One of my favourite phrases that comes to mind all the time is “value cheaters”. I heard the phrase first used by MJ DeMarco, the author of Millionaire Fastlane and one of my top three favourite books of 2017, Unscripted.
MJ uses that phrase to describe people who offer something but then cut corners on delivering value – they sell the value, but then they don’t actually deliver it.
I pay homage to his usage of the term and I extend it out to include people who cheat themselves out of value by taking shortcuts and being unwilling to do the hard work.
To get to where you want to go, you actually have to put the work in. There are very few people in life who strategically decide to win the lottery and they do. Most of us have to keep getting out of bed every day, putting one foot in front of the other and keep moving.
But some people, they are “all schnitzel and no vegetables”.
Last month I wrote about people who overspecialize and so they focus on just whatever it is they are good at and then try to delegate the rest. In the context of that conversation, I was talking about people who are specialists and a little bit blinkered about the necessity of being a bit more of an “all-rounder” if you want to really be successful.
This was drilled home with me today as I was finishing off my book to FINALLY get it published on Amazon for Kindle, Paperback and Audible.
Someone pinged me on Facebook to talk about something that was of interest to them, but I said, “Hey, I’m trying to get my book formatted and uploaded to Amazon today, so I’ll catch you when I’m free.”
This person came back telling me that I was crazy for wasting my time doing low-level tasks in my business like editing the audio version and checking the preview tool for formatting when I could “just hire someone” to take care of that stuff.
Don’t get me wrong, I have thought about doing this a fair bit over the last couple weeks as I’ve focused on getting this done. It would have been easy to tap a few friends on the shoulder, ask who does their books and just drop a few hundred bucks, but that’s not what I wanted to do.
I considered that to be “value cheating” myself.
I wanted to go through this process for myself so that I can properly understand it for next time and then when I choose to outsource certain parts of it, I know exactly what’s required and I can manage the whole thing better.
Also, expertise doesn’t come from outsourcing, it comes from doing.
Do I want to be an expert in the mechanics of getting books published on Amazon? No, but I do what to work on building out my own publishing business to include books, so knowing how it works beyond just a superficial level is important.
And let’s face it, this entire process has only taken me a couple days of effort.
Your business can’t just be doing the fun stuff, sometimes you have to roll up your sleeves, get down in the hole and start shovelling the dirt.
I know people who call themselves “best sellers” and I’d say it was questionable as to whether they even wrote their own books. Hell, I sometimes wonder if some of those people that I know calling themselves best-selling authors have even read their own book.
They like the idea of calling themselves an “author” and saying they “published” a book, but I now can say that I have really done it. Literally, everything for this book was done within my home office – my wife did the cover, the layout and the first edit and I did everything else.
Would I do it this way again? Probably not.
Now that I understand the process, my job is to make it more efficient so that our publishing business can be better and produce higher quality outputs.
But I’m glad I did the work because now I understand it really well. I traded the easy path for the knowledge the more difficult road would give me.
It can’t always be about doing the fun stuff, you are just value cheating yourself out of learning how to do things the right way. Now, time to take a selfie with my cafe latte and talk about grinding to my Instagram followers.