“The most successful things I’ve done have one thing in common: I’ve done them at least 100 times,” says writer Josh Spector. He turned this observation into a principle: If you want to start a project, commit to 100 iterations, however you can.
If you’re starting a blog, commit to writing 100 posts. If you’re starting a band, commit to writing 100 songs. If you’re starting a less episodic project such as a book, commit to writing 100 pages before you even think of quitting — or writing for 100 days straight, or submitting to 100 agents. The goal can vary widely. The point is twofold.
First, says Spector, this takes you past “the dip”, the inevitable downturn when you feel stuck or bored or frustrated, or when your project isn’t taking off the way you hoped. That dip might come early, and you might quit a project that was about to turn around. By committing to work past the dip, at least until you’ve hit your hundredth episode or page or drawing or whatever, you avoid quitting prematurely.
Second, this sets a goal that’s under your control. Don’t commit to your project until it gets 100 readers, or subscribers, or anything else that the world provides to you. Choose a goal based on output. Not 100 sales, but 100 sales pitches. Not 100 acceptance letters, but 100 applications.
When you’ve hit your goal, then look at the feedback and see if it’s time to quit. If you’ve applied 100 times, and gotten nowhere, that’s when you can decide that this isn’t for you. That’s when you know that you did your best.
For most projects, 100 is a big intimidating number. Good. Let that stop you from starting any long-term projects that you’re too scared to do 100 times. Do something really short instead. Or don’t do anything new, and go back to that project you abandoned after five iterations because it wasn’t an instant success, even though you think fondly back to it every day.
Unless your problem is that you don’t start enough projects, in which case congratulations! Go start something and don’t worry about it! Tell us your secret!
Only Do It If You’re Willing To Do It 100 Times | For the Interested