Anything is Possible…No Really, I’m Serious!
In my last post, I used the following quote that often causes some debate among colleagues and friends alike.
“I believe that ANY system can be successful, but it just is a matter of whether you want to be on a track to immediate results or a slow trek up a big mountain. I prefer speed – I talk fast, I think fast and I move fast.”
I’ve seen this type of thing play out hundreds of times in both professional and personal settings. For example, in working with some of my internet marketing clients, I’ve found that they had “accidentally” developed follower groups of 500 or more people that were regularly reading their content, responding to them on social sites or other sources, or otherwise paying attention to them without them even knowing that it was happening. In other cases, I’ve watched people spend hundreds of thousands of dollars looking for solutions to an issue and then discovering that a $100 coaching session or piece of software solves the problem in a very short period of time.
This is actually a two-fold thought process:
- We don’t clearly define what success means for a project. See my last blog post, but also understand that there are varying degrees of success. Just because your first product launch isn’t a multi-million dollar home run doesn’t mean that it wasn’t successful. In fact, the latest data in the internet marketing space is showing that developing a huge list or a “reputation base” may not be as successful as generating long-term loyalty on a smaller scale. I’ll cover “reputation” in a future post since it’s one of my favorite topics to skewer (in a nice and funny “rant” way, of course).
- Speed is too often equated with “success.” I know plenty of “fast” people who are not what you would call “successful.” I also know many people who might be called “slow” inappropriately. They are deliberate and intent upon actually reaching their defined criteria for success. Often times, they are the ones that have the most understanding and empathy for their customers and the problem they have set out to solve. I’ve come across some colleagues in the industry who scoff at these people as somehow less effective. I also know that many people intentionally exclude these types from their conversations thinking that they are too “low level.” The arrogance of knowledge is another one of my favorite ranty topics.
In essence, what ends up happening is that people feel they are unsuccessful if they are not receiving instant gratification. In addition, they may have actually reached benchmarks that make sense for their ongoing development, but they don’t realize that it’s happening. These two things are the number one factors I look for when I hear that “your marketing isn’t working” or “your website is performing poorly.” How do you DEFINE poor? What are your specific indicators for success?
In the end, every project you undertake should not be done with consideration for how fast you’re able to complete it and move on to the next one. Some of the most fulfilling things I’ve done in my life were downright lethargic in retrospect. That doesn’t mean that I learned any less from the slow ones, in fact I often learned more. As with all things, there must be a balance of the slow and methodical with the fast and furious.
Being one of the “faster” personality types, as quoted above, has yanked me down into this trap many times. If I feel that I’m not moving on a project quickly enough, I often start to consider abandoning the initiative. I begin looking for tweaks or efficiency measures that might give me back some time that I really needed to spend LEARNING and EXPERIENCING.
It’s funny how so many professionals will quote the value of experience while attempting to sap all of the experience they can out of the day in favor of a false sense of efficiency.