“ Just Take More Pictures ”
NOLAN RYAN , SETH GODIN , AND THE COUNTERINTUITIVE WAY TO BUILDING RESILIENCE AND DEVELOPING MORE LONG-TERM SUCCESS
When I was a little kid ,
my dad bought me The Complete Major League Baseball Statistics , a frayed paperback with a green cover . I treasured it and kept it in my room for years . I flipped through it so many times .
As I paged through the numbers , I started to notice something interesting .
Cy Young had the most wins of all time in baseball ( 511 ).
Cy Young had the most losses , too ( 316 ). Nolan Ryan had the most strikeouts ( 5,714 ). Nolan Ryan had the most walks , too ( 2,795 ).
Why would the guy with the most wins also have the most losses ? Why would the guy with the most strikeouts also have the most walks ?
It ’ s simple .
They just played the most . They just tried the most . They just moved through loss the most .
Sometimes the whole thing really comes down to quantity over quality .
Have you ever asked an incredible wedding photographer how they capture such perfect moments ? I have . And they all say the same thing : “ I just take way more pictures . I ’ ll take a thousand pictures over a three-hour wedding . That ’ s a picture every 10 seconds . Of course , I ’ m going to have 50 good ones . I ’ m throwing 950 pictures away to find them !”
Sometimes I ’ m doing a Q & A after a speech and someone puts their hand up and asks a question along the lines of “ So , congratulations on the success of The Book of Awesome . My question is : How do I get paid millions to write about farting in elevators ?”
The question is along the lines of saying “ So you won the lottery . How do I win the lottery ?”
I always answer the same way , with a reply I stole from Todd Hanson , former head writer at The Onion . He was interviewed by Mike Sacks for the book And Here ’ s the Kicker : Conversations with 21 Top Humor Writers on Their Craft . He said that whenever he ’ s asked the smart-ass question “ So how do I get a job writing jokes for money like you did ?” he gives a very simple answer .
“ Do it for free for 10 years .”
See , we ’ re surrounded by tales of instant millions and lightning-fast growth and tiny startups sold to Google for billions of dollars two months after they launched . We keep clicking links promising the “ seven 30-second hacks to get a six-pack in 21 days .” We ’ re desperate to pull back the curtain on Oz , but what we want to find — quick fixes , easy answers , shortcuts — isn ’ t there .