Discover and share stories

of adventure, connection, and change making.

218 people think this is good


  1. {{}}
  1. {{fields.video_link.url}}

Ready to post! You’ve uploaded the maximum number of images.

Your video is ready to post!

Oops! Nice pic, but it’s just not our (file) type. Please try uploading a .jpg or .png image.

Well, this is embarrassing. Something went wrong when posting your comment. Care to try again?

That image is too large. Maximum size is 6MB.

Please enter a valid URL from YouTube or Vimeo.

Embedding has been disabled for this video.


Posting comment...

  • Andrea Novella

    This article is totally on point! I especially struggle with the whole perfecting getting in the way of launching. If you do that, you will always be second guessing yourself.

    My biggest challenge so far will be launching a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo. I am sure that I could work on it for years and still feel it wasn't perfect… That's why I'm sticking to my April 24th deadline. Gulp.

  • miavzyl

    Wow. Thank you so much for this article, Paul. I really needed to read THIS on THIS day. I am really struggling at the moment to 1. know how to and 2. actually take my 1-man-show design & make 'service' to the next level. Do I have what it takes to actually make it into an income generating 'business' that flourishes and prospers, not just a couple of exciting, cloud-nine-high projects scattered over a year's time interspersed with some "lean months" racked with financial worry, guilt and very low moods? Or do I just pack it in and take a salary-paying job for an employer? So. before I get too serious about possibly admitting defeat, I need to take a good hard look at how I currently conduct my self-employment and work on and commit to the 6 tips mentioned in your piece. And then get off the net and do the work!!! :-)

  • Wendell Sakagawa

    I was helping a friend who runs a solar company and was always looking to make his projects bullet proof, or perfect. It was driving me crazy. I kept on telling him just come out with a good, simple plan and start putting it into action. Even when he tried to make what he thought have bullet proof, some failure happened during the process. It was how he fixed the problem that kept the company afloat and innovative.

  • Code Start

    "Stop Judging, Stop Comparing is a big one! During my start up, the team decided to create a brand that is "US" no matter what others will think. We wanted to be different in the tech industry and that's what we are doing. So far it ha been working and we have been getting so much buzz about how great our branding is!

  • Gabriela Gotay

    "Busyness does not equal productivity" wise words indeed. As we try to make something out of an idea we try to cover so much ground that at the end of the day we don't really know what exactly did we do, or have not much to show for. If we want to be successful we must commit to progress with consistency. To all professionals out there trying to jump the gun and start a business from your talents, don't give up! []

  • Gabriela Gotay

    "Busyness does not equal productivity" Wise words indeed! Trying to build something out of an idea can leave many doing much & feeling they've actually accomplished so little. We should not overwhelm ourselves and drain our energy. Focus is key for success. To all of the professionals out there trying to grow a business out of their talents, don't give up! []

  • Tim Ghali

    Good and needed words - thank you.

  • Joniponi

    I feel that working for myself is both a privilege and a responsibility - the more responsibility, the more the privilege and visa versa. When I realized this, I became quite grateful for the privilege! I wouldn't want it any other way!

  • Andrea Ureno

    I love this! It seems obvious but is so well thought out and I think will work for me...I work a 9 to 5 and come home to my active 9 year old and aging mom. Yes, I am tired but I have been in the middle of an important documentary, An American Housewife, and I keep stopping myself from going full force. This advice is just the thing to get me into high speed! Thanks for sharing Paul!

  • donnalight

    I like what you said about working smart and listening to yourself!!!

  • pohkoon

    I've been working for myself about a year. This is a wonderful sharing of thought to reminds what we should do and keep moving forwards, thanks!

    • Paul Jarvis

      Thanks pohkoon—congrats on hitting your first year!

  • Scott McLemore

    Excellent. I like the idea of a daily quota, whether that be 500 words or if you're a composer 16 bars. Closing Facebook, Twitter and email alone will stimulate some productivity. Also, the idea of perfection as a hindrance rather than a goal is a good one.

    • Joniponi

      Yes, that's right. Thank you for reminding me about the 500 words and the perfectionism blocking ! I like the idea of a daily goal too.

    • Paul Jarvis

      Thanks Scott. And yes, it works for anything (I'm a musician too). I don't try to write good music or words every day, I just make sure I do it. The "good" or "great" takes care of itself eventually.

  • Sunil Malhotra

    This is brilliant stuff. It even applies to people who work for others. I'd just like to add that there is no point waiting on end for your idea to become perfect. Most often people live their entire lives in their heads waiting for that 'perfect' moment. Just start and things will start rolling -- I promise you! Again, great article Paul, and thanks for sharing.

    • Paul Jarvis

      Thanks Sunil. It definitely applies!

  • Christina Vickers

    I enjoyed reading your post. I especially liked the "Launching is better than perfecting" bit. I am certainly guilty of that. It's really important to jump in the pool instead of worrying about the temperature of the pool.

  • Maria Dekeersmaeker

    Working on and for my own, I recognize every word. Start and trust yourself a Credo...thanks for sharing this thoughts with us....

  • John Wynn

    Paul, just read your other post about why you write everyday. I like your "no-nonsense approach." During the 26 years that I've worked for myself, I have read a lot of books and been to the cheer-leading seminars, but in the you so aptly stated..."nothing takes the place of trusting your own journey." I am looking forward to your future posts.

    • Paul Jarvis

      Exactly—those folks are all well-intentioned, but they don't know your values or what "works" for you.

  • Ben Goldhirsh

    Thanks, Paul. Super helpful and insightful. I think the other thing which someone shared with me and ties into the "just start" and "stop comparing" notes is to see the success in the effort, rather than in relation to a desired outcome. Given the ups and downs and perpetual nature of the hustle, see the success in the pursuit is a really valuable buoy to provide some emotional stability amidst the work.

    • Paul Jarvis

      There's a section in the Bhagavad Gita that speaks to "we are entitled only to our labour, not the fruits of that labour".

  • Sarita Coren

    I love these six tips. Just start and show up are key points that look deceptively simple. A friend of mine considered starting a blog shortly after she saw my blog. After a while, I could tell she was over-thinking the entire process instead of just putting pen to paper, so to say. Thanks for the enjoyable read! Happily following you now, Paul :-)

    • Paul Jarvis

      Thanks Sarita! I tend to not let myself talk myself out of ideas by jumping in quickly. Sometimes it leads to failure, but mostly it leads to good learning experiences.

  • Heidi Naylor

    This was great to find in my email inbox this morning. Thanks for writing.

  • Ceejae Devine

    I’ve had a freelance graphic design business for over twenty years, nine as a single mother. Scary? Yeah, it has been at many times. I discovered, however, that what I truly have a passion for is writing. I started and knew my writing was terrible at first, but kept at it. One Christmas, I was at a writer’s workshop and had an experience that led me in a completely new direction. My life changed dramatically shortly afterwards and I am working on a memoir that shares what happened. What’s unusual is my passion isn’t for my work and my successes haven’t come from my writing. I hope you will consider following me as I pursue getting published.

  • Maestro Benir

    very DIANETICS-esque honesty! well done!

    • Paul Jarvis

      Nice! Now I need to look up what dianetics is...

  • Kristin Pedemonti

    Wonderful. I would add Listen to your heart; which often keeps us more in line that our heads. And don't allow Fear to stop you. If an idea comes to you over and over, try it out. Some thought I was crazy when I left my job, sold my house and stuff to be a Full-time Storyteller & create a volunteer literacy project. It goes Global this year! YAY! Good Luck to everyone striking out on their own!

    • Ravi Jain

      I would love to hear your story and share it on my site where I train people to learn how to work for themselves through a program called Hire Education:

      • Kristin Pedemonti

        HI Ravi, Just got your email, thank you! I'm sending you an email now! :) I'd be happy to share my story and bounce some Ideas with you.

  • Taylor Lewis

    Thank you for the great article! I, too, am guilty of many mentioned valid points. It's not an easy task - that of conceptualizing, developing and growing your own business. But once you do, the results can be truly great. Keep moving forward, be responsible and trust what you're doing and what results you're after!

    • Paul Jarvis

      Definitely not easy Taylor, but something to work at. I work at it every day.

  • Beetlebum

    Simple but so true

  • Alex Beauchamp

    As always, really appreciate you insights/honesty on this topic. I totally agree with it all and I think having worked for myself so long is what makes me better at being accountable and more flexible when I work with others.

    But the best part was - listen to yourself. That actually becomes a hard thing to do with all the advice/looks/feedback you get constantly from others with both good intentions and bad. But that's why you work for yourself in the first place - you know what you need!

    • Paul Jarvis

      Thanks Alex! Everyone's got a course/book/whatev to show you exactly how to make it like they have. We live in an age where someone can spend 2 weeks learning something to turn around and charge money to teach it.

      Good intentions on their part (maybe?) but doesn't typically work, or even if it does, you end up building a business you hate because it doesn't align with what you actually want...