - only abandoned.

There's nothing wrong with going back to finish something you left undone. There's nothing wrong with fixing something you fucked up. There's nothing wrong with improving your previous work.

Well, unless you're pulling a George Lucas on it or something. But that's a whole different conversation.

What I'm saying here is that fucking up is natural and normal. You're going to fuck up. It will happen. And when it does, there are things you can fix, and things you can't. It's not productive to blame yourself for the things you can't fix, but it's just as unproductive to insistently leave fixable things unfixed. And I see a lot of people do that. They plan out a product launch, they set a date and time, and then they have to cancel it.

This doesn't mean the product has to never be released. It's just a delay. And there will be delays. There are always circumstances that get in the way; nothing is ever perfect.

But just because it isn't perfect doesn't make you a failure. It doesn't mean you are a Bad Person and need to suffer forever because you didn't get that one thing right that one time. It means you have something to improve, that's all.

Over the course of the next week (the rest of this week, really), I'm going to be sharing the specifics of the work method I'm using lately. It's kind of a cool one, so stick around for it.