The Flawed Thinking in “I Don’t Like the Game Because it’s Hard”

The Flawed Thinking in “I Don’t Like the Game Because it’s Hard”

While working out, I was watching a YouTube video in which the host talked about games everyone apparently loves, but he hates.

His main argument for hating one very mainstream Action RPG game was the fact that he had trouble solving the quests and found many of the solutions a little too obscure.

It’s such a good metaphor for how we approach the game of creativity or business.

Our blood, sweat, and tears go into our art and our products, only for them to be torn apart by the world upon their official release.

I recently shared a sample from my latest book with a friend, and he didn’t like the writing style. But I learned something from that – 1) that if I’m going to share my creations with people who don’t really know my work, I should only show them the highlights, and 2) some people simply don’t understand speed of delivery, the value in having your audience experience something even as you’re developing it. They value perfectionism over shipping, and they may never ship themselves. It’s easier to hide behind perfectionism than it is to endure criticism and rejection.

It’s easier to hide behind perfectionism than it is to endure criticism and rejection. Click To Tweet

And it’s not a matter of right or wrong. It’s a difference in thinking.

But it’s a fact of life the game of creativity or business won’t always be easy. You may know that you have something valuable to share with the world. You may even have awards and credentials and testimonials to back it up. But there will always be those who disagree.

Some challenges are difficult to solve. On your path to success, you can run into financial and personal issues of every persuasion.

Assuming you learn something from the impasses you encounter in-game, you can hatch a scheme to overcome them. You can level up your experience.

But if you give up on the game because it’s too hard, you’ve got a mindset challenge. You don’t need to work on your art or make a better product. Leveling up your mindset should be your priority.

I understand that the game can be frustrating when it’s hard. But it can also get very boring when it’s too easy. We need challenges to rise to.

Don’t quit the game because it’s too hard. Quit the game when you know you never stand a chance at becoming the best at it, as Seth Godin shares in The Dip.

You will leave opportunity on the table if you give up just because the game is hard.

You will leave opportunity on the table if you give up just because the game is hard. Click To Tweet
When They Can’t See the Whole Picture

When They Can’t See the Whole Picture

In their sugar, caffeine, or alcohol induced high, your friends may come to you and say:

You should do X, then Y, and then Z!

At one point, you may have expressed your enthusiasm for X.

In the meantime, your plan may have changed from X to A, but there’s no way your friends could know all the minute details that got you to A. So, they still assume X is your plan when you’ve already moved onto A.

Or, because of the urgency of the situation, you’ve dedicated most of your energy to A, and X has been put on the backburner, becoming a mere figment of your thinking from two or three months ago.

There could also be B, C, and D considerations that need to be addressed before you can safely and confidently move forward with X.

All your friends are seeing is the destination, not the journey to getting there. They aren’t seeing the people, circumstances, and events that can act as constraints, real or imagined.

You don’t want to dedicate all your time and energy to “worst case” thinking, but it has its place. If you’re going to dedicate time to “best case” thinking, then it needs to be balanced out with “worst case” thinking too.

You don’t want to dedicate all your time and energy to “worst case” thinking, but it has its place. Click To Tweet

Your friends can’t see the whole picture. It’s not worth fighting over, and it may not even be worth your time to explain how you got to A, or to comb through considerations B, C, and D with them either. It may come across as little more than an excuse. X has become so obvious to them now; they can’t see any other way for you!

If you want to move the conversation forward, say “I would love to speculate on how we can make X possible. It’s been on the backburner because of A.”

Or, say “X was the best I could see at the time. But now I’m exploring D, which encompasses everything I talked about with X and more!”

Speed of Delivery

Speed of Delivery

Many assume it’s about the quality of the writing, not what the writing can offer them.

I know seven- and eight-figure earners whose emails sometimes contain spelling, grammatical, and punctuation errors. Not a cent is subtracted from their wallets when these mistakes are made, and to the contrary, they often get more engagement on emails with errors than those without.

Many assume it’s how a website looks, not what the website does.

I know crappy looking websites that out-earn impeccably designed websites any day of the week.

The striving for the masterpiece is not the problem. The problem is many who set out to create masterpieces never get around to finishing them and sharing them with the world.

The problem is many who set out to create masterpieces never get around to finishing them and sharing them with the world. Click To Tweet

Publishing daily is not about crafting a masterpiece. A certain amount of work goes into writing, editing, and polishing the piece, yes. But the aim of publishing daily is timely delivery. Sharing an observation. Being generous. Showing up to practice.

In any financial endeavor, speed of delivery trumps obsession over perfection. Create the best social media post, or email, or product you can, but know when to call it “good enough” and ship.

Why I Won’t Learn Anything from Your Edits

Why I Won’t Learn Anything from Your Edits

Every company has a specific way they like to communicate their message through their content. Some are a little more free flowing with it, some have detailed style guides to explain in explicit detail what they’re looking for.

I’ve written content for a variety of companies, and there are some who like to suggest a myriad of edits for their blog posts and ask me to review them.

The unfortunate reality is we’re not going to agree on things like:

  • Whether it’s “barriers to entry” or “barriers for entry” (for me, it will always be the former).
  • Whether to include a “to” in “it helps to bolster your marketing strategy” (I would rephrase entirely, turning it into “it bolsters your marketing strategy” and avoid the “to” altogether).
  • Whether a formula should appear after or before a carriage return (I tend towards the former).
  • Whether to center align or right align an image caption (my default is center). Chances are you will need to adjust your formatting once you’ve copied the content into your content management system anyway.

So, precious time is wasted in Google Docs clicking checkmarks to approve these changes while I could be dedicating more time to pressing deadlines.

The only way I will learn the way you like to write is if you give me specific feedback on why you do things the way you do. Without context, your suggested changes appear a nitpick.

You’ll prefer to have things written a certain way, and I can appreciate that. Unfortunately, I did not go to mind-reading school, and require you to generate the dartboard. Without that, I will simply aim to fulfill on your basic word count and style requirements and move onto my next urgent assignment.

You may have found a clever way to rework and polish my prose, but let’s remember who wrote it in the first place. Without my writing, you would still be staring at a blank page.

If all you are looking for is a draft, freely edit to your desired end. I will not know the mental framework you applied to arrive at the conclusions you did. No context, no learning. I do not need to be a part of it unless specific guidance is given.

No context, no learning. Click To Tweet

From a mile high view, there’s too much “we just need a writer” thinking and not enough “we want this specific writer because…” thinking.

What is a Social Media Page?

What is a Social Media Page?

The convenient shorthand “page” has become common parlance to describe any social media URL.

This verbiage is acceptable for common public use, but I would urge you to rethink this terminology if you you’re a creative or entrepreneur.

At the least, there are three distinct types of destinations:

  • Profiles. This refers to a personal profile. It’s what you signed up for when you first joined Facebook. You can use your profile to share about anything you want, including your business, but guaranteed it’s one of the first things people will see when googling your name. Make a good impression!
  • Pages. This could be a company page (i.e., LinkedIn) or fan page. Technically, there is no such thing as a “fan page” on Facebook, only pages. But a page is distinct from a profile for the primary reason that you can accumulate “likes,” which reflects the size, popularity, and reach of your page. Pages also allow boosting and advertising.
  • Groups. A group is like a community discussion forum. It’s a place where people can gather to ask questions, interact with each other, discuss their favorite burger, promote their upcoming performance, and so forth. If you’re a group owner, you’re the facilitator of the community.

Why does this matter?

Because each type of “page” was designed with different functionality. You literally cannot perform the same functions across the board. You may be able to accumulate “followers” for a profile, but you can only accumulate “likes” for a page. Others may be able to post on your “wall” or comment on your posts, but the only place where you can create a sense of belonging and community where others are free to contribute is a group.

If you want to teach social media or digital marketing in any capacity, make this distinction.

If you want to be effective in your own online marketing efforts, make this distinction.

And if you aren’t clear on how these destinations differ, study.