A lot of people today speak of quantity as the defining factor in getting your message into the world — with Gary Vaynerchuk being at the forefront of this movement. And while I have been following this rule in the past half of the year, I have probably missed 3 or 4 of my daily blogs and have been focusing on making as much content as possible, now I think the time has come to reevaluate this model.
I still think quantity plays an enormous role in content production — especially as the amount of blog posts, podcasts and images on the web is increasing exponentially — but there is one important truth that many of us may overlook in this conquest of trying to reach the eyes and ears of the masses.
Quality is king and quantity is his servant.
I get why the amount of information is being pushed as the most important factor; too many of us focus endlessly on tweaking and re-editing our content, too many of us spend hours making our images, texts and videos “perfect” and thus miss a lot of opportunities of growth and consequently reach.
The 80/20 rule still applies to everything in the universe; 80% of effect is produced by 20% of our effort. Of course, we shouldn’t confuse this with the idea that we only have to do 20% of the work and get 80% of the rewards.
We still need to do all of the work. And regardless of how much “all of the work” actually is — 5 min or 5 years of input, it doesn’t really matter — the effect is always more or less the same; most of what we do will not bear any fruits, but a fraction will. And that fraction will create the most effect.
Here the real argument for quality begins to take shape; if 100% of what I did was only average or “merely” good, the effects of it will embody the same kind of qualitative force. Good things lead to good results, average work produces average products and services, but excellence, excellence can’t but create exceptionality.
In order for any one of us to reach excellence, we have to first begin our path with average tools, common techniques and boring (and many times tedious) practice. But after such a rhythm has been established, after the almost masochistic pleasures of repetition and rigorous practice become part of our being, I believe all of us need to again venture further into the unknown.
And this means reevaluating everything we have been doing up to this point. A child may have enormous dependence on his training wheels when learning how to ride his bike, but after they succeed in mastering balance, speed and manoeuvring, the support has to be taken away, exposing the reality that all they have done up to that point was mere practice for the real thing.
I feel as though my daily blog was exactly such a training wheel; it made me accountable, if not to all of you lovely souls that read it, I was also accountable to myself. It defined me as someone that writes a daily blog, someone that makes videos about art and someone that records podcasts.
Now, I need to become someone that makes exceptional articles, not merely articles. And the only path to exceptionality and true mastery is through quality, precision and practice. Therefore I would like to inform all of you, that the daily blog will still exist, but will not be constrained by the superfluous idea of time, rather I wish to focus more on the quality of content that I provide to all of you, and of course to myself.
In the end, all we do — regardless of whether we write, sing, paint or dance — we do so as a form of diary, a succession of traces that we leave upon the world. It doesn’t matter if our creations ever get exposed to the public; even those of us that never publish our creations and keep our diaries, paintings and songs to ourselves , we inevitably all do the same.
We create marks upon the world, knowingly or not, by accident or in order to be remembered. Regardless though of why we do what we do, I believe one thing is for certain.
Such marks should be born out of the highest efforts that we can endure, if not to grow, at least to know that whatever we did mattered, perhaps to some, or maybe none, but always to ourselves.