Framing vs Finishing

I’m not a great finisher. This is something I’ve struggled with since I can remember. I don’t think of it as the same thing as procrastination. If something is interesting I jump right in, no delays. But finishing is hard. Getting that great idea to cruising altitude is less interesting than starting something new.

Maybe it has to do with my personality type. I’m an abstract thinker- at least according to Myer Briggs and everyone that knows me pretty well. I think and speak in analogies as much as realities. My thinking often moves very quickly between idea and realization. The actual execution seems like an afterthought. But it’s not, making that idea happen is super critical. But, honestly, it often bores me. The logistical nature of execution is fatiguing.

Someone once said to me “well maybe you're more of a framer than a finisher?” It was an aha moment. I finally understood why I got bogged down or distracted.

I’m definitely a framer. I can see the potential of an idea, sketch the outlines and see it come to life. In many ways, at that point, I’m done. It has already happened and I’ve experienced the joy of seeing it happen in my imagination. The actual execution, with all of its realities and human messiness, now feels almost like an afterthought. But out of curiosity to see what works I often dive in, feeding off the momentum of the initial ideation energy. I crave new experiences. Starting things is always exciting. 

But every new “thing” needs structure and support. Businesses and projects can’t live off of analogies and ideas. They need people, resources and money. Lots of money. Ugh. 

All of this has lead me to somewhat resent money. I get its purpose and I’ve worked hard to accept its role in my life, but man, it is such an blecky thing- quantifying everything through the lens of the dollar. I’m not sure what the alternative is but I would love to get to a place where I never think about it. The only way I'll be able to do that is to have enough money to not think about it. At least in theory.

Which is why I need to become a better finisher. There is money in finishing. And there is freedom in money. All my wishing for it to be otherwise won’t make it so. If I want more freedom, which I do, I will need more money. I want to do great things. To help create truly meaningful work for great people. Lots of people.

So to get things done, and learn new habits, I’ve tried to surround myself with finishers. Folks who actually thrive on taking frameworks and making them real. Turning sketches into full color drawings. I marvel at their ability to stay focused on one thing for hours. I can do that in spells but only when creating something new. Once it is birthed, I move on. 

Take this blog for instance. This post particularly. My temptation is to lock it away in Evernote, with so many other 3/4 written posts, and not publish it. Although I’m not a great finisher I am something of a perfectionist. In the sense that I hate putting out half-baked stuff. I want everything I produce to be clean, crisp and have consistent logic. But that can be paralyzing. So I’m going to try and loosen my grip a little. Move the goal posts and accept the truth in the maxim “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good”. I would rather be good than perfect. Wouldn’t you?