I saw a clip recently in which Louis C.K., one of the funniest stand-up comedians today, explained how he was inspired by his idol to completely throw out all his material – material that he’d been using for 15 years – and start completely fresh.
At the time, he was struggling, and needed a change, so he went for it. He started writing all new jokes – some of them so shocking that they were receiving gasps from the audiences rather than the usual tepid laughter he’d been used to. And, as he continued to create new material, he began a process of scrapping every act after every year. This method got him more and more popular and, like I said before, he’s now one of the funniest, and most famous, comics in the world today (if you don’t believe me, just google him).
I can guarantee you that Louis C.K.’s transition wasn’t easy. As liberating as a clean slate can feel, the inherent pressure of transforming a clean slate into something worthy is monumental. And of course, there’s the knowledge that you’re only starting fresh in the first place because what you were doing before just wasn’t good enough. I, personally, have gone through this journey several times before, and although it’s easier each time, it’s still very damn hard. I used to hate tearing up something I had spent so long building, only to end up with a bunch of intangible benefits that would most likely only come into fruition in the long run. The benefits were something I could probably feel, but couldn’t see, so I would to wait and wait until all the lights turned green before I stepped on the gas. This method never worked for me; I was too prepared. I had laid out what would happen in my mind if I made that change, and if I wasn’t hitting the little goal targets along the way, I’d get upset and think that the change wasn’t worth it at all.
But over the years, I’m slowly learning how to deal with massive overhauls positively by focusing on two things: a) Believing in Dreams and, b) Just Do(ing) It. These are also two values that My Loud Speaker shares in its Core Values manual (which will be discussed further in a later blog post).
a) Believing in Dreams
I’m a true believer in the fact that life pressures are a strong motivator for innovation. Whether it’s people or thoughts pressuring you, you’re almost forced to try something different, and sometimes that something different is something special. Every time I feel the need to change, I believe that the change will be beneficial regardless of what goals I may miss along the way.
b) Just Do It
I guess Nike got it right. As hard as starting fresh is, a lot of it is mental. In fact, most of it is. Sometimes, you just have to ignore all the doubts, critics, and analysis paralysis and just take the leap. Move ahead solely on faith and just believe that it will work out. More often than not, it will.
This blog, and our company’s entire brand repositioning, has been a long time in the making. For periods of time, we’ve felt so tiny in the world’s vastness that we forget the fact that our decisions do still affect the people around us. So, we’re starting fresh – much like Louis C.K. decided to start fresh. And it’s amazing how a seemingly confined decision made by one man can actually positively affect millions of people. Why? Because his new material ended up being his best material. And the truth is, everybody has the ability to start fresh and come up with his or her own best material. So, when it comes down to it, if it’s really your time to start fresh – just do it – because the world deserves to see your best.
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