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Anything Worth Doing!
This week we share a powerful message from one of my favorite marketing minds, Roy Williams. Roy’s message is a great reminder to just keep doing you and stop looking at or listening to those who want you to be like them!
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You’ve heard it all your life: “Anything worth doing, is worth doing well.”
This seems to be a worthy admonition on the surface. But let’s not stop at the surface. Let’s look into the heart of it.
Those seven words, “Anything worth doing, is worth doing well,” assume that one has the ability to do the thing well. But what if you don’t have that ability? Is it okay to do it badly at first?
I gathered some essays and photos in 1997, then paid a printer to print 7,500 copies of a little homemade book. The title was ill-conceived, the cover was ridiculous, and my layout failed to anticipate the binding, so the text was tucked too far into the spine. You had to pull the cheeks apart and look down into the crack to read it.
Is it okay that I did a bad job on that first book?
Is it okay that I continue to love that quirky little puppy even if it never sold a copy?
My second book became the #1 business book in America according to the Wall Street Journal, and my third book was a New York Times bestseller, then my wife and I spent the next 20 years building a school for misfit and maverick entrepreneurs, those innovators and improvisers, renegades and rebels who are suspicious of traditional wisdom.
I have never worn the handcuffs of Perfectionism or Conformity and I do not recommend them to you. Wearing them too tightly causes analysis paralysis: that paralyzing fear of failure.
When a person who is facing a big challenge begins to share their performance anxieties with me, I always grab them by their shoulders, look deep into their eyes and say with all the love I can muster, “Just shut up and do it.”
Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.
If you are not willing to golf badly at first, you are never going to be a great golfer.
If you are not willing to write badly at first, you are never going to be a great writer.
If you are not willing to cook badly at first, you are never going to be a great chef.
One of the things I do each day is get dressed. But no one has ever accused me of doing it well. Putting on clothes is definitely worth doing. I just don’t believe it’s worth doing well. Looking rumpled and unsuccessful is my natural condition because I’ve seen the time and effort it takes to look crisp and sharp, and frankly, I don’t feel it’s worth it. At least not for me.
Julie DeMille was stressing out about finding two socks that matched when the absurdity of the moment slapped her in the face. So she decided to adopt a sock motto: “If you can’t find a mate, find a friend.”
I think Julie DeMille might be my brand of crazy.
Are you my brand of crazy? If so, let me, as your older brother, offer you some encouragement and advice:
Good decisions come from experience.
Experience comes from bad decisions.
You will feel guilty from time to time and that can be good.
Feelings of guilt will cause you to make changes you need to make.
But I pray that you never become ashamed.
Guilt is about what you have done.
Shame is about who you are.
Perfectionists will come into your life and say that you have “real potential” and that you could be just like they are – crisp and prompt, well-groomed and with good posture – if only you pushed yourself a little harder. They will tell you to repent from your heresy of being happy and contented and say, “No pain, no gain,” as though they are quoting holy scripture.
I’ve looked: it’s not in the Bible.
These same people will tell you that should never be satisfied. They will lift their chins and proudly say, “Good enough, never is.”
That’s not in the Bible, either. But if you read the musical, magical parts of the Bible – I suggest the gospel of John – you will look at yourself in the mirror and smile and say, “Good enough! God likes me just as I am.”
Can I, as your older brother, offer you three suggestions?
1: Wherever you go, accept people as they are and try to have a good time.
2: Whatever you do, do it wholeheartedly and with gusto! And let the outcome be what it is.
3: To speak with God, to accept yourself and be content, is the greatest possible wealth.
And that, by the way, is in the Bible.
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Be blessed this week.
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