A case for showing the process

Why do we hate showing our progress so much? What keeps us from showing the hard work that goes into something we create? Why are the steps leading to a goal so hard to showcase?

Excuses

As a Production Manager and a person starting a t-shirt brand, these are questions I have been asking myself a lot. There have been times when I could have posted something that may have helped someone else looking to do either of the things I do for a living, but I didn’t. There was no solid reason why, though.

I usually landed on uninteresting as a reason to avoid sharing. I realized, however, that I was really just afraid of looking at best stupid and at worst foolish. Why would anyone want to listen to someone who didn’t have it all figured out? You only matter once you’ve made it.

Over the past few months, my mind has been shifting.

Permission to screw up

Shirt Folk began as something in mind that I was so damn sure about: Awesome t-shirts designed and worn by awesome people. But my self-awareness was lacking. I love t-shirts and artists. I also love screen printing, production floors, the smell of ink, and the apparel industry as a whole. The core to all of these things, however, is stories. I love hearing and sharing stories. Those stories just happen to center around printmaking.

After the second month of launching Shirt Folk and releasing a line of shirts, I could feel the allure of selling shirts as my brand’s main focus draining. But I lied to myself for a month. I couldn’t change my mind. My credibility would be tarnished. My next idea would fail before I even started. Changing course is a weakness.

And then I stopped caring what other people saw me as.

Happy is everything

Maybe I saw one too many Gary Vaynerchuk videos, I don’t know. But I see now that we are what we do with our time. No judgment one way or the other. But realizing that the time we have is finite and the way we spend that time should make us happy is a thought buried in my skull now. That may sound like fortune cookie tripe, but it’s everything.

The process is what should make us happy. Why not share that?

Would love to hear your thoughts. Comment below and let me know where you are on your path.