Why You Should #LeapFirst | #MyFridayStory No. 180

Why You Should #LeapFirst | #MyFridayStory No. 180


That is the advice I got from my good friend and mentor 20 years ago. He was imploring me not to procrastinate but to act immediately, even if it felt scary.

I was hiding.

Ten years later in 2010, Seth Godin published his bestselling book, Linchpin. Are You Indispensable? How to drive your career and create a remarkable future. The be a lynchpin in whatever line of work you are in—self-employed or working for a boss—asks of you to lead. A lynchpin does the hard work. They don’t accept the status quo and endlessly challenge “this is how it has always been done.” They realise the only thing that matters is to ship your work. Start.

Anything less is hiding.

Following the publication of Linchpin, Seth offered a little booklet, “SHIP IT. A pamphlet for people who can.” Delivered in sets of 5 workbooks, that guide a person or team to deliver on a project from start to shipping. The SHIP IT workbook is for those that have become victims in a system that undervalues them. It celebrates your brilliance and the value you create and pushes you to ship your art.

Stop hiding.

This was followed by a lecture series in 2015 called Leap First. Creating Work that Matters. Here Seth explains how everyone would like to cause a stir and create a ruckus. We all yearn to choose better over safer. We’d also love to surprise everyone with something remarkable. But the resistance to change and risk is ever-present. The spark that fuels our creativity, seems dull. We lack the courage to ship our work for fear of being vulnerable to criticism.

You’re hiding.

One of the common traits we all share is procrastination. We’ve all unnecessarily delayed a task—large or small—at some time. The number of studies and books on the subject attests to its universal reach. And although it is well researched, the answer to overcoming procrastination remains the same: Start. Yet, we fall victim to what Steven Pressfield calls The Resistance or The Lizard Brain. The amygdala is what drives us to fight or take flight.

There has never been a more pertinent time to #LeapFirst.

After spending over 25 years in corporate employment, I decided to work for myself. Having recently completed the #LeapFirst principles by Seth Godin, I did that! I had no idea of my next step except that I had to leave. I handed in my notice on the 29th of February 2016—leap year day. I remember driving home that afternoon, I was on a call to my same best friend and mentor. While telling him about the day, I mentioned how strange it was I had recently done the #LeapFirst course and today is Leap Year day. I said, “What should I call the agency?” He calmly said, “Leap First. That’s your name”. The name is a daily reminder of why we exist.

The feeling of elation and wide-eyed-wonder has never left me to this day.

The opportunity to #LeapFirst presents itself every day in many ways. I never have a shortage of opportunities during any given day to overcome The Resistance. I still procrastinate when I shouldn’t and get frustrated with myself. But often I catch myself and decide to Ship It instead. Shipping an idea, innovation or other creative endeavour is the point of living. To move the world forward. To progress and test new boundaries. To seek a better way. A better world.

I’ve never regretted my decision to start #LeapFirst 6 years ago. That one act of “starting” has led to a journey beyond my wildest dreams. I am in awe of the blessings I’ve enjoyed and the lessons I’ve learned. I look forward to more opportunities to be vulnerable, and to #LeapFirst.

Don’t hide. #LeapFirst.

Have an awesome weekend and please be generous! 😄

As always, thanks for reading 🙏

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