“The secret to your future? Showing up!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
Nothing great was ever achieved through active inaction. Postponing initiatives is the root of most failures. Procrastination is the original sin of marginal performers. I could go on!
I always find it wonderful to watch people take that risky first step with something new and come away with an unmatched enthusiasm for moving forward. It’s the first step that is always the hardest – from that point, the rest just require that you put in the work. It’s by showing up and committing to what’s next that you can actually get to what’s next – you’ll never get there if you don’t start to move!
That’s why I’m always on the lookout for those who are taking the first step – and when I see them, I work hard to learn what I can as to their motivations. There are always powerful lessons to learn about innovation, creativity, and leadership that can come from the special sauce of simply ‘showing up.’ In that context, for some reason or other, a post on one of the Facebook groups I use regularly grabbed my attention last week; it’s for the software I use in my virtual broadcast studio, Ecamm.Live. Quite simply, it lets anyone take a digital camera, computer, and microphone, add some special effects, and go live on the Internet to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and more. It’s fertile ground to watch creativity bloom. Just over two years, I was a ‘noob’ – I’m now considered to be one of the experts in the use of green screen technology with the program.
While browsing through the messages the other night – full of support tips, questions, new feature discoveries, fascinating video hacks, and other tips and tricks, we will often see people ‘go live’ with their very first video broadcast. They might be exploring the idea of doing a podcast, a Youtube show, or a video series of some sort – or are simply seeking to step up their production quality a few notches. It’s always fun to watch because a few months later you will see someone transition from that nervous caterpillar taking that first step into a staggeringly beautiful butterfly with wings.
And so at one moment, I saw this message from someone named Janice Roberson Anderson float across the feed. I have no idea who she is; it’s only when I read her profile that I understood what she does. But as soon as I saw this post, this phrase crossed my mind: “She’s showing up.”
The enthusiasm in the brief little video with this post was palpable. Showing up is an engine of enthusiasm! A few days later, she issued this follow-up – not only did she show up to start the process of learning how to use the software, but she’s fully engaged in the critical next steps – learning by doing, accelerating knowledge through making mistakes, taking risks and evaluating the results, and working within a new sort of collaborative community to share her insight. All without embarrassment, or being driven to distraction by the sin of self-conscious focus.
To me, this is what innovation is all about!
While much of what she writes here might be incomprehensible unless you are exploring online broadcasting, to me, this is a wonderful story of the essence of what creativity is all about – showing up. Janice showed up, took the first step, and is pitting in the work.
Too many people never show up.
They never take that first step.
They never appear.
They never bother.
They never try.
But if they simply show up, they would discover the magic that comes from initiative! Every single successful innovation initiative I have ever seen had one thing in common – people showing up!