The Number One Killer of Long-Term Creativity

People spend countless hours and energy building their “setup”, thereby rendering themselves immobile when it comes to the actual act of creation.

Sometimes it manifests as buying actual peripherals for their computer setup (the latest monitor, the nicest MacBook, the best webcam, the nicest microphone, etc).

Sometimes it’s a little less subtle. Sometimes people are always looking for ways to repurpose what someone else has done, instead of trying to create something of their own. How many millions of dollars have been spent on “Copy Swipe Files”, in an effort to short-cut the path to writing copy? How many thousands of hours have been spent at conferences taking notes to try and reverse-engineer someone else’s funnel or business?

When did we all become so afraid of laying ourselves bare and just being who we are?

I have a personal example of this (it’s the video above)

About 5 years ago, I decided to start writing some music. It had been about 10 years since I’d written anything, and it felt long overdue.

I knew that I had ideas that would make for good songs, but I was also convinced that I wasn’t a performer, so I created the songs the same way I’ve done a lot of things - by piecing together smaller sections, fitting them together, rearranging them, and them making them into a song.

It’s like instead of writing a song, I wrote a riff, a verse, a chorus, and a bridge, and then tried to assemble them into a song as best I could.

And in fact, I was so thoroughly convinced that I’d never be a good performer, I never (not once) performed the song all the way through, even to myself.

Once I’d recorded the component parts, I let that be it.

And then, yesterday, I sat down and decided to actually play the song.

So the video above is the very first time EVER that this song has been performed all the way through.

And I’ll tell you what - I like that song way more now than I did when I originally wrote it. It feels more like it’s part of me because I got over my need to hide behind Garageband and the drums and the arrangement of it.

It’s a good song, and I performed it pretty well, and that was ME. It wasn’t the guitar, or the instrumentation, or the drum track, it was ME.

That’s the difference. When you decide to start your own business, you give up the privilege of passing anything off to anyone else.

Everything comes down to you. Own it. Be comfortable in your own skin. Strip away all the unnecessary stuff and just BE.

It’s more satisfying, trust me.