Why Iterating is the Game

When Mikayla and I first started working on the website for The Habit Factory, it looked very different from where it is today. The colour scheme was way more overwhelming (saturated was the word), the text boxes were half filled in, and amongst it’s other problems we hadn’t even figured out the checkout page.

It took us 2 months to get it in shape for its first publishing, just so that we could get initial feedback on it from a few good friends.

Even after that, we realized it still needed a lot of work.

And so we were back on the iteration train once more, trying to figure out a website that would work for us, and wording that would be captivating yet concise. 

Finally, we decided to strip it down to its core elements and start again from there. That was the version of the website we used to round up our first cohort in October. 

Now in our second cohort, we decided to tweak the site once more to include some of the progress we’ve made when one could say it was already “done” to begin with.

You can check where it is now at www.thehabitfactory.space 

Long story short, the beauty of iteration is that it we’re always in it. There’s no done. There is no perfect.

How to Make Things Easier to Do for You

But first, a bit about running.

As soon as you’ve got your running shoes on, you might as well go outside the door.

And by the time you’re taking a few steps outside, you might as well go for a walk and circle back home later.

As you walk, you’re so close to doing it anyway that you might as well start lightly jogging, just until you’re a little bit tired.

And just like that you’ve tricked yourself into healthy physical activity, by simply doing the first step which is to put on your running shoes.

The first step isn’t jogging or running, it’s simply the act of putting on our shoes.

The smaller steps still matter.

How to do Anything the First Time

How did you learn to walk?

You probably don’t remember your first steps (how could you?). It’s just been too long since that milestone has passed for us.

But what’s certain is that no toddler walks perfectly the first time.

The first steps are rigid, awkward, and need a lot more work, but that doesn’t mean the baby stops walking.

The same goes for our work.

If the goal is to get better at something, we have to take the obligatory rigid, awkward, baby steps.

Another Leap

Starting a new habit you actually want to keep isn’t always easy, but it’s a lot better when you’re doing it with others.

Life gets in the way. We forget. We constantly run out of time. It’s not the right time. All of it is real, but if you’re willing to take a step out of the vicious circle of reasons not to begin, then read on.

A few months ago (after the start of COVID, the end of school, and real life restaurant work happened), a good friend Mikayla Koo and I took a leap to start what will become a series of online workshops for creative people like us.

Our world boils down to this: you can do it if you put the work into it, and it can be fun and rewarding along the way too. 

Getting started matters. Day one matters. Building the habit on the right foot matters.

That’s what The Habit Factory is here for.

And if you’re ready to get on your own version of Day One, then I hope you’ll join Mikayla and I for our first run of the workshop that starts this October 19th.

Sign ups are open until the start date and I hope you’ll check us out. Better yet, send this to a friend who needs an extra push (we all need one sometimes).

Over It

A short but important creative pledge that says the deal with perfection is done, and we’re over taking any form of self-criticism as a valid reason to break momentum:

Perfect is a lie, which is why we won’t listen to its calls for attention.

Instead we’ll look for answers to who it’s for, and create for them.

The voice in our heads will always be there telling us that it’s not good enough, not cool enough, or not up to par with the others. 

It’s our job as creatives to tame that dishonest voice, because when we listen to the voice is entirely in our control.

This is about breaking up with perfection, and making a jump to another side where practice is the goal instead.

Here’s to making progress our north star.

Help I Can’t Share My Work

Whether you think it’s too naïve of a thought, too amateurish of a self-produced video, too rough around the edges for a piece of writing, or too rushed as a painting, nothing beats having gone through the process of saying you had to try it anyways. Nothing’s final, nothing’s permanent.

When we put the attention on our progress instead of seeking for validation, we can shift our entire attitude towards sharing our work. 

As a Work in Progress

In the cases we don’t get to decide if something is good, who does instead?

Who gets to leave the product reviews, or the Google rating? Who gets to talk about the product with their friends?

If the answer is somebody else, then the whole idea of “good” was never in our hands to begin with. 

Often times, finding “a level of good we’re satisfied with” is what slows us down from making more progress.

The alternative is to be okay with being wrong. Better yet, it’s all we can afford to do when we’re in service for other people.