A long time ago I decided to publish a post a day, but a few days ago I missed my deadline. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it is for me. Daily blogging has been one of the best decisions I’ve made to step up professionally, but let me tell you why it is a big deal—and the process I’m following to not only avoid this to happen again, but to step up the game.
I have to admit a horrible truth. Lately I’ve been writing good posts. They weren’t great, just… good. It was a few days ago when I had a post ready to ship, but I couldn’t hit the publish button. It wasn’t bad, it was just good. And that’s sloppy.
It’s sloppy because as Jim Collins said:
“Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don’t have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don’t have great government, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.” – Jim Collins
What has been the problem?
What I’ve been missing is that not every idea is worth sharing. I know, it’s obvious. But unless an idea is great, is not worth for you to read it. (There are millions of blogs after all. Why would you read a post that is just good?)
What’s the solution to this problem?
A great idea comes from discarding a bunch of good ones. And each good idea comes from discarding a bunch of bad ones.
The process of coming up with ideas is simple: First you have bad ideas—lots of them. Then you get a few good ones. But it’s only after a few (lots of) iterations where great ideas come from.
Therefore, the process of coming up with a great post is the following:
- Bad ideas. You start noticing things, trying to figure out whether that idea could be a good one. Let’s say you’re at the airport and you notice that someone from the staff of an airline is acting rude with a customer. What does it mean? How can that affect the company? And so on. Then, you reach a point where you have to decide to write a post about or discard the idea.
- Good ideas. If you decide to write about it you just do it. Write everything you can come up with and let it rest for a couple of hours. After you’ve written two or three or four posts, one of them will be great. And this is the painful part: You discard the good ones. Throw them away.
- The great idea. That’s the post worth reading.
Despite this is just an example of how to write posts worth sharing, I believe this is fundamental in anything you seek to be great at. Don’t conform with being good. Unless that good is an excuse, don’t conform with it, seek greatness. That’s when you actually step up your game.