I find that one of the more difficult aspects of starting a company is figuring out if we, as a small team, are actually doing a good job while working across a wide variety of areas. While the daily/weekly/monthly process is often – make a list of stuff to do, prioritize the stuff, get as many stuffs done as possible from top of list to bottom – it often feels like we didn’t make enough progress or we made too many mistakes that led to mediocre results. Having just read Wolf, a biography about Jack London, I couldn’t help but wonder while reading if the life of this exceptional person and writer, who died before the age of 40 and yet still managed to produce 5-10 stories that have remained popular for nearly 100 years, could offer some insights into this situation.
One thing that Jack London had long before the term became popular, was grit. In his attempt to find gold in the Yukon, he carried a year’s worth of supplies (to last the winter) 30 miles through snowy mountains in about 30 days. For each mile, he made 15 trips in order to haul everything. That’s nearly 900 miles, 450 hauling stuff.
When it came to writing great stories however, something that brute force alone couldn’t accomplish, he refined and improved his approach throughout his career to get the results he wanted. So, while writing stories isn’t exactly the same as creating a tech driven recruiting platform and business, it’s slightly more similar than hauling canned food through Alaska in search of gold. Here was my takeaway:
- Consistently high quality leads to…Good results
- Consistently high quality and prolific… Better than most
- Consistently high quality, prolific, and original… Wolf status
Quality + Quantity + Originality. Focus on the inputs and the results will come.
….and now I’m going to go read the same lesson on page one of whichever self-help book falls off the shelf. 🙂