How to Be Half-Assed

 In Blog

Do you ever feel bad about doing something poorly?
Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly because doing it poorly is better than not doing it at all.

We want perfection immediately. We avoid taking a positive step because we are terrible at it, which assures us that we miss out on something good and we never improve.

My good friend, Kaz Rafia — who also happens to be my dentist — understood this years ago when he razzed me about flossing.

One checkup, he asked me to commit to flossing one day a week. It seemed ridiculous but I said OK and he said to pick a day. I began flossing on Mondays, it grew into Tuesdays, Wednesdays and now it is every day.

We ask talent who are not planning their show to begin with 5 minutes of planning per day. Teasing can start with one well-crafted tease per hour. A single audio clip in a news segment where there was no audio before is a great improvement.

Doing something half-assed means that you try. A show that does one entertaining, personal social media post per day is better than 20 no-effort, cookie-cutter posts like those on shows by some national syndication companies. Not doing something is often better than making zero effort to do it well.

“Worth doing” is also a key concept. Every action comes with an opportunity cost. The benefit you get from doing one thing costs you the benefit you would have gained from doing another thing.

Occasionally, well-intentioned management asks over-worked talent to “get on the streets.” A 90-minute round-trip in the van to engage with 50 people is less worthy than 90 minutes shooting and editing a TikTok video that will reach thousands.

Start small. Begin badly. Be willing to be half-assed. Your first uncertain step will set you wobbling up the path to greatness.

Thanks to my friend Adam Tracey of Own The Room for sharing this Tumbler post which inspired this article.

Photo by Nathan McBride on Unsplash

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