drone

Please Tell Me I’m Full of Ship

It’s been nearly two years since I’ve posted to this blog. SERIOUSLY? TWO YEARS? Technically, that doesn’t make this a blog. It’s more like an archive. But I do have a legitimate excuse. I’ve had this new website in development for over 18 months. There, that should make you feel better.

As I re-introduce this blog, please allow me to re-introduce our company. So much has changed over the past two years, or 18 months, or past three weeks. In addition to opening a new sales and marketing office in Argenta, and a facelift to our production facility, we’ve added signage and wide format printing. So it’s not like we’ve been doing nothing. van wall photo

Still, you have to wonder, 18 months for a web site?? Two years without a blog post? Okay, you’re absolutely correct. And to make sure that you and I do not let this happen again (Yes, I said YOU), let’s recall some lessons learned during this hiatus:

We must avoid Perfection Paralysis. I would guess that many of us suffer from this. In Scott Stratten’s UnMarketing, this condition arises when we are afraid to come out with something as simple as a blog post because we think it’s not “perfect.” Yeah, I get that. Why has it taken me so long to get some of these projects completed? Because they weren’t perfect. But nothing will ever be perfect. There will be glitches with the Apple Watch when it is released. And by the way, how did that iOS 8 update work out for you? Yet this quest for perfection cannot stop us from producing, or delivering. In most instances, something is better than nothing. (Please note that I am in no way condoning delivery of products that are just good enough. Far from it. I am more referring to our own creativity.   Perfection should always be the goal of customer service, and the delivery of the products we produce.) We must strive for greatness – always – but we simply cannot let that goal cause us to become stagnant. In anything.

Don’t be Naked and Afraid. naked and afraid

In the spirit of full disclosure (see what I did there?), Naked and Afraid is must-see TV in our household. Weekly, we bare our feelings over the plight of these folks stranded in the buff in a remote location. Sometimes, it bums us out. Knowing that I couldn’t even last 21 minutes Barefoot and Afraid (I am a sensitive sole), I do admire the inner beauty of these contestants. But what lessons are to be learned? In addition to stripping themselves of their inhibitions, these contestants display teamwork, innovation and communication. These extreme nudists take calculated risks in order to survive. We must not fear to take a chance  or a calculated risk. Sometimes we have to expose our vulnerability to not only survive, but to thrive.

Change. Change some more. And change again.drone

We’ve continued to reinvent our company since its beginnings in 1966. Partly because we wanted to; mostly because we had to. In case you haven’t heard, technology has had somewhat of an impact on print over the past decade. Who we are today barely resembles who we were just a few years ago. But we have to continue to adapt and react. It is inevitable that every business will be affected by some internal or external force.   In a 2013 interview with 60 Minutes, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos remarked, “Companies have short life spans. And Amazon will be disrupted one day.” I could drone on and on about this, but the point is – change is not only good; but often necessary.

Scare the ship out of others. And yourself. I absolutely love the mantra of the late Steve Jobs, “Real Artists Ship.” Ironically, I haven’t followed it a closely as I should have. Until now. Jobs was referring to the fact that everyone has ideas, but real artists deliver or ship them. If you want to change your life, if you want to change your business, if you want to change the world, you have to take action. You have to ship. Many refuse to do this. They stand paralyzed, naked and afraid. Refusing to change. Waiting until perfection is achieved before hitting that “post now” button.

No more. I don’t want to be that guy. I want others to look at me and say, “that guy is full of ship.”

So tell me, what have you shipped lately?

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Paul Strack [email protected] @pstrack