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  • Writer's pictureBill Petrie

The Line

Do you have the courage to cross it?


When you are creating a website, that website has yet to exist. It's not something to be uncovered or discovered, and it's not lying somewhere on the desk waiting to be found. There simply isn't a business. Decisions must be made, and actions must be taken – one by one – to create it.


The feeling of needing to develop something – especially if against a deadline – can be overwhelming:


  • Writers loathe a blank page.

  • Painters abhor the empty canvas.

  • Salespeople look in horror at an untouched presentation.


One of our most demanding tasks is to forge something from nothing.


Embracing uncertainty is not just about overcoming fear and creating; it's about finding the right balance between the known (what you've made before) and the unknown (what is yet to be created). The allure of safety and predictable outcomes often leads people to repeat past successes. But true balance is found in activities where neither the outcome nor the reward is certain. This is why the most successful and innovative individuals are willing to venture into the realm of uncertainty.


Think of it as feet near a line separating two parcels of land. On one side is what we know, what we are confident about, our areas of expertise, and the things/people we can count on. The other side represents the unknown, where things are cloudy, unseen, and uncreated. Far too many won't place a foot across the line to the unknown because the embrace of certainty keeps both feet rooted in what we know. This leads to a false belief that if we repeat ourselves or what is known to work, we will be safe.


When we cling to what has worked in the past to have a safe outcome, we do little more than tread water in a sea of mediocrity because we choose repetition over innovation.


At the beginning of each project, every person walks up to that line from the side of the known. It takes courage and grit to place a foot on the side of the unknown because we fully understand that while some of the results will be inspiring and positive, some of it will be dreadful and unusable. That fear keeps us from creativity and innovation.


Truly courageous people – the ones who have the most success in working with continually evolving clients – place one foot across that line in the sand at the beginning of each project and keep it there for the duration. In doing so, they allow themselves to innovate without the shackles of safety restraining them.


"The line" is a powerful metaphor that can be both daunting and challenging, often causing us to stay on the side of the known. But the goal isn't just to cross the line and forge ahead. The true goal is to stand with one foot on either side of the line – one firmly planted in what is known and the other stepping into the unknown. This is where innovation thrives: in the realm of uncertainty.

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