Okay first of all, I don’t need you to hang off the edge of a cliff like the picture above to get more creative.
Let me tell you a quick story.
18 months ago I was a mess financially. I had been writing on Medium for a year already and had more than 10,000 followers, but nothing to show for it from a dollars perspective. I’d just lost a big freelancing client and had my earnings cut from $500 per week to $200 per week.
I was exhausted, humiliated, and most of all, desperate as heck.
I sat down at some pizza place nearby and ate three pieces of pizza (gluten doesn’t agree with my stomach) in a depressed haze. It didn’t look like it, but I had hit rock bottom in my head. It was then I ripped open the fault-line of my insecurities to see what could be next.
‘What am I avoiding here?’ I thought.
I loved writing on Medium, and I wanted to do more of it. I wanted to stop freelancing entirely, in fact, but I didn’t know how to make the jump.
…except I did.
I knew I could sell an online course on how to write better, but I was scared.
I realized this in a whirlwind and decided I had no choice but to create a course in two weeks.
Spoiler alert? My course sold well. I had many people believe in me and I couldn’t believe what had happened.
I never would’ve gotten there, though, without desperation — or the people who bought my course for that matter. Let me explain something.
This Should Make You Feel Better
Many of us feel a ton of stress because of uncertainty. What will happen if our projects at work don’t go as planned? What will happen if our online course fails? What will happen if that article doesn’t do so well?
I’ve realized recently we don’t give enough attention to this one other thing…
We underestimate what our brains will come up with under pressure.
Thomas Edison failed at creating the lightbulb 1,000 times before striking gold with the final design. That means a solution he never thought of before popped into his head after 1,000 tries.
Yes, imminent failure could be next for you, but one revolutionary idea that changes everything could be next for you, too.
Let’s not forget that good things happen in business, too.
After all, something as uninteresting as a piece of flaky graphite can change into a diamond under pressure.
My point in this article is that desperation rapidly closes the gap between us and the next “good thing,” but I’ll get to that in a second. Let me explain something else, too.
We also underestimate what will happen in our environment.
I grew on Medium for so long without any direct path to monetization. I worried about monetization a lot. But then Medium came out with their Partner Program, and that changed things overnight.
I could now make money as a writer directly on the platform. How cool!
New changes in our environment often leads us to new ideas, too. IGTV made a big splash a year ago and then promptly died out. If it did well and was worth it, this was a new video platform that many could spend all their time mastering and then sell courses on.
Many look at the future through terrified eyes. In my experience, we should really only look at the future through terrified eyes if what we’re doing is already working — because too many of us get complacent.
Like Littlefinger says in Game of Thrones… “Chaos is a ladder.”
Desperation Rapidly Closes The Gap Between Procrastination And “Doing”
In the words of Drake, desperation takes us ‘from 0 to 100 real quick.’
I’m not saying this is the only way to get going on something. I’m not saying you should purposefully “get desperate.”
I’m simply saying you shouldn’t fear the dark hours of your life that much.
If you take a look at the above graph (that’s totally awesome), as we get more desperate, our procrastination shrinks.
Because our options shrink drastically, we’re forced to call upon the Plan B’s and Plan C’s in our minds to keep whatever horrible eventuality in our lives at bay.
If a starting pitcher suddenly gets hurt in the third inning of the seventh game of the World Series, the Manager has to get REAL creative with the bullpen to keep the game within his grasp.
One sudden event sets off a chain reaction of responses. Each will have their own unique outcomes, forcing the manager to keep reacting in real time and, one way or another, find out what the right course of action should’ve been either in hindsight or more desirable, right there in the moment while it matters.
So you see, the real catalyst of change here is the act of doing, which desperation brings on REAL QUICK.
When our hands get forced, we’re now put in situations we’ve only dreamed of before, and dreams are VERY different from reality.
But you see, what brilliant idea will you come up with when sh*t hits the fan? You’ll never know if you don’t act.
It is most definitely a “leap before you look” moment.
But it’s totally worth it, and desperation shouldn’t always be looked at as a bad thing. You never know what could happen..