The Right Resources
Having the right resources can make all the difference in getting the job done. I recently had a task that required me to do some editing. I could have done the editing with any pen, I suppose, but I have been taught that the proper tool for the job is a red pen. And so, I went out and got a red pen and completed the task.
Sometimes we ponder what the correct resources are to complete a task (or series of tasks). A good look at using the right resources is this… Say you want to build a house. You’ve got all sorts of ideas and plans. You have a blueprint. Who do you contact about making that dream house a reality? Is the first person you contact an interior decorator? NO! You hire a contractor…someone who can get the house BUILT. And then, once you have the structure in place you contact the interior decorator and say “Here’s the space… here’s what I want the finished space to look like… help me make the space look like I want it to look”. The interior decorator isn’t putting up the framework or installing all of the inner workings… they are the experts on the finishing touches. And if you don’t have a house to decorate, all of the interior designers in the world aren’t going to help your dream become a reality.
This can be applied to many models…the bottom line being that you need to have the right resources at hand or you will not meet the goals you have in mind. All of the brilliant ideas in the world won’t do you any good if you can’t capture them, apply some focus and do the work that needs to be done to make your idea something “real”. Inventors don’t just have a concept in their mind one day and the next day miraculously have the product in hand. Authors don’t have an idea for a book one day and a finished manuscript the next. There is a creative process and if you have the luxury of being able to hire someone to assist you while you are working the creative process, take advantage of that. How wonderful would it be to have someone who can organize the chaos in your life so that you’re able to focus on getting the book written or the invention finished and patented? Less distractions equal more focus which usually leads to a better finished product.
Having a publisher doesn’t mean the book is going to get written. That still has to come from the author. In fact, having a publisher just adds to the pressure to get things done in a particular timeframe. If you are an unknown author (which doesn’t necessarily mean an unknown person, it’s just that you are someone who has not before been published), it helps to have a manuscript to present to the publisher. It almost never works to go out and tell publishers “Hey, I’m writing a book, want to publish it?” because they’re going to want to see the book. Or at least a pretty good idea of what the book is going to look like. And these days, publishers are publishing less books (because of the variety of publishing platforms available today and the shift away from print media) and to get a book deal is a rare thing, indeed. There are a few notable exceptions to this. Jenny Lawson got a book deal without having been previously published. But she has a large audience of people who read her very successful blog and the result was that her book was on the NYT Bestseller list pretty much immediately when it came out. There are not many people who could pull that off and while she was writing she was under tremendous pressure from the publisher to finish the book by a deadline which I am sure made the writing process that much more difficult.
Similarly, having a manufacturer lined up before you have a prototype of the finished project (or at least a really good plan for exactly what it will look like and how it will work along with a very good cost estimate which includes both material and labor) is not usually the way things are done. So take a step back, figure out the logical course and then go forth and make your dream a reality and utilize the right resources to get the job done!