“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” — Bruce Lee
Every day, I have to decide what to write about. Today, being no exception.
And I have a constant struggle. Do I try to bring you something new and cutting edge — that attracts extra attention for that reason?
Or do I bring you something familiar and old — though perhaps in a new way — that risks being dismissed as, “been there, done that.”
I could pander to our social-media-induced need for novelty. I could find a new thing to discuss every day. I could try to bring you the cutting edge, even if that doesn’t serve you best.
But really, I have to go with my gut. I have to do what I believe is right. I have to give you what I see as THE most valuable lessons. Even if they can feel repetitive at times — and redundant.
Because usually, it’s just a few things, done right, that make all the difference.
Even if that’s the exact opposite of what you’re looking for.
The tactic addict and the path of the pro…
Let’s talk about what people buy. And I’ll use copywriters as an example.
When someone is new to copywriting, they want to know the foundations. So they buy the classics on marketing and advertising. And if they’re smart, on selling and business and personal development, and more.
Then, they get some experience. They feel like they have the basics down. And so they start chasing out new tactics to give them an advantage. They obsess over having the cutting edge. This makes them especially susceptible to manipulative marketers who sell sh*t and call it Shinola. At this point along the path of discovery, they’re really looking for “what’s next?” discoveries that will give them an edge. So they try lots of things, and will end up jaded because so many promises are left unfulfilled.
Then, if this person sticks with it long enough, they go back to the basics. They really focus on the core skills and important elements. They’d learned some principles and strategies, then grown obsessed with techniques and tactics, and are now back to strategies and principles. They go to spring training — practice the basics — and that’s often when they start to pull ahead of the pack and get really good.
This is a 10,000-hour process. This is why getting really good at anything often takes all that time. Because you’re always reacting to what came before, in light of the experience you gain.
Eventually, you realize that most things are pretty simple — but that doesn’t mean they’re easy.
Learning from Bruce Lee…
If you were taking martial arts, it’d be tempting to learn those 10,000 different kicks.
Surely there’d be the perfect kick, in the perfect moment, to take down your opponent.
But you end up like the swordsman in the market, in Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark. He shows his flashy swordsmanship skills, with a thousand flourishes, meant to scary Indy. Then, Indy pulls out a gun and shoots him.
Come to Bruce Lee with 10,000 kicks, and he’ll deflect every meager attempt. Until he sees an opening — BAM…
You’re on the mat.
But if you’ve practiced one kick 10,000 times, you know what you need to do. Every fiber of your body is trained to do that one thing incredibly well. It’s waiting, like a coiled cobra, ready to spring.
You spar, patiently, waiting for your moment — BAM…
Bruce Lee is on the mat.
When you’ve done something 10,000 times, you can execute it flawlessly and with confidence and power.
When you focus on only the most important principles and only give passing attention to the tactics, you are a force to be reckoned with.
It almost always comes down to a few things, done right…
I’m not writing this to complain. Rather to explain.
I have a couple emails in my inbox, due to be answered. Both with largely the same answer.
One asks how to write upsell copy. It’s all about prospect awareness.
Another, how to do retargeting. Again, awareness.
Put yourself in the prospect’s mind. What do they know already? About the problem your offer solves? About the solutions available? About you and your offer specifically?
What is the next topic in that conversation?
If I’m upselling, what new problem will be created by getting the solution my offer fulfills? I teach you how to get traffic? The next step might be about how to get better conversions and ROI on all that new traffic. If I teach you how to shed a few extra pounds, the next step might be easy workouts that you’ll by dying to do when you can finally move freer again. And so on…
If I’m retargeting, what did they see when they visited my site? Why were they there? How aware did they likely become? How much of that awareness has stuck? And importantly, what can I do to loop them back into that conversation that walks through the awareness spectrum of Unaware, Problem-aware, Solution-aware, You-aware, and Deal-ready? (With a hat tip to Keith Krance for the UPSYD acronym.)
It sounds so freaking simple. You’d think it needs to be more complicated. But it really doesn’t have to be.
When you’ve internalized this, you know the few things you need to do right. This is your 10,000 reps of a single kick. This is what you can use in nearly every situation, to know exactly what to say to move your prospects forward.
And I’ll keep beating this pulpit, to make sure you go out there and do it.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
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