This blog post was inspired by some great advice that was given to me by Craig Swanson, founder of CreativeLIVE, during my recent trip to Seattle. As Craig and I sat down one day, we began to talk about my life and career and how I could improve it going forward. One of the things we both agreed on was that I am very quick to announce something but oftentimes slow on delivery (my recent declarations of upcoming books and DVDs come to mind). He stressed to me that moving forward, what I chose NOT to do would be equally as important as what I actually chose to do.
This got me thinking about life and business in general and how much everyone could benefit from advice like this. You see, I believe that small bit of advice will help to shape my plans moving forward into this next year, and I think that if you take the time to heed that advice yourself, you will have a much clearer picture of your future and where you’re going. Basically I’m telling you to pick your battles when it comes to jobs, business decisions, or even life for that matter. Don’t overload yourself in an attempt to make waves across all of the ponds, but instead focus on creating one massive wave in your one (carefully chosen) pond.
As a “internet personality” my reputation and popularity hinge on what I’m able to deliver to you, the public, on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. If I promise you 50 tutorials and only deliver 10, I have failed. On the flip side, if I were to promise you 10 and deliver you 50, I look like a friggin’ rockstar. That’s where the theory of over delivery comes in to play. You should adopt this mentality in all things you do, knowing full well your limitations and time-constraints beforehand. You should also, as I do, operate with two quotas… First, your external quota. This is what you’re committing to publicly. Whether you’re committing to your boss, your spouse, or your internet audience, this is the number you put out there for others to digest and build their expectations upon. The second quota is internal, and should only be shared with the voices that reside in your head (we’ve all got voices, right?). This is the REAL number that you are committing to, but it will be infinitely higher than the public number (in theory). So, if you tell your wife you’ll do a load of laundry, surprise her by doing 3 before she gets home… If you tell your boss you’ll have something done by Friday, bust your ass and get it done by Wednesday.
I’m working hard this year to be more conscious about the things that I publicly commit to vs. what I actually deliver on. This won’t be easy for me, as I’m constantly looking to put out teasers to keep you guys coming back for more. But I think in the long run, if I pick my battles and I’m careful to worry about the quality of content instead of the quantity of content, I’ll be much better off and you’ll wind up getting my best work 9 times out of 10 instead of the other way around.
Let me close with this… No matter what you’re doing, you should always strive to do it bigger and better than everyone else. That’s how you succeed… and if success is always an option, why in the hell would you choose failure? Believe in yourself, focus on the task at hand, and keep bringing the thunder 24/7.