It was the final day of one of those three-day marketing events where every guy seemed to be wearing standard marketing guy apparel: dark blue jeans, white v-neck, blazer, and a pre-faded leather satchel they got from the Banana Republic.
The final speaker was Michael Gerber, author of The E-Myth. He was different. Big smile, grey beard, straw hat, and a good ol’ fashioned handheld mic.
Silent for a few seconds, he took in the crowd and said, “now I just got here so didn’t see any of the other speakers but can guess what they did. I bet they all had some nice-looking powerpoint and a fancy acronym outlining some system that’ll solve all your problems that you can learn more about if you buy their book in the lobby.”
Finally, some honesty. I sat forward in my chair. Gerber continued.
“I don’t have any of those things. The truth is that I’m just making it up as I go; always have. Don’t you realize you can to?”
After three days of talks with all these famous speakers sharing their steps to success, Gerber’s lesson is the only one I remember. To-date, it is the most impactful lesson anybody has ever shared with me.
What you choose to do doesn’t have to be the best. You’ll never know if it is anyway. Remember, the dots can only be connected looking backwards.
What’s important is that it’s ”good”. Once you’ve found your good, stop looking. Sure, there might be better. But the compounding only begins when you start and stops when you quit.
The sooner you start, the closer you’ll be to where you want to go. Constantly searching for better delays the process. Find your good, close the book, and execute.
There’s no straight path to success. It’s messy. Memory's deceiving because it smooths out the edges.
Outliers get attention because it worked for them. Just remember that we don’t hear about all of the times it didn’t work for others, though. And while there might be a Capital B ‘Best’ way to do something, never forget that there’s seemingly infinite lower case ‘g’ ‘e’ good enough ways that’ll work just fine. And yes, you can make it up as you go, too.