Getting it right

“Real truth about it is, no one gets it right

Real truth about it is, we’re all supposed to try” — “Farewell Transmission”, Songs: Ohia

There you go. The core of a pretty good philosophy of business from the brilliant, depressed alcoholic musician Jason Molina, who literally drank himself to death: No one gets it right. Try anyway.

Jason saw something true about human life; a double bind we’re all in. We won’t get it right — none of us — but we’re invited to try anyway. We’re all supposed to try.

There’s a mindset that helps immensely as we navigate this double bind: self-forgiveness. The third ideal of The Expertise Incubator is based on self-forgiveness:

Ideal #1: Anything you create in this program should be good enough to spread by word of mouth alone.

Ideal #2: Anything you create in this program — if you give it away for free — should be good enough that some would gladly pay real money for it.

Ideal #3: You should be willing to work daily for 2 to 3 years to make ideals 1 and 2 become true in your work. In other words, you should be OK with not living up to ideals #1 and #2 at first so that you can build up the skills you need to ultimately achieve those ideals.

Self-forgiveness helps, as far as mindsets go. And there’s a method that helps too: iterative experimentation in the wild.

Experimenting in a lab is good, but it brings with it the requirements for scale and control. Lots of data, with extreme levels of rigor and control applied to the sampling; control of the environment through literal control by working in a literal lab, or statistical control for bias and other sampling errors. This level of rigor routinely delivers scientific breakthroughs, but small business breakthroughs tend to come from other approaches, namely: listening to the market, small high-value experiments, and iteration.

The upcoming workshop will help you run a small high-value experiment around specialization. Not in a lab, but out there in the world.

I’ve started to get the videos for this workshop back from my editor, and I want to share a few of them with you.

The workshop is really about taking action, but the lecture videos (there is generally one lecture video per week) help you get a sense of what the workshop is about.

Here’s the first one I’ll share with you:

positioning services - Experiential marketing learning for independent consultants


BTW, if you are curious about the content of the upcoming third edition of The Positioning Manual, the video above is a pretty good 1-hour summary of that book’s argument.

Back to the workshop…

The first workshop meeting is a week from today (Friday, May 15), so if you want to participate in this workshop, sign up here:

If you might want to participate but have questions, hit reply and we’ll figure it out.