There's a popular book that says the key to success is to get 1% better every day.

I don't disagree but the advice is missing something important.

Consistency is undeniably important. So are short-term bursts of degenerate-like intensity.

1% better is an in-between thing. If that's all that you do, you won't get anywhere.


Success is driven by outsized gains, not consistent daily efforts. By big projects, not small content pieces.

The daily efforts––which I call the in-between things––provide the kindling for the main thing. However, spending all of your time on the in-between things and never doing the big thing results in a lot of sticks, and no fire. People also call this burnout.

It's also both unreasonably and unsustainable to be in a period of goal-oriented intensity all of the time. Therefore, intense focus for short periods of time flanked on both sides by 1% better consistency is the secret to success in a world determined to distract us.

Here's a few examples what I mean specific to building a great body or business.


Building a great body

Walking is important. But if all that you do is walk, you won't get into great shape.

Building a strong body requires intense effort. Maintaining a strong body requires consistency.

If you put in the dedicated work to build strength and resilience one time, you’ll be able to put up with more over time.

Intense periods of focus embed good habits. In addition, the body finds comfort and stability around a physiological set point.

If you’re trying to meaningfully improve your fitness, the goal of training is to reset your body’s ‘normal’ to a higher level of functioning. This is best done through relatively short (8-12 weeks) periods of dedicated, consistent, and reliably progressive intensity.

Train for an event or experience (maybe a photoshoot or an athletic competition). Compete against yourself, not others.

The combination of habits you'll develop and physiology you'll create become your new normal. Then, settle in to the day to-day mundanity of getting 1% better as you await your next bout of intensity. Or, be happy where you are. Which is also fine.


Building a great business

Creating content is important. But if all you do is try to entertain people online, you won't make much money.

The misconception is that you need to get famous on the internet in order to do something meaningful. It's the opposite. The way to get famous on the internet is to first do something meaningful (and then talk about it in a cool way online). Social media's best viewed as a lagging, not leading, indicator of success.

Building a great business requires a great product. Maintaining a great business requires consistent exposure.


I often get asked what somebody should do next.

My answer is that if you don't know, the answer is nothing.

A big project should smack you in the face so hard and so obviously that you can't not do it. That won't happen often. In all of the in-between time, focus on getting 1% better. The daily actions. The social media content. The email list. The networking. Focus on all of the things you feel guilty for not doing enough of when you actually have something important to work on.

Don't do this because it's the end game. Do it because when the big project is ready, you're able to focus with tenacity, knowing that when your thing is ready, the launchpad is prepped.

Apple knows this. So does Tesla. You hear little-to-nothing from them until they come out with a new product and make an announcement. It's a lightening strike that jumps them to the next level, which they maintain as they prepare for the next leg up.

None of this guarantees that your thing will be successful. Sometimes you'll miss.

From 2021-2024, I wrote 15 million words on the internet. During that period, 90% of my income came from one program and most of my reputation from one book.

Most success is the result of 2-3 things that have outsized results combined with years of consistently good enough actions. The hard part is that you don't know what those 2-3 things are until after they've happened.

So, try a lot.

But try big things.

Tackle big projects that can't be completed in a day or even a month. In a modern era of automated marketing technologies, quality, not volume, stands out. One big thing that hits hard does more for your business than 10,000 mini things blasted onto the internet by bots, made by ChatGPT. The content pieces prep the platform for the big swing but they don't replace it.

And if you work hard on something and it doesn't work out, that's fine too.

In 1923, Babe Ruth struck out more than any other player in the league. Amazon lost 14% of its value when the Fire Phone flopped in 2014, and me, well shit, I've written 11 books and most people haven't heard of any of them but one.