You’ve heard that if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well. So true.
And maybe you’ve also heard that if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing poorly. That’s the wiser of the two statements, in my experience.
This was brought home to me over the weekend during a soccer game.
Because of the pandemic, I haven’t played indoor soccer in a year. I miss it like crazy. So I jumped at the chance to join up for an outdoor team.
During our game, our goalie sprained her wrist.
I was the only other player on the team that day with goalie experience and a willingness to be in the box.
There was just one problem. All my goalie experience comes from playing indoor. It’s not completely different… but it’s different enough that the outdoor learning curve is steep.
I made a lot of errors. I missed a lot of stops. I also made a couple of impressive saves. All-in-all, it was maddening. More importantly, it was educational.
The only way I’m going to learn the outdoor goalie position — really learn it — is to do it… in game situations… when it matters.
That’s a hard thing to do on the soccer field. To be willing to do a bad job for all to see as part of learning to a better job and hopefully one day a good job.
It’s even harder in your professional life. Sure, a rec league soccer game matters… but it only matters in the moment and to the players on the field. When the final whistle blows, it’s done, and you can leave everything on the pitch.
But when you’re writing for your own website or working for a client, the stakes are higher. Which is why preparation is important. It’s why practice matters. It’s why getting feedback from your peers is so helpful. And it’s why trying things in your own business to see how they work — even if they fall short of what you hoped for — can help you bring a better game to your clients.
To get to where you want to be, working with clients and getting paid well, you have to be willing to put in the practice and ask for the feedback. And early on, some of your work may be awful. That’s okay because doing that awful work and learning from it will speed you on your way to doing great work.
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That’s all for now. Enjoy your week!