“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”
This is what my Mum used to say to me about all sorts of things, and especially about my then-boyfriend, who became my husband, who is now my ex-husband. Given the life changes I’ve made over the past few years, she was pretty spot on with that one and I’m sure she’s nodding in agreement from wherever she is today!
And yet it’s these words, ringing constantly in my ear, that I’ve heard whenever I’ve been on the cusp of something close to big, possibly life-changing success. And so…
Instead of focusing singularly and solely on making a go of one thing, I’ve always had numerous things on the go.
Instead of committing an all-out effort, I’ve always held something back.
Instead of acknowledging my avoidance, I hid behind the advice to justify my lack of singular commitment and focus.
And behind the words of warning – which on the surface seem eminently sensible and practical – were the fears…Fear of missing out. Fear of getting it wrong. Fear of being seen. Fear of failing. Fear of success.
I don’t do regrets but I do do lessons, and this is what I’ve learned from following that piece of advice…
- Go all in with a project that has its own momentum.
- People (and the universe) respond to the energy you give something; if I won’t commit to something, why on earth should others?
- If the worst happens and I realise I have indeed made a mistake, the world doesn’t end. I start again, using what I’ve gained from the ‘failure’ (connections & contacts, experience & lessons, etc.) to make something new work instead.
- I can start again with something new as many times as I damn well please.
- The only ‘failure’ is if I keep making the same mistakes over and over and over again, and even then, I’ll likely only get it right when I’ve learned the deeper lesson I no doubt keep on missing.
There are still instances where I believe it’s not good to put all your eggs in one basket (without at least a backup basket in place!), or where it’s sensible to stop for a while and reflect on the path you’re on…
Owning your content – never, ever, EVER put all the content you create – blog posts, videos, audio etc. – on a platform you can’t get it off of easily. Patreon, for example, doesn’t appear to offer an easy ‘export’ function. If you publish hundreds of posts for your patrons over the years on the Patreon platform only (without having a backup copy of them elsewhere) and you ever want to move away from Patreon, it’s difficult (and I’m assuming you have to contact them to export your content, if it’s even possible to do this at all). The same goes for hosting all your videos on one platform without having backups somewhere else. Same for audios/podcasts. And even if you’re using WordPress, you still need to make regular backups (Confused by all of the tech stuff and need help putting some back up plans in place? Ask me!),
Giving up – it’s great to go all in with something but knowing when to quit is just as important. It’s easy to tell yourself you’ve just got to keep going and at some point, it’ll all pay off but this isn’t always the case. Know when to stop, and if you don’t know, get help to figure it out.
And if you do make a mistake, plump for the ‘wrong’ thing and get it all wrong, remember this…
“Don’t cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.” — Aubrey De Graf