So I was watching this a documentary about Beyonce that showed her, days before a big show kind of pissed. Nothing was going right. The stage wasn't finished. The lighting was wrong. The choreography was off. There was no time left. Nobody was doing their jobs. This was not her vision. She was freaking out.
And I remember thinking, "Yeah, that feels right. I know that feeling."
Sure, I've never been paid millions to perform on a world stage, but I do know the feeling of when NOTHING IS COMING TOGETHER. The feeling of being so consumed by a project that when it takes a left turn, I think I might lose my mind. Or at the very least, break some valuable shit.
If you've ever embarked on a creative project, especially one associated with your brand, your image, your business or reputation, I'm guessing you probably know the feeling, too.
I lovingly call this feeling the MESSY MIDDLE.
AND here's my untested, personal theory:
I'M CONVINCED THAT WHEN IT COMES TO PROJECTS YOU CARE ABOUT, ESPECIALLY ONES THAT REQUIRE SOME HEART AND VISION AND CREATIVITY, IT WILL ALMOST ALWAYS GET MESSY BEFORE IT GETS GOOD.
If you're not sure what the MESSY MIDDLE LOOKS LIKE, here are a few examples:
I'm talking about when you've spent a ton of money and a ton of time working on your website, and you suddenly realize it sucks.
I'm talking about that moment when you've recorded your first podcast episodes and you're about to launch and you've added music and an intro, you realize you hate everything you're hearing.
I'm talking about that sudden feeling of deep regret over your hair cut and outfit options the night before a really big, expensive photoshoot.
I'm talking about the moment you wonder if you're really meant to do this, because nothing is coming together as easily as you WISH IT WOULD.
Honestly guys, what I'm talking about are the very moments EVERY entrepreneur goes through.
AND as I was putting this episode together, and thinking about what I wanted to say,
AND I just wish I could offer you a fail-proof strategy to avoid them. A way to ensure that you will never lose site of your creative vision, or that you will never waste your time or money or that every project you start will feel really good all the way through.
BUT I can't.
I can offer this:
Be patient with yourself. Remember the big picture. Remember you are not alone.
And if it helps, here's something that seems to be true for me: The messy middle usually strikes in my world right before a really big, super wonderful, breakthrough. Right before the pieces of everything are about to fall together. Sometimes, sure the end result surprises me, and most of the time, the end result is like 1000% better than I ever imagined it could be.
That's like a silver lining, right? Endure a little chaos and frustration, but for an awesome product at the end?
So maybe I do have a strategy for you after all. The next time you're in the middle of a project, or just in the middle of something really important, something that you care about and are invested in and things start feeling really messy,
I suggest you try:
Sticking it out.
Don't give up.
And read this again if you need to.
That's it for now guys. I hope you found this helpful, for whatever messy middles you find yourself in. Remember, you've totally got this.
Until next time, take care!