Hey there Rainmaker, I love this quote from martial arts and movie superstar Bruce Lee…
“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.”
Steve Nash, widely considered to be the best shooter to have ever played in the NBA (who made over 90% of his free throw shots during his pro career) was also known for practicing basics.
In fact, every time he stepped to the free throw line, Nash would even have the ref hold the ball for an extra second while he shot an imaginary free throw shot before his real one.
Last night I was listening to the latest episode of Alex Charfen’s The Evolutionaries podcast, with Bo Eason. Bo was a hugely-celebrated NFL safety, and his older brother was a hugely-celebrated NFL quarterback.
Bo recounted how when they were young, he and his brother would practice 1,000 passes every day. His brother would throw, Bo would catch. And the ball was to NEVER hit the ground.
This all seems like really basic stuff, and it is…
Here’s the thing. And I’ve noticed this in marketing as much as in any other field.
When we’re new, we get excited about the basics. Early on in our learning curve, we soak up everything we can, even if it seems really basic.
Then, before we master the basics, our never-ending search for novelty kicks in.
And so we start chasing what my friend Doberman Dan calls “Bright Shiny Objects.”
We buy into the latest “whiz-bang” innovation that promises the new and improved.
As marketers, this is useful to know. Because it can keep the same customers coming back for more, over and over and over again.
But as buyers and consumers and self-improving individuals, it is important to recognize. Because always chasing the bright shiny objects instead of mastering the fundamentals is a surefire recipe for never making any real progress.
You’re far better off mastering the most basic fundamentals than you are chasing every new innovation or breakthrough (noting the irony of this recommendation and the name of these daily emails)…
Here’s what superstars do…
I don’t think any superstar I’ve ever met is immune to this. They got good at the basics, and then they started chasing the bright shiny objects, too.
But what they did — either consciously or unconsciously — is come back to those basics.
At some point they realized that it would be as important to master the fundamentals as to chase new innovation.
I was listening to a Jay Abraham recording, and was reminded of this as I heard him describe, for probably the 1,000th time, his “3 Ways To Grow A Business.” Get more customers. Get them to spend more. And get them to come back more often.
This is incredibly basic. As are most of the strategies Jay teaches. Once you’ve read Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got, you have probably 95% of the thinking he’s used to add $9 billion in sales to his clients’ businesses.
Jay could spend his time chasing the latest fad technique from today’s newest hotshot marketing guru… Or he could keep applying and refining the fundamentals and getting more amazing results.
The interesting thing is how the really valuable “bright shiny objects” are really just the fundamentals in a new wrapper…
Take Jeff Walker, and Product Launch Formula. And I’m not talking about his latest launch, although the description certainly applies…
Jeff’s Launch formula — laid out in his programs, as well as his Launch book — is really just based on foundational principles of direct response. Create a campaign, rather than a one-off promotion. Create a deadline. Build excitement leading up to the campaign, and urgency leading up to the deadline. Make sure you’ve made a compelling offer. Use education-based marketing to sell.
All of these concepts existed and were taught before Jeff built them into his system. Yes, Jeff’s is a unique application of these. He’s systematized it in a way that most folks never do. But it’s nothing all that new.
And, importantly, it came from Jeff practicing and refining these fundamentals.
Here’s your takeaway…
If you want to be a superstar… If you want to be truly great at something…
STOP chasing the new and novel and bright shiny objects.
Double-down your focus on getting the fundamentals right.
Practice them over and over again — bordering on obsession — until it seems every sane person would have stopped long ago.
And then keep practicing them.
That’s what it takes to become a superstar…
Marketing, business, sports, art, whatever.
This is a concept that doesn’t necessarily sell, but it is a breakthrough when APPLIED.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
Editor, Breakthrough Marketing Secrets