Break your addiction to easy

You have an addiction.

It's an addiction no one really talks about, and in fact no one recognizes especially well.

It's an addiction to easy. Easy, easy, easy. You want it. Easy solutions. Easy ideas. Easy software. Easy services. You demand it of your suppliers with catchy phrases like turnkey solution. You demand it of your employees with overly simplified presentations and "dashboards" that require no thought except a glance or two at some colorful charts.

Your addiction is killing your business and making you worthless.

Why?

  • Easy means the village idiot can do it. Your value as an employee, a consultant, an expert diminishes with every wave of the easy wand. Why pay a premium for an employee if a task has been made so easy that a minimum wage drone can do it?
  • Easy means your competitors can copy you in an instant. If you can buy a push button solution, so can they, and then your competitive advantage vanishes in the swipe of a credit card.
  • Easy means your value to your customers disappears. Everyone sells easy, which means that you no longer have a unique selling proposition and a price war is inevitable, destroying your profitability.
  • Easy means your resources are depleted. Every time you chase easy, you find that it's never as easy as advertised and you're out time, labor, and money to make it work even close to what the glossy brochure said you were buying.

The really good stuff is hard. Real skill development is hard, a road measured in years or decades of work. Real, raw technological innovation is hard, a pathway littered with trials, errors, and failures. Real research requires intellectual rigor, discipline, and confronting results that make no sense or actively contradict all your hypotheses.

There is no substitute for the hard stuff, not if you want to stay ahead of your competitors. There's no magic bullet, no turnkey solution, no resourceless implementation.

So how do you break your addiction to easy? First you have to understand why you have it. 

  • Your addiction to easy comes from distraction. With so many things vying for your attention, you're lured by promises of something that requires no commitment.
  • Your addiction to easy comes from being overwhelmed. With so much stuff on your to do list, you want things that hold the promise of moving to "done" quickly and painlessly.
  • Your addiction to easy comes from discomfort. With so many new things appearing all the time, your desire to stay in your comfort zone breeds a longing for easy paths into the new stuff.

The antidote to these causes, the antidote to the addiction of easy is focus. The ability and the will to focus will cause your sources of addiction to wither and crumble. Focus and distractions lose their grip over your productivity. Focus, and items move off your to do list more quickly without resorting to tricks. Focus, and stepping outside your comfort zone in a logical, orderly, planned manner becomes less frightening, allowing you to take one step at a time outside that area of comfort.

If you can focus, if you can hone your mind and abilities to work in a coordinated fashion, if you can break the bonds of distraction, then suddenly easy becomes suspect. Easy reveals itself as a mirage or a quagmire. Easy reveals itself as a scam of an overly slick salesman.

Once you have transcended your addiction to easy, you're on the path towards unlocking more of your potential, your capability, as a person, as an employee, as a company, while your competitors remain stuck in the swamp of easy.


If you enjoyed this, please share it with your network!


Want to read more like this from ? Get daily updates now:


Get my book!

Subscribe to my free newsletter!


  • http://www.i95dev.com Henry Louis

    :) It is very difficult but also very important to break this addiction. There is no fun in EASY things. Again a good article from you, Christopher! Thanks.

    • François A.

      So you are either saying that being complacent is bad 
      or
      that people tend to stay within their comfort zone
      but 
      you use the word easy because it’s easy to use vague descriptions.

      I don’t believe anyone is ‘addicted to easy’ and frankly from my own experience people don’t like easy and they are not complacent. Everyone I know works very hard to try and please customers, to find new and better ways to deliver products and services. I can’t think of any one person who likes ‘easy’ for the sake of easy.

      • http://www.i95dev.com Henry Louis

        Francois, I agree with you that we all work hard for our customers, but most of the time when we are getting distracted/frustrated we intend to choose easy ways!

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Great advice! After 30 years in Europe I’m now spending more time in the US and one of the culture shocks I encounter is the relatively high number of people who want it all easy. I call it the fast food syndrome. I encounter too many people who want a quick and easy business solution without putting in any effort whatsoever (and expect to become rich in the near future). 

  • http://www.ivanwalsh.com Ivan Walsh

    I feel it’s more to do with sacrifices. 

    What can you sacrifice today? 

  • http://twitter.com/jecofield Justin Cofield

    I really enjoyed this piece. Great thinking!

  • http://twitter.com/zhangschmidt Gerald Zhang-Schmidt

    Thank you. In my writing about ‘the ecology of happiness’, looking at how better, richer lives are created by acknowledging and following the connections between how we live, what makes us happy, and how we are living in this world – nature, culture, society – always, this is one of the main problems, too.
    People want easy, want affluence, want comfort – and it hides that the pursuit of simplistic goals in life (such as “more”) and the failure to consider things outside our comfort zone (and trying out something different, whether a thought or a practice, is outside it) actively prevents us from living better…

  • http://tommy.ismy.name Tommy is my name

    It’s something that grates on me, when I’m doing an interview and someone says “give us a tip or a trick” and I think to myself for that brief second, there are no tips or tricks, only hard work. You must understand why you’re doing what you’re doing, and who you’re doing it for.

    Without purpose, without cause, without a mission, tips and tricks are meaningless. Most people don’t realize that. Most people don’t want to realize that.

    They want to think it’s simple, because professionals make it look simple. 

    Tony Hawk can pull off a 900 and it looks easy, but how many bones do you think he broke before he could make something so complicated be done with such finesse. Nothing worth doing is easy. 

  • Anonymous

    This post is extremely well done. Hits directly on the fundamentals of new society. Every consumer is looking for recommendations, best sellers, most popular, best match etc. (aka easy button) because they want the ‘easiest’ solution. Easy solutions require less actual work and more time to crawl back into the abyss of normalcy. Very good post Chris and touches directly to the fact that as marketers, showing your F&B’s might not be the best tactic, but showing why your products is the ‘popular choice’ holds more weight. 

    I regularly will run tests directly around this notion and each and every time, it is confirmed. If you recommend a product as a best seller, the association sell works everytime. Actual features and benefits need not be the biggest issue because the word ‘recommended’ trumps all research one could make.

  • François A.

    So you are either saying that being complacent is bad 
    or
    that people tend to stay within their comfort zone
    but 
    you use the word easy because it’s easy to use vague descriptions.

    I don’t believe anyone is ‘addicted to easy’ and frankly from my own experience people don’t like easy and they are not complacent. Everyone I know works very hard to try and please customers, to find new and better ways to deliver products and services. I can’t think of any one person who likes ‘easy’ for the sake of easy.

  • http://twitter.com/CMPPC PJ Cornell

    “Easy” is usually a crock.  However, sometimes, through determined planning, you can create productivity multipliers, which, after a large initial investment of time, vastly reduce the amount of work you have to do to get the same result from then on.  That’s not “easy;” that’s “infrastructure.”

    I’m sure you understand that distinction, but I thought I’d just point it out.