Eric Karjaluoto

The Monster

The toughest part about creating something you care about, is that—at the beginning—almost no one else cares about it.

You put in the work. You believe in what you’re doing. You’re convinced others will benefit from what you’ve made. But no one even knows its there.

The difficult truth is that doing the work is just the beginning. Getting someone to use (watch, listen to, read, taste) what you made, is quite another.

People who make stuff enjoy making stuff—not promoting it. So, this is the moment when most dreams die.

They die, because of the monster.

The monster stirs when you’re uncomfortable. It knows you’re vulnerable. You just need a push or two.

So, it circles.

It says that if your idea were any good, someone else would have done it, already. You gulp, fearing its true. But you shake off the feeling.

It tells you that if you were on the right path, people would just use what you made. You wouldn’t need to promote it so hard. (And you look pathetic when you’re begging the way you are.) This one’s harder to hear. Maybe it’s right.

It tempts you to return to the safety of a normal job. It whispers about the assuredness of a regular paycheck. It reminds you of the comfort of a life that needn’t be explained—and that comes with fewer sacrifices.

It knows you want to retreat and tend to your wounds. The world was against you from the beginning. You were never meant to succeed.

As you entertain these thoughts, it grows. As you wonder if you’ll ever amount to anything, it gets stronger.

And this is when you remember another monster. It hid beneath your bed, when you were a child. This monster is just the same—a figment of your imagination. It’s only real because you let it be.

You can feed it with your doubts and fears—giving it power. Or, you can starve it. You do this by ignoring the monster, and getting back to work.

This isn’t easy. (If it were, others would more often do the same.) Nope, this is when you prove yourself. You’ll painstakingly improve your thing. You’ll fight for introductions. You’ll send emails you’d rather not. You’ll hammer at this challenge, long after others would have given in.

You have many miles of hard road ahead. It’ll be lonely at times. But, it’s your road, and what you’re doing is worth the work.

Do you feel stuck? Hit me up on Officehours if you need a few words of encouragement, or a little advice.

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