If you didn't know this already, I’m a huge fan of taking small steps.
I truly believe that not every project has to be a production.
And I also recognize that there is a time to launch something big.
Whether it’s a Kickstarter campaign, a website, a show, or something similar, you’ll know it when it feels bigger than you are.
As I contemplate launching bigger things later this year, I’m learning some important lessons in the process that I wanted to share with you today.
If YOU have a big dream or project in mind, ask yourself the following questions.
1. Who is my audience?
Are you clear on who this project is meant to reach and how you will reach them? If it’s something that requires selling tickets or getting backers, do you have a network that would be willing to help?
If you’re not sure, the best thing to do is test your waters. Start talking to friends about the concept and gauge interest. Take a look at your social media networks and real life communities - are you an active member now? Don’t wait until you’re asking for support on your Indiegogo campaign to reach out to friends and communities. The more you are genuinely involved and collaborating NOW, the more organic it will feel to garner support when the launch happens.
2. Do I need a team or collaborators?
If this project really is that BIG, chance are you can’t do it alone. Even if you’re planning on walking across the country like my friend Jessica, you are still not alone. Make a list of your dream team, and even better, start enlisting people on your mission. The planning phase itself can be so much more pleasurable and productive when you’re not all alone.
3. What’s my purpose?
Why are you doing this? → The big question for the big project. Let’s make sure it’s not about your big ego, ok? But really, take a moment to examine your intentions. The more clear you are, the more powerful it will be.
4. What about the timing? Is the world ready? Am I ready?
Why are you doing this NOW? Take a look at the timing around you:
In your personal life, are you willing to make the time and resources necessary to make this happen? (It’s not a bad thing if you’re not. Sometimes we need to take care of basic needs personal crises before making art.)
In the world, are the issues you’re touching on relevant? Are you going to be the first to bring them out? Who else has done something similar and what can you learn from them?
Check yourself if you’re feeling rushed to do something immediately. Remember that there is a lot to be said for slow build-up before the climax… ;)
Sidenote: I’ve had to restrain myself from launching certain projects in the span of a week, which is my typical pattern -- my impatient and passionate nature just can’t hold back! Instead, I am opting for a slower buildup with time to plan, rally troops, and make conscious, non-rushed decisions. Mmmm… the slow build-up is fantastic!
5. How can I start now?
This is where you get to actually start now by outlining the small steps necessary to make the big kahuna happen. Sometimes the small steps are all you need right now. Sometimes the small steps will help with all the other questions we just went through.
So make a list of all the pieces that need to be put into place. And highlight the ones that feel most doable NOW. Put those into your calendar.
Which brings me to the last point.
Most importantly - Do. The. Work.
Don’t let the dreaming and planning turn into “overcomplicanning” - my word for the marriage of overcomplicating + over-planning. Read more about that here if you sense you’re in the danger zone.
Be honest with yourself to know if you really are just taking the time you need to plan, or if you are using the planning as a form of procrastination.
For example. If you dream of selling your artwork, don’t put the art-making on hold while you get a business degree and design a website. Keep making - and sharing! - your art. Let individuals or social media communities know you're doing it and know it’s for sale. Then, when the timing is right you can choose re-do your website and launch it in bigger ways.
Bottom line: Do yourself a favor and keep taking the small steps. Keep doing your work in every possible way - big or small. You never know when one small step may lead to bigger opportunities.
step by step,