I heard two successful people discuss this recently.
The first was Gary Vaynerchuk.
The second was John Mayer.
Both were on podcasts I listened to. Different podcasts.
But they talked about the same thing.
The idea was asking for critiques and feedback. It was interesting to hear them both talk about the same thing in similar and different ways.
Gary Vaynerchuk on Perfectionism
Gary was talking, I think with Linda Cohen, on his podcast when the topic of creating content came up. Linda had been discussing how she basically created short news reels recapping local sporting events for a station she was working at. Just doing the work.
Then Gary talked about how he did all those episodes of Wine Library TV.
Then I think they took a call and the person asked something relating to getting feedback or asking for critiques.
And Gary thought for a minute and realized that when he was doing Wine Library that he never asked for feedback. He just did the work. Over time, he became the best at understanding if the content he was doing was good.
And really, you know. You can see if people are watching or interacting or whatever. That’s all the critique you need. What are people doing. How do you feel about what you’re doing.
Gary said that he thinks asking for critiques is a waste of time. It’s a waste of effort.
Instead of doing something and asking for feedback, just create another piece of content. You’ll learn more that way. Stop trying to create the perfect piece of content and just focus on quantity for awhile and consistency and you’ll learn. You’ll improve.
John Mayer on Feedback
John Mayer was on the Bobby Bones podcast recently and Bobby asked if John had any trusted confidants that he asks to review new music before it’s released.
John thought for a second and said that he really doesn’t. It’s just him.
It’s the same thing as Gary V. and Linda.
They all just focus on the work. They focus on creating and never stop.
Over time John has learned what is good and what’s not good. Why would anybody know better than he knows? I’m sure he’s honest with himself. He knows when he writes a good song or a bad song. Maybe he just writes things he likes and trusts that his fans will like it too.
Whatever the case, he’s not asking for critiques. He just creates.
Now, I don’t know if all forms of critiques and feedback are bad. I don’t think that’s what Gary V. and John Mayer meant.
I’m guessing they are great observers. They see what’s going on in their industries. They try new things. They see what works for others and what doesn’t work.
They use that to influence what they’re doing.
And I think they’re also seeing how their own creations do with their audience. If a video flops for Gary I’m sure he ponders that. If a song flops for John I’m sure he thinks about why.
But then they just continue to create. They don’t add the extra step of asking for feedback. They just create and create and put the content out there and learn as they go.
They learn by doing.
After hitting on this point with these podcasts I started thinking about successful people in different areas. And I think this is a common thread.
I’m not saying I’m a successful blogger or anything, but my process is very similar. I don’t think I’ve ever asked for feedback on a blog post. I just focus on creating and learning by doing.
Asking for feedback seems to be a form of procrastination. It’s action so it feels like you’re accomplishing something, but in reality you’re just delaying. You’re not really getting anything done.
It gets back to the study on pottery class.
The teacher had one group focus on creating one perfect pot.
Then the other group just had to create as many pots as possible.
By the end the best pots were from the group that just focused on creating lots of pots. They learned by doing.
The others tried to learn by getting feedback, revising and doing that process.
So whatever you want to do…just do it.
Don’t worry about being perfect. Just focus on doing it over and over for the long term and eventually you’ll get to where you want to be.