Mediocre work (Part 2)

It’s unlikely you’ll ever be as good on the guitar as Eric Clapton.

You’ll never write a horror novel as strong as Stephen King.

And you’ll never be as elite at anything as Donald Bradman was to Cricket.

Your work is always mediocre when you compare it with others because there is always someone else out there that is better than you.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. It means you should try even harder to carve out your space.

Stop comparing and start producing. The more you produce the better it gets.

Hugh MacLeod started doodling on the back of business cards and made it into one the most popular blogs on the internet.

Scott Harrison went from being a club promoter to a philanthropist with no money, no education and no resources. Just a dream of clean water for all.

Abbey Ryan creates one oil painting a day and sells it online.

The lesson: You don’t have to play the guitar as well as Clapton to write something that you can be proud of.

Mediocre work

In the digital age, one great picture is worth far more than a 100 mediocre ones.

Blog posts are the same way. Along with Facebook posts, or news article, or websites…

A lifetime of material is being produced every single day on the internet. There is more information available than ever before in human history. More than what could ever be consumed.

No one wants to read your mediocre work.

So, make better art.

1,000th blog post: Happiness when shared (Part 2)

Happiness is often defined by fulfilling your dreams.

But the older I get the more I realize it’s about fulfilling someone else’s.

That’s what this blog is.

A labor of love.

To help others see and level up.

This is my 1,000 blog post.

Thank you for your support.

The writer couldn’t write without readers.

Keep making a ruckus.

“If I can’t do it, nobody can.”

The worst kind of person to have around is the one that works overtime to place a false limit or ceiling on everything and everyone.

So why does someone go out of their way to do this?

Because of how it makes them feel.

Think about it. If we were to flip “If I can’t do it, nobody can” to “If I can’t do it, everyone else can” What does that say about the person’s character?

I’m convinced one of the biggest challenges we face today is switching from this fixed mindset to a growth mindset, moving from a fixed pie, half empty attitude to one full of endless possibilities.

If we could change how we see the world including how we see each other, what could be accomplished?

What the Singer Sewing Machine has taught us

125 years ago, the Singer Sewing Machine was the most complicated consumer product on the market.

Each part had to be hand-crafted by an expert in order for each part to fit correctly. It was painstaking slow to replace a single piece.

That all changed with Henry Ford’s Assembly Line and Fredrick Taylor’s Scientific Management.

As the culture moved towards standardization, eventually corporations figured out that they can save a buck by hiring the lowest skilled workers, creating a system of interchangeable parts and interchangeable people.

(Marx predicted this would be a problem for anyone who didn’t own the means of production.)

So, where does this leave us?

It turns out the market is shifting again. The work that is most valuable is the work that can’t be written down into a simple set of instructions. What’s valued isn’t digging the ditch you are told to dig but the emotional labour of doing work that might fail. What’s valuable is putting on a show, doing work that creates change.

The market now values highly skilled work again. That’s a problem if you are doing work that can be easily duplicated.

The answer then is to become the Linchpin of your organization. To do the work that others are afraid to do. To make big promises, and yes, keeping them.

I can’t tell you how to become a Linchpin. That’s the point. There is no map, no step-by-step set of instructions to become the person we can’t live without. But what I can tell you is that we’ve been highly skilled craftsman before. It’s in our history. So, we can do it again.