Risk & Business Magazine General Insurance Services - Fall 2020 - Page 12

LONG-TERM SUCCESS “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. We don’t want to hear that some things 12