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.
- 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.
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