Now most of you may know, or have some knowledge about my past, I was an athlete my whole life before I became a builder.
So I constantly refer to metaphorical sports type references, this being one of them. Every coach I ever had that was any good, from middle school through the NFL, always preached something along the lines of:
“You either get better or you get worse, you never stay the same.”
This metaphor to me is a life motto. And should be to anyone who truly wants to become better at their craft, become their own boss, entrepreneur, parent, spouse, coach, whatever. You cannot stay the same every day, do the same thing, and expect different results. Its the definition of insanity. You must push yourself, you have to make yourself uncomfortable in order to truly grow. Now this will be applicable again down the line, as it should, but for now I want to talk about within your craft.
Currently you’ve found something you’re passionate about, and have been working on the mental and physical preparation involved with what you are doing. You’re growing a knowledge base off the field so you can be prepared at game time (see told you I like sports metaphors). Now I want you to push what you’re making to the next level. But do it intelligently with a plan. Pick a project outside of what you have been working on for the past few months, and add to it. Add some more detail, or color variation. If you’re doing woodworking, apply some new techniques. Maybe a hand cut lap joint, or a some dowel joinery instead of face nailing and pocket holes. Jump out of the jar a little bit! (more sports inspiration for you).
In small ways, try new things until you become comfortable enough to build your first feature piece. Your first coffee table, or dining table. Your moms new entryway storage bin or a gun rack for your dad. Make something and give it away. But up the skill set you’re applying as much as your can.
Do this then reflect…..
Look back on your work and truly critique it. Its not going to be perfect, nothing ever is. It will be something you are proud of, but be able to be critical of where you are.
I know for me I am still to this day never happy with every single aspect of what I am creating. But I am always pushing myself to become more skillful. My first large piece was a coffee table for my living room one of the years I was in the NFL. I was very proud, and displayed it out for all my friends and family to see. It was cool. BUT…. when I looked at it every day, I saw gaps in my joinery, I saw glue marks and swirl marks and mistake after mistake after mistake. Now, no one else noticed these things. But I took note, and keep pushing my designs and skills. Every piece had to get better. Now I continue to push my designs further each day. I push my skills to keep getting better, keep sharpening my sword. I make myself uncomfortable all the time, in order to produce a better product.
If you like this type of content please leave a comment down below. I would love to answer any questions you have