Have you been thinking about changing your pricing structure?

Or maybe thinking about adding some new service?

Good. Think for another 24 or 28 hours.

Then quit thinking about it. Just quit it.

Instead, build the web page where you describe the new service. Go do it. Put it there in real-life pixels. Tell a customer about it.

See how it looks when you lay it out there. (You should have a web site built on WordPress or Typepad.com or maybe Squarespace.com that lets you update your website in like four minutes.)

Or, create the email where you explain the new pricing to a client. Write it, sentence by sentence. What does it look like? How does it sound? Is it confusing? Does it feel like the best thing since $2.99? Or does it now look lame in black and white?

Just by trying to do it, you now know much more than you did before. You know 43 times more than if you had just fantasized and daydreamed and debated about it. (Which I can do endlessly.)

Trying to make it changes everything. Trying it makes it real.

Your muses, or your subconscious now flock to your aid. You have defined the problem.  You have banged your head against the issue in the real world. You have tried to draw, to type, to design, to shoot. You are six miles ahead of the daydreamer.

Now the interesting stuff can happen. The muses rub their hands and say “Okay, what can we do with this?”

Work first, think later

Recently, during a long drive, I came up with two of the most killer blog posts ever. As the miles passed, the lines and passages flowed into my head. Both posts were brilliant. The more I played them out in my mind, the better they got. These babies would go viral. I was giddy.

But when I got back to the keyboard, these ‘brilliant’ posts weren’t there. Couldn’t write them. They were fantasy posts. Daydream posts. They were cotton candy. They weren’t real.

I learned my lesson. What counts is what you can put on the page. What you say to the client. What you deliver to the client. What you can sell to the client. That imaginary novel in your head? That brilliant new website you’ve been picturing since 2008?  Just idle thoughts.

Nothing counts until you actually make the damn thing. Or at least try to make the damn thing.

So let’s start there. From now on.

Here’s the new rule.

We are freelance. We get to decide. We do not have to write up some bullshit plan to convince a boss. Some spreadsheet or strategy document. We are in charge here.

We can try it. Right now, this afternoon.

Maybe it’s a better way to do a job. Or a new thing we can talk about to clients.

Start doing it.

If it sucks, if it’s lame, so what? Try again. Nobody is keeping score.

Start building it. Start making it. Try it.

Thinking about it doesn’t count.