As much as I want to say otherwise, the four years of work that was put into my masterpiece were almost entirely wasted because I had no idea how to document my efforts.
I had been working away towards a book that would be a systematized collection of my most fantastic insights. Over the four years of almost continuous work, I filled volumes with my increasingly impressive “ah ha’s.” These were insights into the nature of mind and consciousness, the philosophy of dharma, purpose, and everything inbetween had been systematically laid out in massive tombes (I have a thing for mysterious looking 400 page journals).
Almost four years to the day I realized that I had missed out on a terrible amount of opportunity while working silently on my project. I had the quality and quantity of insights, but nonetheless I missed all the opportunity that I deserved by not documenting and sharing them with the people who needed or wanted them most. I had wasted four years.
Your Real Work Begins Today
One day, long after starting my project, I watched a module of Superhero Academy that taught me everything I wish I had known from the start. Watching the presentation brought forth an incredible mix of emotion. If I had that info before I had ever started my work, I would easily have a massively profitable business today, and a brand worth mentioning everywhere I went.
After listening to Marc Angelo’s insights on documentation, I was left with an open jaw. The short version is this; the best way to build an eager following, and therefore a social movement, or business, is to document your progress.
I know this may seem confusing, after all, I had made copious amounts of notes on my thoughts. But the real key is sharing your documentation.
Take Valhalla for example, If they had not documented their progress the moment they bought the land for their sustainable community project, they would not have the following they have today. That following is what enabled them to go so far as to even create their own building designs with sustainable architects, and launch projects as groundbreaking as WISDOM homes.
If they had waited until they had the “perfect” logo, or until they completed their first earthship, they could have pushed their potential reach back years, and lost the ability to pursue these amazing projects when their time came.
Their early start on documenting got them in front of their ideal audience before they needed an audience. As a result, their achievements are not only known to far more people, but that audience is motivated to help them achieve more than was previously possible.
Every Minute Documenting is a New Opportunity
I see it like this, The longer you consistently share your documentation, the more opportunities are available to you.
The longer people see your content, the more invested they become in your brand, your story. And the more interested they become in joining your movement. It is a constant principle of brand awareness.
Let’s say that two people have an idea for a business or social movement.
Person A decides to post a video or blog about his idea on his facebook page, for all his friends to see. He knows how to document his process and by the strength of his following is certain that there is interest in his product before it launches.
Person B decides that he is only going to reveal his idea when it is sufficiently ready and he can call himself an “expert” on the topic. Nobody knows what his product will look like, and he has no idea whether people actually want what he’s making at all.
It takes time to feel ready to act like an expert in your own mind anyways, so you might as well get started by positioning yourself in front of an audience and experimenting as you go. Each failure, and each success, will ultimately have something to teach you about what your best public face should look like.
If you wait to become personally credible before you feel like you deserve a powerful following, you have merely postponed your success and pushed your experiments out into the future.
How to Document Without it Consuming Your Life
The funny thing about proper documentation is that it can be done every day. Every time you work on your project, every time you flip your hour glass for your power hour, you have something to document.
A lot of people think that documentation is only beneficial if A) they think they’re ready and B) they have something they think is worth documenting. This way of thinking will not help you build your brand and create a world class social movement or business.
Remember, it is not about getting the perfect content out there it is about getting in the eyes of your audience and staying there long enough to become a credible expert in their eyes.
But what is a quick and easy way to document? Here is a list of ideas:
- Post a quote you came up with on facebook
- Post a meme featuring that quote
- Share a related post to your project on social media
- Post progress reports
- Thank your audience and show gratitude either through words or gifts
- Post a picture of where you work
- Tease your audience with mystery
- Post photos of events you go to
- Post photos of books or programs that you are learning from
- Make a constant video blog or written blog
- Podcasts and interviews
- Answer questions from your audience and reply to comments (very important)
Building habits around knowing how to document is the best and easiest way to build your brand. I mean, think about it- all you have to do is snap a screenshot of your new domain name, or take a selfie at that conference you went to or post a stand alone quote on Facebook. Find a channel you like, and start sharing your documentation with your audience.
You can start today, and with that choice comes the beginning of getting your brand known to your ideal audience. With regular, documented updates your audience becomes an integral part in designing your product. Incorporating customer feedback into your product leads to something that people actually want, rather than a shot in the dark.
Superhero Academy thrives because it has each of the students opportunities to give regular constructive feedback. The final products always incorporate helpful feedback, with palpable improvement for students like you, and an end-product that suits what the students need or want most.
The Right Way To Get Started Documenting
When it comes to building your brand for a social movement or business, there is no activity that will add more value than documenting your ongoing progress.
While I have spent the last four years hiding my progress from the world and waiting for the perfect moment to shine, I have missed so much opportunity to grow. In the coming weeks I will be setting up my channels for documenting and start getting my progress out there.
It doesn’t matter that my work may never been published- if I had shared what I was working on and built an audience as I went, at some point I could have released a minimum viable product that could have really benefited the right people, allowed my fans to give me feedback, and also let them show me what they really wanted.
If there is one thing I learned from this blunder, it is that there will never be a perfect moment to share my progress, I will never be ready. It is all about taking the plunge and sharing consistent, steady documentation.