The most important app on my phone is without a doubt my “Post-it Note” App. I have an entire screen I swipe to daily with roughly 12 Post-it Notes, all being constantly updated with daily to-do lists, family lists, client work, label work, record shop and various projects I’m involved with. Not to mention random lines and musical ideas. My life mostly revolves around this screen.
Last year, I added 2 specific items to my list that I have yet to take off and ideally, never will. I wrote both of them in all caps: EXECUTION and CONSISTENCY.
About a year or so ago, I came across a small, random blog. The blogger had written a very simple piece titled “Get Shit Done”. The piece was not long. Not much longer than those three words in the title. As I was reading the piece, I realized that just by sitting there and reading, I was simultaneously not getting shit done. I had failed. I was working on a ton of projects and each would incrementally get closer and closer to some sort of imaginary finishing point, but nothing was ‘done’. I was pretty embarrassed for myself. It’s really easy to hop online and read motivational pieces from great thinkers that inspire you, and often they do. Often I find that amazing interview on YouTube or ready a mind-altering book that sends me on a fantastic creative run. But I couldn’t deny the cold hard truth. I was never finishing.
So I hopped on my phone and jotted one word on my To-Do List: EXECUTION. I will never erase it. I have to look at it every day. It doesn’t just apply to releasing projects, it applies to everything I continue to sit on the fence about, hoping a decision will be made for me. I look at my unapologetic To-Do List and it tells me to “EXECUTE”. There’s nothing pretty or comforting about it. It sounds sad, but it’s helped like hell this past year without a doubt.
But execution is half the battle.
To be blunt, I’ve always been frustrated at what I feel is a lack of consistency in my releases, whether solo projects or other projects. I’ve always struggled to find the balance between a consistent growth in quality and artistic exploration with an understanding of budgets and timing (basically ‘reality’) and building momentum by consistently growing in front of a crowd.
So right underneath EXECUTION, I jotted down CONSISTENCY. If I could I’d tattoo it backward on my forehead so I’d have to look at it every morning in the mirror.
These two words are intimidating and unrelenting. They accept no excuses. Facing them daily forced me to get prepared and get organized. They forced me to detach from my art much easier and find a common ground between imagination and reality. They’ve allowed me to build an overarching vision for my career and a willingness to adapt at any given moment to the reality my vision finds itself in. Lastly, with each execution of an idea (whether I deem it successful or reworkable) I found my confidence growing as an artist, a business person, and really, just as a person in general.
PS, I have a project to release this Spring and some cool column ideas to share alongside it. So if you like stuff like this, ‘like’ my FB page and catch me via all the other social media outlets. You can also sign up on our mailing list HERE.