You Must Ship

You Must Ship
*Photo credit: JDNX

“Real artists ship.”
—Steve Jobs

Anyone who seeks to do work that matters will struggle at some point with this concept of shipping — it's inevitable.

You will come to the point where the work is ready to be released and your art is all done.

And then… you will hesitate.

You may pause to check a few things or do one final proofread. You may stop and wait for no reason.

You may say you're just “ironing out the last details,” but make no mistake…

You're stalling

Which is fine. If this were the beginning stages of the project, when you have all the time in the world to do your diligence. But you don't.

This is the end. You've done all you can. It's time to let go and move on.

Dragging your feet isn't doing anything for you. In fact, it's only training you to wait, conditioning you to endlessly tweak until the work becomes irrelevant.

So let's call this what it is: FEAR. Fear of starting. Fear of doing what must be done. Fear of facing the inevitable.

You were not put on this earth to make perfect things. You were made to create change. To do something remarkable with your skills.

And how can you do that, if you're constantly trying to make your work “just a little better” before releasing it to the world?

Remember: Art is never finished; it's only abandoned. Your work will never feel complete. But that doesn't mean you don't need to let it go.

It's time…

In fact, it's long overdue.

Time to give up your obsession with perfection and do what you were made to do: Create. Time to put your work in front of the people it was intended to impact.

This will not be easy. Everything inside of you will want to wait, to procrastinate. But that is exactly what you must not do. We don't have time for another delay. We are desperate for your art; give it to us, please.

If you feel your heart start to race, if you get a little  anxious when you think about this, you know you're on the right track.

This is an act of faith

When you ship, you're trusting something amazing will happen. And to be honest, it's a bit of a crap shoot.

Because sometimes, we fail. We fall short of the goal and and land on our faces. Which is fine, because those things cause us to grow.

The one thing you and I cannot do anymore is wait. We must ship. Why? Because the world can't be changed by what it doesn't see.

You must give up on perfectionism and embrace “good enough.” You must let go of what you're afraid of and fall in love with the work. We need more than your good ideas and clever strategies. We need your gumption and courage.

And you need to do something, too: Stop dreaming and start doing. Make something that maters.

You need to ship.

What's one project you're delaying shipping? Why? Share in the comments.