Permission Slip

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July 31, 2010 by David Gillaspie

Do you need to ask before you try something that’s never been done?

Who would you ask?

Did Columbus get a consensus from his pals at the pub before sailing toward what they all knew was the edge of the world?

How about Lewis and Clark?  Did they get a hall pass before setting out on their voyage of discovery?

Did Neil Armstrong ask his momma if he could go to the moon?  If he did, you know what the answer was.

Before deciding to do what ‘they’ say can’t be done, keep your plans to yourself.  If you’re going to do something big, anyone you talk to will say it can’t be done.  If it could be done, ‘they’ would have done it.  By not doing it, or thinking of not doing it, they’re saying it’s impossible to do.

But you know better.

If Steve Jobs waited for the ‘right time’ would he be the innovator that distinguishes the difference between a leader and a follower?  If he did we’d still be commanding our Commodores from the keyboard.

You’ve heard that necessity is the mother of invention?  Break down that family tree and you’ll find Cousin Desperation and Uncle Failure.  Dig deeper into the genealogy and you’ll find the Quitter branch, and no one likes a quitter.

Would the names Microsoft and Bill Gates mean anything if he waited for permission?  If he did we’d still be on Beginner’s All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code (BASIC) and he’d be another proud Harvard man.

Are you waiting for permission before you start a run toward something great? If you are, consider the advice from Chris Brogan at

“How NOT to Write a Book

  1. Worry about the title.
  2. Think about finding a publisher.
  3. Ask your friends who’ve written books about their agents/publishers.
  4. Research topics endlessly.
  5. Tweet.
  6. Update Facebook.
  7. Talk about the book you’ll write.
  8. Buy a new Moleskine just for the book.
  9. Research writing software, in case you’re faster on the keyboard.
  10. Decide how big the book should be.

If you just did those 10 steps, in any order, to be honest, you’ll definitely not have a book any day now. Just keep at it. You’ll be amazingly well-prepared to not have a book.

How to Write a Book

  1. Write until you’re done.
  2. Edit a bit.
  3. Find a buyer.
  4. Sell it.
  5. Sell it more.

It’s 1/2 as many steps to write a book than it is to not write one. Are you lazy? Then write a book. It takes half the effort of not writing a book.”

Are you on the road to your own fulfilled potential of dreams realized?  If you’re not sure, look at your feet.  Are they moving or not.  Either way, keep your head down and get started.

You can do that.


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