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Community Building: Just Do It

I’m a little bit obsessed with action. The who, what, where and when of how things start, and how the just starting and doing differs from the timely thinking and planning.

When looking for examples of people who have the just do it mindset, one of my favorite examples is the community Threadless. If you haven’t heard of Threadless before, it’s essentially a crowd-sourced online t-shirt store. It was started by two guys in 2000, as a passion, turned hobby, turned >$10M business. Co-founders Jake Nickell and Jacob DeHart had the idea that if artists submitted designs for t-shirts, the designs could be voted on by an online community, and the winners of the best designs would have t-shirts made and win a cash prize.

How did they get this operation off the ground? The short answer is, they just started.

If you want to hear the in-s and out-s of their journey from start to now, you can check it out here: The Do First Work Ethic. If you want to quick version, here are a few pointers:

1. Keep it simple. Don’t make things so difficult that you become paralyzed and can’t make the first idea happen.

2. Do it yourself. Best way to get something done is to get it rolling…with your very own two hands!

3. Be scrappy. Don’t spend endless time writing and perfecting a plan, building a perfect site. Think big but start small.

4. BUT above all…just take the first step! Yes, it’s the hardest. But you have to start somewhere, so just start cranking out pieces bit by bit. You’ll feel the momentum start to build, feel SOO much better, and get increasingly energized that will lead to action #2, #3, and #897…

If you want to learn more about Threadless and their ideas on growing a community, check out this interview: Threadless founder Jake Nickell on community and crowdsourcing.

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Quotes from others who think just doing is awesome…

Franklin D. Roosevelt
It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.

Vincent Lombardi
It is time for us all to stand and cheer for the doer, the achiever – the one who recognizes the challenge and does something about it.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
It takes less time to do things right than to explain why you did it wrong.

Brian Tracy
I’ve found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often.

Just as a flower, which seems beautiful has color but no perfume, so are the fruitless words of a man who speaks them but does them not.

Just Do It.

…and my favorite:

“The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decisions, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.” – Johann Goethe

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