Quality is overrated

The problem with great songs is that it makes everyone think that they too can sing.

— Anonymous (“Graffiti,” The Times of India, Back in the late 90s)

We’ve all heard it before… that “quality matters more than quantity.” The motto must’ve started a revolution somewhere someplace or perhaps it came off of a revolution itself!

The challenge is that everyone seems to be sold on the maxim. And that isn’t cool. Particularly when folks who’re downright lazy or master procrastinators use the “quality” mantra to NOT do anything at all! That’s sad.

Yes, quality still does matter. But it has also become one of the biggest barriers to productivity and creativity.

You heard that right!

Your obsession with quality is getting in the way of producing your greatest work.

Here’s why — everyone is waiting. For inspiration to strike. To write that epic of epic posts. To paint that award-winning piece of art. To present that perfect business idea. To deliver that perfect speech.

Great ideas! Wonderful intent! But the world doesn’t give a damn about your ideas or intent. It can only appreciate the results. Which as you and I know vary greatly!

The other day I mentioned that stage time over a period of time doesn’t do any good. That doesn’t mean you should stop getting on stage completely. The idea is to learn something new (like stand-up comedy) while pushing your limits. That’s what keeps you sharp at all times.

In the similar vein, if you’re a writer, you need to be writing every day instead of waiting for inspiration to strike and hope to produce that epic of epic posts. If you’re a painter, you paint. Everyday. Picasso created more than 50,000 words of art in his lifetime. That’s an average of 1.something paintings every day!

Working on your craft every day pushes you to the limits. It’s uncomfortable. But you stay at it until you become comfortable. And when you reach that stage… it’s time to experiment with something new.

If you’re a writer, that would mean trying out comedy writing or speechwriting or even screenwriter. Most successful writers are already doing different types of writing every day. They’re always pushing.

Ditto for musicians. Russ wanted to be a hip-hop star. Badly. And he did become one, with over 1.5 million subscribers to his YouTube channel you can’t deny the fact that he’s one of the most popular hip-hop stars on the internet (JayZ has 800k+ subscribers!).

Russ’ strategy was simple. Create music. Everyday. Check out his channel and he’s still doing that. That’s an artist at work.

James Altucher said it the best, “quality is a byproduct of quantity.” So, keep at it. Work on your craft. Everyday.

What are you waiting for?


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