How To Beginner

Starting stuff is easy.


Not really.

In fact, starting stuff is hard. Especially if, like me, you've made it kind of a habit of running face first into  brick walls. After a while, the greener grass kinda loses it's luster and you continually have to wait for your nose to stop bleeding before you get back on the horse.

That was a lot of metaphors.

See . . . starting stuff is hard. But it doesn't necessarily have to be impossible. There are no shortage of pools just wating for you to dive headfirst into and the only thing you really need for that first push is a little bit of day-dreams and a big, hairy, dangly pair of arogance.

But there's a point - keeping with the pool reference - where, okay, your body has adjusted to the temperature and you head is just above the surface enough and you can breathe.

Now what?

Now you are officially a beginner.

And if you thought starting was hard . . . well now you're in for a real treat.

Being a beginner at something is quite conceivably the worst situation you can ever find yourself in. Like . . . worse than sharks . . . like . . . worse than your wifi going out . . . like  . . . worse than farting loudly in an elevator.

You're just sitting there, treading water, and you have no idea what's going to happen next. Will a boat come by? Will there be nice people on the boat? How deep is this water? Can I drink it? Can I pee in it? What does success look like? Shouldn't there be a synergistic point where the paradygm shifts? Oh look . . . it really does shrink.

Now if nothing happens for a long time . . . which could be weeks, months, years, or half-life times . . . you're gonna get to that point where it's time to start swimming.

And swimming is hard.

But again . . . it doesn't have to be.

As the ipso-facto expert on all things Beginning, there are a few techniques that I've learned throughout my tenure that can help you ride those waves to a bigger better brighter you and though I can't gauruntee that you'll get to where you're going, or even if you'll ever reach dry land, at least I can give you some sense that the end is not exactly nigh.

First: Recognize your Beginner-ness
When we dream, we don't dream of minutiae, we dream of finish lines. Of course you've heard all the feel good one liners like "The journey of a thousand steps . . . something something." and countless others that I can't think of right now, but those all start with your eye on the prize.

As a beginner, you're nowhere near the prize. In fact . . . the prize is so damn far away that you're not even completley sure of what it is yet. The prize isn't even a thing. And the worst part is that no matter how successful you are, the prize is never gonna be the thing you thought it was. And now you're tired and ready to give up.

Don't give up. You're only just a beginner. You feel stupid, because you are stupid. You feel sluggish and slow, because you are sluggish and slow. You don't have the muscle yet, cause you gotta work off a lot of that baby fat. I've always said that the only way to be good at something is to really suck at it first. You suck and you know it.

But you won't suck forever.

It may feel like a really long time. It may feel like you've been sucking so much for such a long time that you'll never not suck. And, unfortunately, a good majority of those people that don't suck, forgot what it was like to suck, and you can feel their frustration with you as you continue to suck, which is only making you feel suckier. 

Shush them.

The only way . . . the only way you're gonna suck forever . . .  is if you give up.

Next: Make a plan
You don't need a power point presentation, or an excel spreadsheet (though those can be fun). No, a little map on a yellow pad (written in pencil . . . trust me . . . no pens) will give you more focus. It will give you little prizes along the way, a mini bucket list of things you get to cross off or erase entirely. All you need is the teeniest sense of progress. That's it. Just a teeny weeny itsy bitsy move in the right direction and having a plan will help a lot with that.

Thirdly: Recognize that your original plan was terrible
Nothing in your first plan will work. Like . . . at all. It was a terrible plan. It was made up of dreams and suppositions and now that you're in the water and starting to get cold, you're not sure exactly what you were thinking.

Wow . . . your plan really sucked. (Hence the pencil)

Of course it sucked.

Cause you suck.

Sucking . . . we've agreed . . . is the only way to begin.

But if you were smart (like listening to me in the first place), you have made adjustments along the way and can see plainly that you're first plan sucked and are now in a much better position to make - maybe not a good plan - but at least a plan that sucks less.

Me Example: As I began the artist journey a year ago, I started with a clearly defined map of my artistic progression. I made up a list of a variation of income probabilities based on past experience, experiences of others, and my own perceived value in the marketplace. I had a list of about 150 clubs, albums to sell, both in hand and online, I had numberous social media accounts through which to gather and maintain a fan base, and I set levels of where I should be (financial and fan growth) on a month to month basis. The picture of where I should be right now looked like around 2,000 fans, ten shows a month, 2,500 album sales, and a good reputation throughout the club scene.

A year later . . . none of that.

I got so discouraged that I took two months off and wrote a book instead. I quit the club scene all together and am now focusing my energy on special events. The writing, which was supposed to augment the music, has taken the lead.

My first plan sucked, and it took me a long time to figure that out, but once I did, I found a much better success than I originally intended.


Okay . . . so now you've recognized your suckiness, and the suckiness of your original plan . . . now what?

Now you're in the zone.

Or the void.

Or the arc of your leap of faith.


Step Four: Don't forget that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Eat something. Take your vitamins. Shower, shave, put on the least smelly pair of underware you own, and continue to show up.

Get ready for a long day.

Two cups of coffee should do it.

Tea if you're english.

Big breaths.

Get your mojo mojo-ing.

Enter that ring knowing that you're not Tyson. It's not gonna be a few quick upper-cuts to payday. Nope . . . you are Foreman . . . and you're gonna have to take about eight rounds of punishment before you even get to swing, so carb up.

Unless you're not doing carbs.

Black beans are a good source of protein and go well with eggs and tabasco sauce.


Point is . . . do this everyday.

A 'can-do' attitude, a broad smile, and fragrant arm pits won't exactly replace solid ground underneathe your feet, but when you do hit the ground, you'll hit the ground running.

And when is that gonna happen?

I honestly have no idea.

But when I get there, you'll be the first to read about it.

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