Just Start: Winning ‘The War of Art’

Just Start: Winning ‘The War of Art’

“My wife thinks I’m crazy.”

A new acquaintance of mine works in communications. He has a great résumé and a young family. And he’s starting a new job at a large corporation. But that’s not what he really wants to do.

He wants to blog about red wine. Yes, red wine. He’s passionate about it, and he thinks he can develop a subscription model site where he recommends high-quality options available at relatively low prices. What’s so crazy about that?

The Dark Power of ‘Resistance’

I read a book a few years ago that completely transformed my creative, professional and entrepreneurial lives. It’s called “The War of Art,” and it’s written by the same guy who wrote “The Legend of Bagger Vance” — Steven Pressfield.

It’s a short book. You could read it in 1 hour. And it’s 1 hour that would be incredibly well spent. I can’t recommend this book enough.

Its central premise is that we all have hopes, dreams, thoughts, ideas and best intentions — that are all thwarted by what Pressfield calls “Resistance.”

Resistance is a force that tells us that what we hope and dream are not possible things to achieve. Resistance takes the form of activities that keep us from pursuing those hopes and dreams — dependable day jobs, television, social media, drugs, alcohol and much more. And Resistance can even take the form of people we love bringing up all the reasons why not.

I remember taking the leap from corporate stiff to freelance writer. Most people were supportive, but almost everyone had questions:

  • How will you find work?
  • How will you get insurance?
  • What if you get tired of writing?

That’s Resistance in action. So too is that little voice inside your head that begins to agree with your husband or wife when you want to start a blog about red wine, the one that says: “Maybe I am crazy.”

You’re Not Crazy

In The War of Art, Steven Pressfield says that it’s not just entrepreneurs and writers and other creatives who experience Resistance. Rather, Resistance is an assassin that aims its sites on anyone looking to do more or become more than he or she currently is.

I can’t say it any better than Pressfield, so here’s his rundown of the victims of Resistance:

“Have you ever bought a treadmill and let it gather dust in the attic? Ever quit a diet, a course of yoga, a meditation practice? Have you ever bailed out on a call to embark upon a spiritual practice, dedicate yourself to a humanitarian calling, commit your life to the service of others? Have you ever wanted to be a mother, a doctor, an advocate for the weak and helpless; to run for office, crusade for the planet, campaign for world peace, or to preserve the environment?”

I remember reading this passage and thinking about all the times in my life that Resistance had gotten the best of me.

And that’s why I’m here to say: “You’re not crazy.” That business idea that you have is worth following. Your passion isn’t unique to you. There are others who have it, too. And turning your passion into a business can create a magnet that draws in like-minded individuals who will form your market and conspire to make you a success.

Where to Begin?

OK, so enough with the rah, rah stuff, right? The hardest part about following an entrepreneurial endeavor is knowing where to begin. You think about all the aspects of starting a business, and the things that you know you have to do can begin to feel overwhelming. So, let’s make this as simple as possible:

Just start.

Just buy a domain name. Just write a blog post. Just develop a business plan. Just do some market research. Just file for an LLC. Just start a business bank account. Just join a forum on your topic of passion. Just bid for work on job boards. Just commit to spending an hour a day on planning and doing and digging just a few feet of trench. If you can start “just doing it” each and every day, just a little bit, weeks and months will pass — and you will discover that the few feet of trench you’ve been digging each day have turned into miles and miles.

“But my wife thinks I’m crazy.”

Who cares? The entrepreneurs and bloggers and others who’ve reached successes you want to emulate have heard the same thing before — and they didn’t let it stop them.

The exact starting point is going to be different for different entrepreneurs. If I could recommend the easiest possible first step, I’d recommend buying (or checking out from your local library) “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield. I have my own copy, and it’s lined with notes and marked with highlighted sections. It’s become an essential guide and a source of encouragement when the going gets rough — which it inevitably does.

Let High Tech IQ Help You Get Started

At High Tech IQ, we know that there’s a life many dream of living. One that includes a business built around a passion or unique skill. One in which you say “goodbye” to a cubicle and corporate culture and you say “hello” to flexibility and a true connection between effort and reward.

We exist to help you get started. Don’t know anything about filing for an LLC? Curious about what domain name you should choose? Clueless about how to go out and find prospects (and how to convert them into customers)? We can help.

We can even get your website up and going at no charge. You’re only on the hook for hosting, which is the server where your site is stored.

Get Steven Pressfield’s “The War of Art” today, and steel yourself against the dark force of Resistance.

And then get in touch with us and let us help you take the first step.