I recently started doing contracting work. It’s helped me learn more lessons of business but during recent projects I kept catching myself falling into the same trap. It’s a trap of thinking leftover, I believe, from how easily a bright adolescent can succeed in school plus the typical hormonal cocktail involved in that age’s mindset.
The easy confidence that “things are just going to work out.” The person I had the hardest time getting along with my first year at college liked to say, after he had done no work just before a big project was due, that “I always pull clutch.” But the evidence was to the contrary. His speeches sucked. His work and ideas sucked. He was bright, no doubt about it, but nothing original.
At my last job I would catch myself taking measurements that weren’t exact and then expecting the cut to just work out. It doesn’t. You have to get an exact measurement or the piece won’t fit. To get to some sort of success with my projects, I need to respect the same principle. That just throwing up a webpage and expecting it to work out and be a hit doesn’t happen. There are certain cuts that need to be made, exact measurements and steps to follow or the piece won’t look right. Those are all parts of what one would call “work,” an idea I’ve had difficulty separating from “job,” but breaking down the work involved into process and chunks helps.