Mom and I were both big fans of author, Seth Godin. In his writing and the way he lives his life, Seth always stresses the importance of getting your work out into the world. He calls it “shipping.” It’s the idea that we can create all of the amazing things we want to, but if we don’t release them into the world they are meaningless.
Often, when I told Mom about something I’d created that I was excited about, she would say, “That’s wonderful!” And then she would ask, “But when are you going to ship?” It was her way of reminding me that my work would never have an impact if I was too afraid to release it until I thought it was perfect. Which would invariably lead to her citing Voltaire’s quote, “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”
The image above is a copy of one of Mom’s pieces that sold a couple of years ago at a prestigious local art show. And it’s only one of many examples of her commitment to shipping. Often her work didn’t make a connection with people, but that never stopped her from putting it out there. And then whenever one of her works resonated with someone, it gave her a tremendous amount of joy, which reinforced her commitment to shipping.
As I begin this day, I’m knee deep in creating and committed to releasing my creations into the world. I understand that there is no need to be perfect, only the need to be heard and seen in a way that fuels my passion and makes a difference. And every time I ship from now on, I will think about Mom and the beauty the world would never have witnessed if she would’ve been afraid to reveal it.