Everything You’ve Been Told is Bullshit: Showing Up isn’t 1/2 the Battle

Aeryk Payne

Director of Digital


Sep, 23rd, 2019

#archetypes, #design

“You’ll find someone when you stop looking”;“Never give up”;“It’s the thought that counts”. By now, many of us have figured out that a significant portion of the common advice and so-called principles that gets dolled out, while well meaning, are mostly empty platitudes, overused tropes, and oftentimes just plain wrong. Of them,“showing up is half the battle” is one of the worst offenders. 


Showing up is really 1/4 of the battle. Showing up is the baseline; it’s the bare minimum that literally anyone can do. Now, don’t get me wrong - showing up is something, but it’s a first step. Once you’re there, you have to take essential steps to ensure progress. 

1/4 is being willing to see things as they are. We all have our biases that can lead us to project onto a client, brand, or situation, but the key is recognizing them, and not letting them cloud our judgment. Just as you have act within the confines of your actual marketing budget or your current team, understanding limitations and setting realistic goals is essential to setting yourself up for success. You can aim to grow and change (and must do so), but you have to be able to start from a place of abject reality. 

1/4 is asking hard questions and listening to the answers. And undoubtedly synergistic with seeing things as they are. If you’re unwilling to see things within the confines of reality, you can neither ask the right questions, nor hear the real answers. Separately, it also means that you be willing to get invested enough to understand what you don’t know in order to identify what you need to ask - and set aside your own beliefs to really listen to the answers. 

1/4 is doing the work. You can’t do what you need to do without knowing what you need to know. So while doing the work may seem like the most important part of the battle, it’s really an equal part of the whole. But hey, you’re here. That’s 1/4 of the battle. 

What Do We Do With This? 🤔💭

1. See things as they are by making a list of fact-based knowns, and go from there.

2. Ask people - everyone from experts to laymen - what they would ask in your position.

3. Cycle through each of these four parts regularly - this isn't a one time thing.

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