You must learn to Ship

The idea of “shipping” comes from Seth Godin’s new book Linchpin and it goes like this:

“The only purpose of starting is to finish, and while the projects we do are never really finished, they must ship. Shipping means hitting the publish button on your blog, showing a presentation to the sales team, answering the phone, selling the muffins, sending out your references. Shipping is the collision between your work and the outside world.”

 One of the best books I read all year. I highly recommend reading the full book if you plan on thriving in our new economy. The point of writing this blog is to tell you about a project that we just shipped. I’ll be the first to admit I am the worst at shipping. I have a million big ideas and think they’re all amazing and I usually get started on about one-hundred at a time and end up shipping none. By being aware of the shipping concept it has helped me focus on my purpose…..when I get an amazing idea I ask myself, “Am I going to finish this idea? What’s even involved with finishing this idea? Do I plan to ship and when is a date I can set and make a goal to hit? Who needs to be involved? Can I get them on board? How can I ship this idea to the world?…” Just by asking and answering questions like this I am able to make a decision to move forward with the idea or kill it. If I have no plans to ship it I don’t even waste energy starting it. How many of us have these amazing ideas that never get shipped? I think mostly for me it was always fear that created this idea generating, never shipping monster that I had become. I could come up with hundreds of creative ideas to save the world but they would never do anyone any good because I was too afraid to ship them. Afraid that someone would laugh, that they would fail, that I would look stupid, that someone would steal my idea…I could make up stories all day about why I shouldn’t ship. The truth is they are all excuses, all cover ups for being afraid of taking a stand and putting myself on the line. Now that I am aware of this self destruction I can call myself out and move on. I am a shipper of ideas.  Will people laugh, probably, will lots fail, probably, will I look stupid, you bet. But you know what I only need one of my ideas to stick, one to change the world, one to make a difference.

So….here is the idea that we just shipped to the world:

Idea: A clothing line designed specifically for Crossfitters, using the lululemon athletica marketing plan, fabric technology, and design team.

How: Present the idea to lululemon’s creator Chip Wilson in such an amazing powerful way that he has no choice but to meet us in person to talk about it.

Our shipped presentation:

We created a new rougher manifesto, designed a new logo and created this paint can to hold our presentation:

Then for about 2 months I started telling myself stories on why it was a stupid idea and it sat there in my office untouched. Then I read Linchpin and decided I was letting my fear win. So I set a ship date and finished the idea. We made the intro letter fun and in 3 parts:

The Second part being a DVD presentation of this video we made:

The winners from the last crossfit games explaining the culture of crossfit:

Added some homemade Paleo Crunch:

Packed up the ideas and did the hard part, WE SHIPPED IT to Mr. Chip Wilson:

Our only goal at this point is to score a meeting with Chip. Will he run with our idea, who knows. The important thing is that it got shipped to the world, our idea is out of our heads and into the hands of a man that has the tools to actually make it happen. What happens if he doesn’t pick it up? We will make a new plan to get it done. See its still not finished if it dies at Chip. We will ship it to the world one way or the other. .

What’s stopping you from shipping?

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