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Jason Zook

Fear is Not an Excuse

The year just started, and I already have a plate filled with big projects – an online course, another book, and taking the California Bar Exam this summer. The primary guiding rule for all of my projects is “Fear is not an excuse for not making progress.”

Photo by Bob Johnson

Truth be told, the prospect of creating this online course, “Lights, Camera, Lawsuit – The Legal Side of Professional Photography,” scares the bejezus out of me. I’ve never done anything like this before. Creating the materials will be a lot of work, and will include doing my first voiceover. Each of the 22 lessons will be a slide deck with a voiceover presentation. There will be lots of opportunities to screw things up.

Despite my apprehension, I really don’t have much to worry about. I’m going to use Jason Zook’s platform, Teachery, and borrow a format that he used in a course I purchased from him. If I get stuck when it comes to the nuts and bolts of creating the course, I know he’ll be there to help. And I already have people who have expressed interest in buying the course once it’s available.

My goal is to have the course materials completed, edited, and tested by a handful of photographers before releasing it to the public by the end of March. There is much to be done between now and then, and being afraid of making mistakes or launching a dud are not excuses. In the words of the great late Carrie Fisher:

Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.

Let’s hope so. Right now, my plan is to keep moving forward, without letting fear about how others will perceive the final product paralyze me. Thanks to the Wall of Pain (aka my wall-size color-coded to-do list), it’s easy to break down this project into manageable chunks. I don’t have to worry about the final product – just whatever’s next on the to-do list.

I’m so grateful I don’t have to work on this project alone. I have an amazing group of photographer-friends who provide feedback when needed, an incredible mastermind group with skills I can call upon to help create and market this course, and a loving community of friends who support my crazy endeavors.

If you have daunting projects on your horizon, I hope you’re keeping the fear monsters at bay.

Day 50/90 – Hitting the Ground Running

Day 50 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? I hit the ground running this week.

This is the view from my desk. I'll be seeing it a lot this week.

This is the view from my desk. I’ll be seeing it a lot this week.

I knew I was going to have a busy week with client work – I mean really busy – even for me. If I didn’t have a spreadsheet of all my cases it would be hard to keep track of them all. By nine o’clock this morning I felt that if you weren’t on my to-do list this week, there’s a good chance you’re not going to get on it ‘til next week.

I’m pleased so many people want my help. This may be one of those weeks where I have to keep my door closed, put my cell phone where I can’t see or hear it, and can only schedule phone calls and let all others go to voicemail. It might be the only way I can give each project the attention it needs and to avoid other distractions.

I saw this awesome tweet today, inspired by the legendary Captain Jean-Luc Picard:

That’s going to be my week – working through my to-do list, one thing at a time.

I’ve also borrowed a tip from Jason Zook – I have a digital file of my daily to-dos that extends for weeks, but each day when I get to the office, I start by writing the list of what I want to accomplish before I leave for the day on a sticky note. (If I can’t fit my list on a sticky note, I’m trying to do too much.) There’s something about writing this list by hand that feels more organic and helps me find my focus to start the day.

Just gotta keep putting one foot in front of other.

In case you missed it: Day 49 of the 90 Days of Awesome – Simple Pleasures.