In order to get what you want out of life, whether that’s grow an audience, build a brand or create stuff that is great, you have to be prolific.
Filmmaker and YouTube content creator Casey Neistat, once said in one of his videos,
“Prior to vlogging [every day], I used to put out maybe a movie a month, and my excuse for not being more prolific was always that I wanted what I make to be perfect.”
This idea of letting your desire for perfection prevent you from doing more really articulates one of the biggest problems to why people aren’t more productive.
By no longer letting himself embrace the excuse of wanting to be perfect, Casey forced himself to do more by making a new video every day.
Because of his increase in output in his own medium he was then able to find his own voice, as well as a renewed passion for filmmaking.
In hindsight, his desire to be perfect was just another excuse to not be more prolific.
Among the greats, being prolific is always a common pattern.
In the book “Picasso: A Biography,” Patrick O’Brian says something interesting about Picasso that I never knew before. He says,
“Picasso was exceptionally prolific throughout his long lifetime. The total number of artworks he produced has been estimated at 50,000, comprising 1,885 paintings, 1,228 sculptures, 2,889 ceramics, roughly 12,000 drawings, many thousands of prints, and numerous tapestries and rugs.”
Throughout his life, Picasso produced at least one new piece of art every day.
Composer Johann Sebastian Bach composed over 1,000 works of music. At his peak, Bach was paid to produce one new song a day.
Seth Godin, who’s considered to be one of the most prolific writer in the world, has authored 18 books, all of which have been bestsellers. Seth’s blog is also one of the most popular in the world and despite his busy schedule, he’s able to still find time to write one new blog post a day.
Most of us, however, are scared to be prolific because we’re scared to be imperfect. But if you’re not prepared to be wrong, then you’ll never get anything done.
In the beginning, whether you’re a writer, an entrepreneur, or a creator, doing something that is just “good enough” is perfectly fine.
Remember, you can usually turn good into great later. The important thing is to begin and not worry about whether or not your work comes out perfect.
Over time, this will make you a better writer, film producer, or painter, because doing something imperfectly allows you to learn from your mistakes, which in turn allows you to get closer to perfection.
As Voltaire, the great writer and philosopher, once said, “Perfection is the enemy of good.”
So then ask yourself, what’s something you procrastinate on that you can be doing more of?