“This phenomenon is quite common in all types of high performers. The entrepreneur whose insecurity leads to incessant “grinding,” the CEO who can’t step away on weekends for fear of falling behind, or the creative who puts off publishing their work until it is just right. We often mask our insecurities with perfectionism and extreme levels of work.” — Steve Magness, Do Hard Things
When entrepreneurs spend their days doing every type of sales and marketing out there—from endless social media to cold calls to constant coffee appointments—I think of that quote from Magness.
Grinding looks like hustle and drive, but it feels like insecurity.
Because no business needs to do everything—in fact, less is so much more.
Which means the businesses doing a little bit of everything don’t know what they’re doing.
And that leads to insecurity, which leads to perfectionism, which leads to extreme levels of often futile or even counterproductive work.
That’s why I teach my clients to create vision for where they want their business to be in a few years. So clearly they can see, taste, and smell it.
Then, we work through what it will take from them and out of them to make positive progress toward that vision every day.
We make a list of what must be done and what needn’t be done.
And we wrap a structure around doing what must be done a little bit every day, and doing less and less of what needn’t be.
Because marketing strategy is about structure, not perfection.
It’s about efficiency, not arbitrary action.
It’s about doing hard things by making them easier, more sustainable, and more fun.
And that starts by knowing which things to do.
And that starts with creating a clear vision of what you want to do.