Many moons ago, I sent Jackson to his room to perform a difficult task. His assignment: to pick through his plethora of old shoes and toss the ones that he wouldn’t be using any more. He argued, he begged, but in the end I insisted that he get rid of the misfits, the tattered, and the old. Quite sullen, he dragged himself to his room where he disappeared for the good part of an hour.
I imagined him in there sitting amidst the ashes of fallen friends. To the left were the ones he had owned for over two years, much too small now for his size thirteen feet. To the right sat the formerly white ones, now grey and cracked around the edges. Scattered about were the many that had long ago lost their mates. I knew, because I had looked, that so many of them were torn, lace-less, unglued, de-soled, and simply unsuitable for public appearance. Mixed in too were the ones that had at one time been held in high esteem but now were uncool rejects destined to never again see the light of day.
The child ascended the stairs with a large plastic bag meant to be filled with a newly formed pile of rubber and leather rubbish. He descended with one lone sandal which he escorted to the kitchen trash can and deposited. His overwhelming sentimentality had won again and the shoes which should have been buried remained untouched on the floor of his closet.
You have a job to do too. If you have been putting yourself out there on a creative limb, which you should always be doing, that means that you have a lot of concepts and ventures that you have tried over the years. Don’t let these sit at the bottom of your proverbial closet.
As professionals, we are constantly brainstorming new ways to invigorate ourselves and our products. That means, statistically, we are going to have a constant mix of endeavors trailing behind us, some of which will be great successes and some of which will be failures. Don’t sentimentally hold on to the unsuccessful ones! Perhaps they don’t fit your current business model anymore. Maybe they are missing some key elements that would make them a success, but without those elements they are no longer useful. It could even be that at one time you thought something was a great idea, but now you are no longer sure. Whatever the case may be, don’t be afraid to lay old ideas to rest as you stretch forward to new ones. In your culling, you may find old ideas that simply require a little cleaning off and they can be transformed into one of your successes. Face your task of picking and choosing with boldness and honesty.
Work at it, separate the good from the bad, toss the misfits and the hopelessly damaged, and focus your energy on developing the concepts about which you are excited. True, it can be difficult to let go of something we once cherished, but ultimately putting our resources into something we really aren’t afraid to put on and show off will reap greater rewards.
About the Author
Jael Strong is a writer for TheWriteBloggers.com, a company dedicated to creating professional blogging content for increased internet visibility.