I've been catching up on reading my book backlog while traveling over these five months on the road from March through August. During my time in Dallas I purchased Starting and Sustaining by Garrett Dimon. At $99 for the book plus spreadsheet it is quite a bit more expensive than the other books I have picked up recently.
But of course I fell for the social proof section titled "What are people saying?" where a bunch of other authors I've read mentioned how they'd gladly pay twice as much for this product. Plus Garrett has been in the trenches for the past five year building Sifter. I'd be shocked if he didn't have some really useful advice for developers aspiring to launch their own web application.
Anyway, one particular paragraph in chapter 3 particularly resonated with me:
One of the most common excuses that I hear is "So and so was able to launch something because they had thousands of Twitter followers—I can’t do that." That’s a pretty shortsighted way of looking at it. Yes, they have thousands of Twitter followers, but that’s usually after years of work. That doesn’t happen by accident. If you think there’s a chance that you may want to launch something two or three years from now, you should start blogging and sharing today. Contribute to open-source projects. Give away information and build an audience. The rest will take care of itself.
I had to read that section a few times to think through what it was that concisely summed up what I've expressed to people in the past.
Some people always have excuses for why they can't accomplish what's supposedly important to them. There are always external factors preventing them from taking that next step. I can't help those people. Whether they are clients, friends, or casual acquaintances, they have to learn to help themselves first.
Then there are the doers. That person you know that if you give her one quick introduction or work through one technical problem, she will take that inch and go miles. She'll work for months or years slowly building up a network to make a goal happen. Then one day after all that hard work other people will call her an "overnight success."
You can look at the world either way. But doers recognize other doers. We help each other out to make things happen.