Time. Let's face it, it takes it.
A girlfriend of mine sent an intimate mass email out this week (like super personal but still to a bunch of peeps) revving us up for her Kickstarter due to go live this month (28th of Feb to be precise - here’s the link: https://www.chasingmonkey.com ) and letting us know the latest installment about this part of her journey, and how we can help. It was a medium length email but packed with juicy deets, pointers, links and suggestions, and yet one line glared out at me.
“I recently caught up with an old friend and he said to me 'man, you're still working on that crate?!' This comment made me feel bad about not being able to produce something fast.”
I read it, paused, frowned, moved on down the email, went back to the line, actively scowled at it, pursed my lips, marked the email as unread and sat on it for two days. I re-opened it whilst pitched up in a trendy (but unpretentious vision board worthy) coffee shop, and got stuck on the same line. So I thought ‘eff it’, and hit reply, and went on a rant about time and how bloody long every single part of doing something right takes, and how only someone who has never tried to design, create, test, tweak, redesign, create, test, gift, get feedback, promote, tweak again, and launch absolutely ANYTHING from scratch, from a single idea, and do so solo, with humble means AND a full-time LIFE, would ever make a comment such as that.
How very dare he??
She wrote back almost immediately saying thank you and that I had her balling in tears.
See here’s the thing you can’t be schooled on - and thankfully you can’t guesstimate as you would never do anything - but absolutely everything worth doing takes far longer than you ever budgeted, to get it even close to right! If it does happen quickly thats probably only one of the first few stepping stones across what I can promise will be a far wider river than you were expecting. Or you are rich, famous and have a large team and have limitless resources, in which case why are you on my blog?
Every little detail takes so much time. It took me eight weeks of back and forth design work and samples to get my packaging EXACTLY how I wanted. It then took them nearly eight weeks to deliver, they were a month behind schedule. They turned up and about 80% of them were no bueno and so I sent them back that same day, breathless and in tears (side note, I don't import from china, I work with a local and sustainable company as that’s part of my ethic, and thank the lord I did as dealing with this from a shipment over seas might have offed me) and it was then a further two weeks to get them back and right. Or 85% right. And that was JUST the packaging, the empty shell, which I then sorted and fitted with their custom hand made interiors. Yep. TIME.
One of my best selling bracelets took multiple edits before I got it to where it is now. I thought I had it in one when I was struck with the genius of its creation, a year later I had the finished product. A YEAR!
One of my go-to podcasts I listen to for inspiration, encouragement and an all round feel good pick me up, is “HOW I BUILT THIS”, ( https://www.npr.org/podcasts/510313/how-i-built-this ) and all the stories have a pattern… an idea, some inspiration, the momentum of enthusiasm, and then shit gets really hard, things take way longer than they expect, the work load is immense and the money is all out and there is this awkward oh shit moment of “what now?/ I cant go on”, and then, usually somewhere between 2-5 years, small bubbles of oxygen start to surface, not enough to survive on but enough to give you one more gasp of hope and energy, and then comes the tipping point, and the ball doth starteth rolling! When you hear it in retrospect of a successful story, a mainstream brand and a house hold name retelling this chapter of their lives, it sounds so thrilling, so brave, so gritty and real and evocative, thats the sexy, knees in the dirt, face in the mud part of their story…. but when you are in it, when you are doing it, when you are in the deep end and this pool seems to have an under current, it feels really really hard. And long.
Kate Spade started to finally be able to pay herself and her over worked team of loyal best friends around the three year mark. Go and look back on some photos of you from three years ago. What were you doing? What stage in your life were you at? What were your fears, concerns, assumptions and realities then? Where did you go on holiday and what was your favorite outfit that summer? I can imagine that it feels like a while ago and that a lot has happened since. Well it has!! That is the sort of time we are talking about.
Don’t ever be deterred or made to feel like things aren’t “happening” fast enough. You will have days when you crush it and days where you check instagram compulsively longing for the instatimewarp effect. Just keep showing up. Keep a list and number your priorities and item by item, minute task after email, after big or small decision, just keep on showing up.
You will get there, and you will be right on time.
- Jayne Moore