My Boss Told Me to Hurry Up and Fail
When I first started the Great Escape Publishing eight years ago, I was in my 20s and didn’t know much about publishing.
My mentor told me to hurry up and fail. He said that, without an exact road to follow ahead of me, I’d have to pave my own path through trial and error. And trial and error involves making lots of mistakes, correcting your path, and moving on.
Over time, he said, I’d do less of what doesn’t work and more of what does and that’s how I’d find success. The faster I fail, the faster I’d be able to correct and move on.
So now, on the eve of meeting 150+ of your fellow readers in San Francisco for our Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop, I’m passing this advice along to you.
So many times I hear of workshop attendees and/or readers that write an article and/or take a bunch of photos and then never send them anywhere because they don’t think they’re good enough.
Meanwhile, it’s not the size of the dog in the fight that matters. It’s the size of the fight in the dog. Our most successful workshop attendees are never the best writers and photographers in the group. They’re always just the ones that give it a try.
Another of my mentors, writer and author Bob Bly, calls the act of studying and thinking about something without actually doing it “analysis paralysis.” And he has a 25-25-50 rule for getting past it.
Divide your time as follows, he says:
25% studying, i.e., reading about your craft, attending workshops, etc.
25% of your time observing what successful people are already doing
And at least 50% of your time actually DOING the thing you are studying and observing.
Point is: When you’re first starting out, you don’t know what will sell and what won’t (aside from the tips we give you here). So just get out there and try. Hurry up and fail so you can learn, build, and move on.
Travel writing and photography are supposed to be fun. That’s why you’re reading this newsletter, right?
Don’t stress about getting started. Just start.
And if you couldn’t be with us in San Francisco this week, you can get the same advice (in fact, the exact same presentations, handouts, and more) by signing up to receive a copy of our Workshop-At-Home Package.
For the next three to four weeks after the workshop ends, we’re busy editing the audio recordings and merging them with each presenter’s PowerPoint slides to create videos you can watch at home.
You’ll hear from Jennifer Stevens, Executive Editor at International Living Magazine. As well as Kyle Wagner, Travel Editor at the Denver Post. And Steenie Harvey, freelance travel writer and guidebook author.
In addition, you’ll hear from…
** Roy Stevenson – our biggest success story – on how he made travel writing a full-time job after attending our Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop in 2007 and now turns all his “vacations” into lucrative adventures…
** Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon – Deputy Editor at Caribbean Travel + Life…
** Professional Photographer Efrain Padro…
… and more.
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]