“Very few people have the humility to start as amateurs. They procrastinate doing the work they want in the name of perfectionism. You know these people. The one’s who have been saying for years that they’re going to do something but never do. Yet inwardly, they’re terrified of what other people will think of them. They’re caught in a state of paralysis by analysis—too busy calculating and never reaching a state of flow rather than doing work their own way, they do what they think will be well-received, being merely imitators of what is already popular.”
I’m sure you’ve experienced it before. You’re surfing the web and you find an article that’s pure gold. Then you read more from the same writer and then they’ve become your new Messiah. I find its the writers who can clearly spell out the vague thoughts that I’ve been thinking and who can challenge me at the same time are the ones that I enjoy reading the most.
That was the case with me discovering the writing of Benjamin Hardy. He writes about productivity, becoming excellent at your craft and achieving your goals in a shorter amount of time.
One of his articles ‘8 Things Every Person Should Do Before 8am’ was read over a million times. Anyway, he released a PDF titled ‘From Zero to Thousands of Target Blog Subscribers in 60 Days’ where he documented his journey of…getting thousands of blog subscribers (why getting thousands of blog subscribers is a worthy goal is a topic to be covered another day).
I found his account to be very honest and insightful. Here’s what I learnt from him:
In the book Originals, Adam Grant explains that “originals” (i.e., people who create innovative work) are not reliable. In other words, not everything they produce is extraordinary. And the same is true for you. In order to produce your magnum opus, you’ll need to create a high volume of work.
You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince
For example, among the 50 greatest pieces of music ever created, six belong to Mozart, five are Beethoven’s, and three Bach’s. But in order to create those, Mozart wrote over 600 songs, Beethoven 650, and Bach over 1,000. Similarly, Picasso created thousands of pieces of art, and few are considered to be his “great works.” Edison had 1,900 patents, and only a handful we would recognize. Albert Einstein published 248 scientific articles, only a few of which are what got him on the map for his theory of relativity.
Quantity is the most likely path to quality. The more you produce, the more ideas you will have—some of which will be innovative and original. And you never know which ones will click. You just keep creating. So I ask: Are you creating a large volume of work? Are you inputting or outputting? If you like building, build more stuff. If you like writing, write more stuff. If you like connecting, connect more. If you like running, run more. Do stuff. Output. Do it more.”