Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • - This video is sponsored by Skillshare.

  • Use the link in the description down below

  • and get a two-month free trial

  • which includes my productivity essentials course.

  • If you're an ambitious person,

  • then you like me are also probably

  • somewhat of a perfectionist,

  • whether you're trying to write a novel

  • or make videos or record your own music,

  • the work that you're creating right now

  • probably doesn't measure up to your standards.

  • There's always some tweaking you could do

  • or something you could change or some improvement

  • that you could make, but it seems like

  • no matter how much tweaking you do,

  • it still never quite measures up

  • to that vision you have in your head, right?

  • This is called the taste gap,

  • which is the term that was coined

  • by the podcaster, Ira Glass.

  • You're inspired to start creating

  • by other art that you know is good,

  • which means that you start out with great taste

  • but as a beginner your skills

  • don't quite match up to that taste, and by extension,

  • neither do the first things that you create.

  • And I recently got an email from somebody

  • that echoed this exact idea.

  • They were in the process of writing a novel

  • but they were frustrated with the fact

  • that the quality of their own writing

  • didn't match up to that of their favorite authors.

  • The taste gap was still there,

  • despite the fact that they were able

  • to successfully and accurately analyze

  • what authors did, the way they described environments,

  • the way that they developed characters.

  • Now, you might not be writing a novel

  • but it's likely that you've experienced something similar

  • in some other discipline that you've been a part of.

  • So what I want to talk about in this video

  • is a rule that I've used successfully

  • over the past few years.

  • Start closing this taste gap,

  • and actually start making progress

  • instead of remaining paralyzed by my own perfectionism.

  • It's called the one percent rule

  • and before we get to the specifics of it,

  • I want to do a quick thought experiment

  • that will hopefully put things in perspective.

  • So picture in your mind's eye,

  • if you will, your normal everyday routine.

  • Think about the mundane boring sequence of actions

  • that you go through every single day,

  • but with one slight twist.

  • You haven't done any of them ever before.

  • Now you've seen other people do them,

  • so you know how to do these things,

  • but you have precisely zero experience

  • with brushing your teeth, with tying your shoes,

  • using a microwave.

  • You don't know how to read and how to write.

  • You don't know how to use a computer.

  • You've never done any of these things in the past.

  • But again, you've seen people do them

  • so they should be easy.

  • Now in this thought experiment

  • you can probably come to the conclusion

  • that if you've never done these things before

  • you're gonna have a hard time with them.

  • In the real world, the only reason your able

  • to go through your routine, basically on autopilot

  • is because you've done every single action

  • in that routine so many times

  • that they've all become habitual.

  • Now, most people intuitively understand this,

  • but a lot of them fail to apply it

  • to the art that they wanna make and the skills

  • that they want to build.

  • Writing a novel is just like your daily routine

  • in that the process of doing it

  • contains lots of individual steps.

  • And your favorite fantasy author

  • has spent years, or possibly even decades,

  • practicing each and every one of them.

  • At this point, certain parts in the writing process

  • are automatic for these people,

  • which means that they can now focus all of their attention

  • and their creativity on other things.

  • Meanwhile, as a beginner,

  • you're over here trying to split your brain power

  • between adequately describing environments

  • and developing characters and relationships

  • and catching plot holes and 800 other elements

  • that you haven't practiced before.

  • This is why you're experiencing the taste gap.

  • You simply haven't had enough time

  • or enough tries to make some of these sub-skills

  • into nearly automatic habits.

  • And this is what stops a lot of people in their tracks

  • because so many people are unwilling

  • to let their idealized perfected vision

  • for their first piece go,

  • and as a result they never finish it

  • and they never develop the necessary skills

  • to close that taste gap.

  • That's where the one percent rule comes in,

  • and it's really simple, it just has two parts.

  • Number one, put yourself on a schedule

  • and publish on a regular basis.

  • It could be a once a week schedule.

  • It could be a once a month schedule.

  • That will allow you to not get mired

  • in perfectionism because you know at a defined point

  • in the future, you're going to have

  • to say this is good enough,

  • it's going out I'm shipping it.

  • Number two, each time you make something

  • on your defined schedule,

  • focus on getting one percent better

  • in some element of that discipline.

  • This is exactly how I got over my own perfectionism

  • when I started my YouTube channel.

  • I had that taste gap.

  • I was watching tons of YouTubers

  • that I really looked up to,

  • and I understood what made their content great,

  • but I couldn't replicate it myself.

  • So, instead of getting mired in perfectionism

  • I put myself on a once per week deadline,

  • and with each video I would try to focus on something new.

  • Sometimes I would focus on the audio.

  • Sometimes I focused on my delivery as a speaker.

  • Sometimes I would get really into animation.

  • I remember one week, I was learning

  • how to keyframe animations so I can make pictures

  • move across the screen.

  • And then another week I got really into After Effects

  • and learned about easing curves

  • so I could get rid of linear motion

  • and make more natural motion.

  • And then eventually I got into really complex masking,

  • and if I were to try to do all these things at once,

  • well, I would have failed on my first try.

  • But because it was focusing

  • on just one of them for each video,

  • I didn't get overwhelmed and I started

  • to build a repertoire of skills, over time.

  • Now, I understand lighting setups.

  • I understand audio.

  • I understand animation.

  • I understand lots of elements

  • that go into the process of making great videos,

  • but it took four or five years to get to this point.

  • Now the one percent rule is something

  • you can apply to any discipline that you're pursuing.

  • It doesn't have to be video making.

  • Because let's face it, video making is a pursuit

  • that is very easily broken down into different steps.

  • Pretty much anyone can identify that there's lighting,

  • that there's audio, there's on-camera presence,

  • animation, all these different things

  • that you can focus on.

  • So let's take one more example

  • that's a little bit harder to break down.

  • Let's take the discipline of singing.

  • I remember when I started singing

  • I thought it was pretty difficult

  • to identify exactly what a great singer was doing

  • to sound the way that they did.

  • But this is a discipline where the one percent rule

  • can apply as well.

  • In this case, you just need to do

  • a little bit of extra work beforehand to figure out

  • what the sub-skills are,

  • and that can involve, working with a coach like I do,

  • or just going and doing a little bit

  • of extra reading or joining an online community

  • where people can give you some pointers.

  • And eventually you're gonna learn

  • about all kinds of different sub-skills.

  • There's resonance.

  • There's eliminating nasality in your singing voice.

  • There's dynamics, vocal fry, head voice,

  • and enunciation, singing with emotion.

  • And once you've identified those sub-skills,

  • then you can go start picking projects

  • that allow you to focus on one at a time.

  • For instance, I have a whole bunch of playlists on Spotify,

  • that breakdown singing skills.

  • So I've got one for high voice training.

  • I've got one for low voice training.

  • I've got one for really powerful singing

  • that utilizes a lot of vocal fry.

  • And since I have one vocal lesson per week,

  • I usually pick one or two songs to work on and practice

  • and make recordings of, which means that I'm essentially

  • on a once per week schedule with singing as well.

  • So to recap the two big benefits,

  • of the one percent rule are number one, the deadline.

  • As the old aphorism goes perfect is the enemy of good

  • and well, a deadline is the enemy of perfect,

  • meaning that it's the friend of good.

  • And it's also the friend of completion.

  • Putting yourself on a schedule

  • means actually finishing things.

  • And let's just say you put yourself

  • on a once per week schedule for two years,

  • that means two years from now you're gonna be able

  • to turn around and look back on a body of work

  • containing more than 100 finished projects.

  • Secondly, there is the improvement,

  • because focusing on getting one percent better

  • in a new area with each project

  • means that over time you get vastly better

  • in many, many different sub-areas of your discipline.

  • Again, if you make 100 things over the course of two years,

  • that means you've given yourself 100 opportunities

  • for practice and improvement,

  • and each time you're picking one new area of focus

  • you continue learning and expanding your horizons,

  • but you're also gaining more practice

  • in the areas that you have focused on before.

  • Now I do want to point out one resource

  • where you can go to learn the sub-skills

  • in whatever skill that you're trying

  • to build and that is Skillshare.

  • On Skillshare you're gonna find a library

  • with thousands of in-depth courses

  • covering video editing, photography, illustration,

  • animation, and even productivity.

  • And since I talked about my own video editing journey

  • in this video, the course that I want to recommend

  • this week is how to make an animated YouTube video

  • by my friend Evan who runs the channel PolyMatter.

  • And if you go to his channel

  • you're actually gonna see evidence

  • of the one percent rule in action

  • because he's been publishing consistently for years,

  • and you can see gradual improvement

  • in his videos over time.

  • And you also might want to check out Jake Bartlett's course

  • on Animating With Ease in After Effects,

  • especially if you wanna learn how to start doing

  • some of the things that we did in this video.

  • Also Skillshare is an incredibly affordable platform

  • with unlimited access to their platform

  • starting at less than 10 bucks a month,