Friday, June 1, 2012

How to stop sucking and just be awesome: Three simple steps

Jeff Atwood has a philosophy I can endorse.

"The only thing preventing us from being awesome is our own fear of sucking," says Jeff in an article at Coding Horror.

A downloadable slideshow will explain it to you in full detail if you need full detail, but Atwood presents his philosophy in three understandable steps:

1. Embrace the Suck
2. Do It in Public
3. Pick Stuff That Matters

As much as you see me argue for correctness on Kijiji, I'm not advocating perfectionism. You can paralyze yourself into inaction by fear of sucking. It's better to go out and suck hard than to cower in fear of failure.

Accept that you're going to look like an idiot from time to time, and boldly go. Pick things for which the payoff will be great -- don't just blithely stumble about sucking at everything, hoping to win. No. That's not how it works.

Find something that could go spectacularly well if you pull it off, and still go spectacularly well if you suck spectacularly. You have to be willing to show your ass a little.

Don't go "all in" on a venture with your family's household capital, for example.

Much of that is wisdom from me -- some of that is wisdom from the man at Coding Horror. Just don't let an unreasonable fear of failure hold you back from achievement.

"'It's better to be safe than sorry' is such crap," says Atwood. "You know what's better than being safe? Being AWESOME."

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