As some of you may know, Friday Food for Thought started out of the Entrepreneurs Organization Leadership Academy class I took a few years back. During the course, another classmate and I had a conversation about how we could improve the culture of our respective companies. As a result of that conversation, I started writing the Friday Food for Thought and sending them out to the J2 staff. Later, I found out they were forwarding these emails to their respective networks. I mentioned I was writing these to a few folks in my circles who asked to receive them and they also forwarded them to their contacts. As the Friday Food for Thought distribution continued to grow, someone suggested I make it a blog and start distributing it to clients, consultants, partners, friends, and anyone else who wanted to read it, who would also forward it to their networks.
Why does this matter? When I initially began writing these, I did not believe I was a good writer. Several years later, I still don’t think of myself as a good writer. In fact, my “not so well” English is corrected by my team before it reaches you. Grammar aside, I sometimes struggle to come up with topics to write about each week and sometimes I worry if the topic I pick has been overdone or falls short. Would anyone care or notice if I skipped a week due to lack of inspiration or if I just didn’t have the time to put this together? It turns out that more people would notice than I anticipated.
After over 300 Friday Food for Thought posts, what surprises me the most are the reactions of the readers. Some of the topics that I believe knock it out of the park receive a lukewarm response. But the topics I think are tepid are often the ones that generate the most compliments. This isn’t a blanket statement, but it does hold true more often than not.
The lesson here is not that there will be some hits and some misses, but that seeking perfection stunts progress and keeps me from moving forward. It doesn’t matter what topic I think will click because I won’t know until I publish it, so there is no reason to agonize over it. What is important is that I continue to move forward, put out relevant content, and deliver. When I am plagued by writer’s block, taking steps to write about anything that comes to mind often helps. I never know what will resonate with whom, but I need to keep moving forward.
This week I will be moving around in Sweden, so I took the steps to make sure I had time to get this out before I left. Inaction on my part would create a stressful situation for my team, so taking action now didn’t just impact me. Making the time to make progress on this earlier in the week helps my team stay on track. Taking action, moving in any direction is better than standing still. As long as I keep moving, I am making progress.
“I just do the best I can and write something interesting, to tell stories in an interesting way and move forward from there.” – Anthony Bourdain
Have a great weekend,