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You May Think Your Work Is Crappy, But Your Audience Will Not

A rallying cry for those worried about authenticity in marketing their work

The other day, I was giving a live webinar training. It’s live — meaning any mistake or mishap is being recorded and broadcasted live. No editing it out.

Turns out, the same hour I give my training is the same hour my 4-month old puppy decides it’s time to destroy the living room behind me.

I’m giving the training, trying to ignore the sounds of my puppy chewing through all the things she knows she’s not supposed to touch — my wife’s purse, the doggy trash bag container, the blinds, even the backdrop for my camera. I can only imagine the damage being done as I sit there trying to explain “how to be consistent” to dozens of viewers.

I was so distracted. Several times, I caught myself stuttering and stammering because I was so focused on trying to stop my puppy from breaking down the front door because she wanted to play.

There’s no way this training works, I thought to myself. There’s no way anyone’s going to learn anything or buy my online course at the end. This is horrible.

I end the webinar, and a bunch of people buy my course.

A ton of people leave comments about how helpful the training was and how much they enjoyed it

Are you kidding me!

Just because you think your work is crappy doesn’t mean it is.

What matters is that you did the work. You never know what’s going to resonate with people. You’ll only find out by producing, publishing, and creating.


What Matters is You Did the Work

It’s going to take a lot of failures before you finally start getting it right.

Once you start reading about the lives of the world’s most successful people, you’ll start to realize how long they were mediocre before they finally started getting it right. Athletes, singers, comedians, entrepreneurs, artists, creative—these people failed longer and bigger than almost anyone around them for years.

But what matters is that they did the work. Because doing the work eventually got them to where they are now.

In the words of famous radio host Ira Glass:

All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not.

A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit…And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work.

It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions.

A universal truth of world-class professionals is that they put in a large body of work before they became truly successful. It takes a lot of work to get where you want to go.

At the end of my days, I ask myself a simple question that helps me see if I was productive or not: Did I do the work today?

Even if it’s just a little bit of work, that still counts. Because small, seemingly insignificant steps taken consistently will eventually get me where I want to go, no matter how ambitious.

What matters is you did the work.


Putting in the Work Will Separate You From Everyone Else

When asked about how he had reached such huge career success, actor Will Smith said:

“The only thing that I see that is distinctly different about me is I’m not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be out-worked, period. You might have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me, you might be sexier than me, you might be all of those things. But if we get on the treadmill together, there’s two things: You’re getting off first, or I’m going to die.”

See, your greatest superpower is your work ethic — anyone can cultivate this skill. Your work ethic can make up for almost any lack of skill, talent, or luck your competition has. The truth is, consistency beats superior skill, talent, or luck, because consistency is dependable. It’s reliable.

“Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race”. -Calvin Coolidge

There are so many people in the world that are so much more talented than you.

They’re sexier, smarter, richer, more creative, more likable, more charming, better-connected, and better-looking.

But there is one, singular thing you can do better than them:

You can outwork them.

This sheer commitment to keep going no matter what beats your stronger opponent every time.

Talented, attractive, lucky people are everywhere. Everywhere.They’re all over my feed, peppered all throughout my community and friend groups. They’re freaking amazing at this one thing.

But rarely is any one of them a consistent person.

That is why eventually, they will fail.

And that is why you will succeed.

Consistent people are extremely rare. If you can learn to cultivate consistency in your work, you’ll eventually beat any talent, luck, skill, and even quality — just by being consistent.

Consistency will make you feel like a loser. All the time you’ll spend working, trying, failing, trying again, failing again, trying again, and failing again will make you think you’re a loser.

You’ll feel like a nobody who sucks and isn’t good for anything and should just quit because you’ll never be good enough.

At least that’s how I feel.


As Long As You’re Outlearning Your Competition, You’re Winning

“The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.” -J.M. Barrie

When you sacrifice learning so that you can remain “safe,” you will suffer. You will get fewer opportunities and will feel less joy.

“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg,” wrote prolific theologian C.S. Lewis. “We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.”

You don’t have the luxury of staying where you are — in your finances, relationships, health, or mindset. Either your step forward into growth or you will eventually stagnate in your current position. You hatch or go bad. This is a great truth of life.

You are hard-wired to want to develop mastery over many things. Human beings are constantly trying to out-do themselves, break records, and climb higher mountains.

If you want to evolve into the next level of who you are — to see increases in income, health, focus, energy, spirituality, and your relationships — you must focus on learning and creating.

Stop focusing on entertainment and distraction. Otherwise, you’ll never evolve into the greatest version of yourself you could possibly be.

“The goal of life is not to relax on the beach, sipping mojitos all day. The purpose is to find something you love that adds value to the world.” -Ben Foley

As long as you’re outlearning your competition, you’re winning.


In Conclusion

A lot of times, it feels like my work sucks.

I feel like I’m not doing enough. It feels like if I stop moving, even for a second, my competition will catch up with me and I won’t be able to write anymore, and I’ll have to go back to working terrible desk jobs again.

But I’ve also learned that just because you might think your work sucks, doesn’t mean it does. You never know what’s going to resonate with others and help them on their journey.

All you can control is your work ethic and attitude. What matters is that you did the work.

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