Jul 8 2009
Recently, I caught up with a friend who I hadn’t talked to in about a year. He was telling me how he wanted to leave his part-time job so he could go to film school and become a video editor. I asked if he’d ever done any editing before, and he said, “No, but I think it’d be a lot of fun. I would love to edit trailers for big Hollywood movies.”
Kill me now.
He wanted to go to film school — a.k.a. guaranteed six-figure debt and high chance of failure ahead — with ZERO hands-on experience in anything related to film. Unbelievable.
I see this all the time. People want to get their MBA because they love the idea of being a CEO. Or they want to write a book because they love the idea of calling themselves an author. Or they want to buy a patent because they love the idea of their product being on a shelf in Walmart.
Why in the world are people willing to dish out thousands of dollars when they could have quickly discovered, for free, that it wouldn’t work out?
You want to be a film editor? Try making a basic slideshow of family pictures on your computer.
You want to be a CEO? Shadow a first-time entrepreneur and see what their daily routine is like.
You want to be an author? Write a successful blog first.
You want to be an inventor? Sell one — just one — unit of your product on ebay.
You want to stop falling in love with your half-baked ideas? Fail cheap. You’ll build momentum that way.