whatever happened to practice?

Static Vendetta Band Practice:  John

Whatever happened to practice?

Practice makes perfect, they used to say. Then they changed their mind, perfect practice makes perfect.

Ouch. That’s a lot of pressure.

Now instead of putting in your hour a day at the piano, with pen in hand, in the batter’s box, in front of the hoop, you’re supposed to do it right every time?

Again, ouch.

On top of that pressure for perfection during practice, there is the added pressure of being expected to perform because you have practiced.

It’s no wonder we look for the “right” answer before we even try.

It seems practice went out with the early ’90s.

You don’t have to be good at what you’re doing straight away. You don’t have to have the “right” answer. You don’t have to make all the best decisions. You don’t even have to have a plan.

You certainly don’t need a strategy.

You need to try. You need to practice.

I tell [my students] they’ll want to be really good right off, and they may not be, but they might be good someday if they just keep the faith and keep practicing.
— Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

Do you hate that I don’t give you straight answers? Do you wish my posts had more bullet points and do-this-then-that instructions? Sorry. I don’t believe in them.

I believe in questions, in trying, in experimenting. I believe in coaxing you not-so-gently to practice your craft (and your business).

I believe in finding ways around your deepest felt assumptions, exploding them from the inside out.

I believe the only way you’ll be better at your “something” 5 years from now is if you start NOW.

What are you practicing? What will you give the ol’ college try? Opportunities for practice (not to mention trial & error) abound. Some ideas for this week:

  • new marketing tactic
  • completely different kind of blog post
  • cold call
  • warm call
  • coffee with a role model
  • coffee with someone who looks up to you
  • fresh offer to your list
  • rewriting your sales page

– – – – – – –

It’s time for the second session of The Art of Action! If you’re ready to practice with purpose, to engage your goals, to lose the fear & embrace momentum, I will whip you into shape in 6 weeks. Plain & simple. Check it out.

But don’t take my word for it:

Tara, honestly, this class has been life-changing for me. Doing what I love and getting paid for it has always seemed like a pipe dream. For the first time in my life, I’m taking my work and myself seriously.

I feel confident and capable and skilled. I believe that I can earn money doing the things I’m passionate about. And I give you all the credit for instilling that confidence!
— Brandy, Emergency Breakthrough

{ image credit: orangeacid }

experiment or die

experiment or die

As you might have noticed, taragentile.com just got a makeover. Not just a new banner or color scheme but a whole new flavor & focus.

The “new” here is really a reflection of an evolution that’s been occurring in my business since March 2010. From January 2009 til March 2010, my business and my online presence was about experimenting with things I thought might “work.” But my definition of success was limited and my understanding of what I had to offer the world was in its infancy.

Experimenting is a brilliant way of finding your passion and your calling.

Businesses that truly thrive (not simply get by) are those that are willing to experiment. Non-profits that truly make a difference are those that are willing to try something new. People who stand out, get noticed, and help others are those who are willing to do something without the burden of perfection.

Francis Ford Coppola recently did an interview with the 99 percent. He marveled at the fact that he can still learn something every day that he works on his craft (film).

The cinema language happened by experimentation – by people not knowing what to do.

The very idea of film, its culture, its language, its art happened only because people were willing to wing it. There was no manual. Even after thousands of years of theater and drama, this new medium required its artists to dig deep and try something that just might fail.

If you’ve gone to the movies lately, I’m sure you realize that even a hundred years later, artists are still failing every day.

Many of my ventures have failed as well. But with each failed experiment, I have come closer to expressing my art on its own terms. I have inched nearer to the goal of serving (and changing) the world with my passion.

Today, I launch this outward part of my evolution. I brand myself as an expert in DIY culture and lifestyle design. If I’m not, I don’t know who is. This is the fullest expression of my passion that I’ve achieved thus far. And if there is another step to this evolution (I’m sure there is), I welcome it with open arms.

This is how I choose to be present in the world. This is how I choose to serve you. This is how I choose to be seen by your eyes and heard with your ears.

What experiments are you willing to try to find your truth? Are you willing to fail to find what truly succeeds?