A few days ago I was visiting a friend of mine in Canada. She has her own business refinishing furniture and has become really successful at it. But it’s funny because growing up she was never into doing that type of stuff. She taught herself all about refinishing furniture by watching YouTube videos and simply doing it over and over.

While I was visiting her I showed her someone cool I’d seen on Instagram and I said, “I think you could make these and sell them”. So, in less than 1 hour we had sewed a full size prototype of this beach accessory. Sure she didn’t use the fabric she’d want to use on the real thing, but it worked. The next morning we went outside, took pictures of it, and posted it to her businesses Facebook page to see if she could get pre-orders.

So in the space of less than 24 hours she had created this prototype. As we were doing this I saw so many similarities in our personalities (we’ve been friends for 28 years). But the thing that stood out was how fearless she was. She could have decided not to make a prototype because she didn’t have the right fabric or because the fabric we had wasn’t quite enough for a full size prototype. But it didn’t matter. The point was that we wanted to see how long it would take, how hard it would be, and whether or not there was interest from her Facebook community.

When I think about myself, I admit I haven’t always been fearless. I used to not attempt a project unless I knew I had all the right variables in place to help guarantee success. But I think that doing UX and product development has forced me to be far more fearless.

Removing the expectation of success helps to give you the permission to explore ideas that previously may have been more risky.

Whatever you’re working on, think about if you’re moving fast enough? There’s obviously a difference between being fearless and being reckless. But in the back of your mind, ask if you are overthinking things too soon. Are you seeking perfection when you should just be creating a prototype?

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