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Do first, Believe second


Do first, Believe second
© Wes Gow

July 2016

The above quote is attributed to Seth Godin, I think.  When I first heard it, I thought he was full of it.  I wouldn’t consider myself a risk-taker, but neither am I risk-averse. I’m generally the kind of vulture who’s gonna circle that carcass for a while before I sink my beak into it.  What am I doing up there all alone flying in circles?  Looking for affirmation.

  • Are there other vultures scoping it out?
  • Is that thing really dead?
  • What’s the cost/benefit analysis of me interrupting my flight pattern for that roadkill down there?
  • Why do I eat dead crap anyway?

Yeah not that last one, but I’ve definitely wondered how such creatures saw that diet as an evolutionary advantage.  (Less competition?)  Anyway.  Mr. Goden goes on to say that external affirmation is both overrated and unquenchable, and on this point he won me over.  The reality is that you’ll never get enough of the stuff so you may as well get over your self-doubt and get the hell on with whatever project or endeavor you’ve been avoiding for so long.  Creatives and entrepreneurs and leaders don’t acquire or procure enough belief to finally assure themselves of their ability to do.  Most (if not all) of the time, they do – and keep doing – in the face of doubt and setback until somewhere in the process they realize they’ve amassed a sufficient amount of belief in themselves, and/or until others start believing in them.

This little phrase has become more than a catchy tweet for me, it’s something of a daily mantra.  I’m in the scary netherworld of career transition right now, and in the time I’ve spent tweaking resumes and chasing down gatekeepers, I decided to start something I’ve been putting off for too long:  writing.  First with this little site, then with several short stories, and then – lord dare I say – a novel.  I’m not sure where this venture will take me, but I’m far enough along that I’m committed to seeing them published (hopefully).  But there’s not a day that I don’t stare down the barrel of “What in the hell am I doing?”

In those moments, I lean headlong into more doing, and trust that the belief will follow.


A good friend recently shared a 3-part series with me called “The Long Game.”  If you’re anywhere near where I’m at, I think you’ll find these quite encouraging!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3