When I was little, there was a grand piano in our house.
It was impressive,
a thing of beauty.
Everything about it was fascinating.
Even the smells.
I was about 5 when I was first allowed to play it — and in those first few seconds, I was hooked.
Throughout my childhood,
I continued to play.
I never had a lesson,
never practised consistently,
never played in front of anyone,
never learned to read music,
and never played the boring/tricky bits of the songs I liked.
I learned to play through an intermittent and inconsistent process of trial and error — simply banging the keys now and then and seeing what happened.
I’d love to finish this story with tales of how I became a professional concert pianist in my spare time, but as you might expect, I was never any good.
My piano story is the story of unfulfilled potential,
and eventually quitting.
No surprises here — what else did I really expect?
...and this is going to hurt a little...
...you might be trying to run your business like I played the piano.
Lacking focus and direction.
Avoiding the hard /boring work,
over looking the foundations,
and not seeking help from people further down the path.
It sounds harsh when I write it out, but in my experience, it’s true.
And, just like in my piano career, you won’t see progress, improvement, or any real success with this approach.
But, great businesses do get built.
So, what’s the difference between Elton John and me?
Or, more relevantly, what’s the difference between a creative entrepreneur who merely survives and one who thrives?
It's an attitude.
They are all ‘Pro’.
Pro’s are clear on the problem they solve, the value they offer and who they do their work for.
They are clear on their goals and the steps they need to take to reach them.
They take those steps, every day, without fail.
They have the commitment to do the work that matters and stick to a plan long enough to see results.
When they do see results, -they know how to analyse, regroup, reframe, and start again.
In the simplest terms, they are clear, consistent and committed.