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Convincing Damien # 2

I'm convincing my friend, Damien, to become an indie hacker. In this post I talk about the concept of "Documenting" vs "Creating".

Documenting vs Creating

I first heard of the concept "Documenting vs Creating" from Gary Vee, a famous internet personality and entrepreneur.

It's a very simple yet powerful mindset. When we are working on our own projects we tend to believe that we should focus on showing people only the finished result of our work. If you follow this mindset I would say you are focussing on "creating".

Documenting is the opposite - it does not focus on the end result. Imagine you were writing a diary of all your daily activities that contributed to your finished product. Those small details are things that you would share as you build your product. Hence, I would say you are focussing on "documenting".

Creating is a mindset focussed on output.

Documenting is a mindset focussed on the process.

Why is documenting better than creating?

Something I've noticed is that focussing on the output tends to come with other mindsets that aren't that useful. Because you are focussed on the output you're most likely more concerned with how good that output is. Whereas if you focus only on the steps and the process to achieve that output - whether your output is good or bad doesn't actually matter - eventually you will see incremental improvements to your outputs over time.

In the beginning it might be difficult to adopt this mindset into your own work. So let's look at two examples:

Photography

Output: You want to grow your account following to 1000 followers

Process: Post content that engages people to follow you

Blogging

Output: You want your newsletter to grow to 500 subscribers

Process: Send emails that people want to share with their friends


For both of these examples if you focussed on the process, you would most likely end up achieving your goal. Maybe you don't, but you'd still get close. However, if you were constantly focussed on achieving your output, you might find that your content/product isn't as great as you'd want it to be.

Take school as an example. Do you want 50% as your final grade or do you actually want to learn? Truly learning will most likely guarantee you the 50% anyway. But getting 50% doesn't guarantee that you learned anything.

The process of documenting

With all of this talk about documenting, you might have a few questions like;

  • Who am I documenting for?
  • Where do I document my process?
  • How do I document my process?

The process of documenting ties in with some other concepts like "building in public" and "growing an audience" which I will cover in future blog posts. The important thing to know is that documenting is an approach that is applied online using social media, newsletters, blogs, meet-ups and generally places that let you connect and share your work with others.

This week in Convincing Damien

I had an interesting conversation with Damien for about 45 minutes. We talked about the process of getting started, and tried to uncover the reasons for why it is difficult to get started on something. Once you have momentum it is much easier to push through something, but starting is the real struggle.

A while ago I challenged Damien to post a short clip on Instagram every week, just to get the gears turning. So far he's managed to go 4 weeks in a row! The videos are no longer than 30 seconds and are very quick to the point. The process of creating something consistently should improve his confidence, and provide reason as to why he will be able to take on larger projects in the future.


If this has inspired you to take action, let me know!