When You Stop Trying, Progress Plummets to 0

Any endeavour worth doing is hard. What looks effortless from the outside is the result of thousands of hours of previous practice.

I can write 3000 words in 90 minutes because I have published more than 200k words in the last 12 months.

I’ve published something like that every year for five years. It’s only effortless now because I’ve spent years with writing not being effortless.

Staying on the treadmill is one thing, and I do think it’s related to staying true to our commitments even when we’re not comfortable. But getting back on the treadmill the next day, eager to try again, is in my view even more reflective of grit. Because when you don’t come back the next day — when you permanently turn your back on a commitment — your effort plummets to zero. As a consequence, your skills stop improving, and at the same time, you stop producing anything with whatever skills you have. – Grit

Some “failures”

A few years ago I released a product called “Hope is Not a Strategy”. I still think that the content was great. I think that it would have helped lots of people run a better business.

But no one bought it.

So I got back on the treadmill and released Effective Client Email, then Writing Proposals that Win Work, and then Finding and Marketing To Your Niche.

All of those had modest success, but none of them have come close to replacing any part of my income. They’re simply some nice side income.

And yet, despite all of these products that either didn’t sell at all or weren’t wildly successful, I get back on the horse.

I’m writing this on Oct 30 at 0730 in the morning. At 0900, my 8 Week Business BootCamp goes on sale. I have no idea if it will be a huge success or not1.

I’ve even run it for a year as a coaching-only program. I know that it works. I know that people have transformed their business with it in 8 weeks.

Yet, it may not sell at all.

And that’s fine. I’d love it to sell a bunch and to cover a number of months of income, but it may not.

And I’ll still keep releasing products. In fact, there should be two more products in 2017 alone.

What Treadmill are you on?

What are you trying? What are you going to try and try again? What are you going to practice so that you can become an expert?

What is going to be your focus?

What are you going to do to ensure that you don’t just get better by meandering your way through the work, but that you have intentional practice built into the work of creation?

If you have no idea what you’re practising, it’s time to start figuring it out.

It takes years of practice to become an expert at anything. If you’re continually waffling around between things, you’ll never be the expert you want to be.

As Angela Duckworth said in the quote above:

when you permanently turn your back on a commitment — your effort plummets to zero.

Stop dipping into something and then abandoning it when you don’t see instant success.

Start sticking with things.

So you can become the master you want to be.

Have an awesome day!

Curtis

PS: I wrote a book about what it takes to Become a Master in Your Field, and you can get it on Amazon

photo credit: victorgaralut cc


  1. Update: It was more successful than many of the other products. I’m not retiring or anything, but I’m happy. 

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