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Do you ever feel pressured to live up to your past best works? Maybe something you did was really well-received or achieved a certain level of recognition, and you feel like you have to match it with everything new you produce. You can experience this at any stage of your growth. It’s not uncommon that this pressure on our creative process causes us to be more withdrawn and hesitant to put out new work. But the worst thing you can do is let a past success keep you from creating new things. We talk about overcoming this ambivalence.

Show Notes
  • 05:13 Acknowledging the pressure.
  • 07:24 The trap of focusing too heavily on metrics.
  • 07:56 Sometimes something that may not appear to be a success may in fact be effectively targeting a smaller niche. You don’t know the impact it could be having on people when you only look at the numbers.
  • 09:12 Think of individual things that you put out just as single parts to the cumulative value you are providing over time.
  • 11:26 Don’t worry about whether every single thing you put out is the best thing you’ve ever done or if your most recent thing was your greatest thing, because the reality is that most often it won’t be. And that’s ok. We can’t always best the last thing that we did.
  • 12:12 Your focus should be on putting out quality work. Let that be your standard. The value is not in always outdoing your last successful thing. The value is in the consistent output of content that is of a high caliber.
  • 12:38 Quality over quantity, yes, but after you’ve met quality expectations, then quantity is an important factor. It’s not about perfection, it’s about standards followed by consistency.
  • 13:00 Better an output of a certain quality over a period of time than just a one-hit wonder.
  • 15:36 The worst thing you can do is stop producing because you’re afraid that you’re not going to be able to top the last thing you did.
  • 16:11 The shelf-life of certain ventures.
  • 17:44 Understanding the difference between normal resistance, and signs that maybe it’s time to move on to something new.
  • 18:56 You’ll know that it’s a drying up of the passion if you’ve already been through a number of seasons of normal resistance. If you just started something a few months ago, you’re not encountering a drying up of passion—that’s just normal resistance.
  • 20:08 Ending something at the right time can be just as influential to the success of that pursuit as the actual work of creating it. There’s nothing worse than something that goes on insufferably.
  • 21:44 “What if you’re in the place where you’re wrestling with the question of whether you still have more value to provide with a specific venture?”
  • 24:52 If you are going to stop, it’s usually best to leave on a high note.
  • 25:54 Stop being scared that you’re not going to be able to make something else that’s great. You’re just being lazy and trying to milk whatever success you can out of this thing that’s working right now at the expense of it remaining to be something that is cherished and valued.
  • 30:00 Ira Glass on storytelling.
  • 31:55 Putting out the “bad work,” that maybe you don’t like as much, is really placing the stepping stones that get you to your great work.
  • 32:32 The necessary process of finishing and putting out work that you’re not going to love.
  • 33:28 Realizing that beauty can come from not censoring your imperfect work.
  • 37:34 One passion can lead to another. You will only discover it when you continue to put work out there.
  • 39:04 You really have no idea what’s going to happen when you put stuff out there and how it will influence people.