Never Exactly Right

Sometimes the wheel turns slowly, but it turns. — Lorne Michaels

Over the last year, I've been working on a huge project, one that, if I sat down for too long and thought of all the tasks to be done to get it off the ground, I'd want to hide away and forget the whole thing. Fortunately, I love it too much to quit, and I feel it in my bones that it will work out, one way or another, even if it's the longest shot I've ever made.

People ask me every day specific questions about how I will pull this off. "How will you get [a, b, c] lined out? What do you plan to do about [x, y, z]?" They want answers, because in their eyes, unless I know everything, right now, it can never work. My response, 99% of the time? "I have no idea." I don't have a clue, and that's the truth, but I haven't had a clue this entire last year, yet in that time, I've made major strides, accomplished seemingly insurmountable obstacles, and met a lot of really cool people along the way who I would have never had a snowball's chance in hell of meeting had I not been working on this.

The truth is, I don't have all the answers, but the bigger one is, I never will. It'll never be exactly right, not the timing, not the location, not even the weather (a hurricane came through here last week, if you don't believe me). Nothing will ever be exactly right, but so what?

I have a client who I've grown to respect immensely over the years and who, just this morning, was on a ledge, overwhelmed by a huge undertaking she's been tackling for the last eight or nine months. We're down to the wire, twelve days from showtime, and you know how it goes: Murphy's Law is going to rear its ugly head, because he loves no environment better than one with a deadline and one with ten million balls to keep in the air.

Many times throughout her project we've discussed and accepted that circumstances will never be perfect for this; it's either in or out, and if it's in, then go for it, don't look back, and be okay with less than perfect. There will be times when it's not pretty, times when we have to make sacrifices or compromises so that we can move the vision forward, but being scared of less than perfect is only going to hold you back from progress.

You may have obstacles in front of you as far as you can see, but you won't get over them without taking steps forward. Get used to imperfection. Embrace it. Accept the crazy looks people give you along the way, accept the title even, and if "Crazy Person" doesn't look good on your business cards, go with "Fearless Leader" instead.

Published September 6, 2012
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