The approach and the stick

Photo by Pavel Kalenik on Unsplash

I’m writing this from my son’s gymnastics class. It’s a nice advantage to what I do… I can write and periodically pause and wonder at my offspring.

My daughter started gymnastics about 6 months ago and my son just started last week. Having never taken dance or gymnastics myself, a lot of the assumptions I made about the sport have been proven wrong in this short time. Right now I’m watching a 9-year-old do an incredible pommel horse routine (Assumption #1 broken… it’s not called a “pummel” horse.)

So it goes to follow that I never know how they teach gymnastics. You would think that the focus would be on creating a foundation for the crazy flips and twirls and back-hand-flippy-spring-wheels.

But the vast majority of class is on two things… the approach, and the stick.

So as a spectator, most of what I see is 4-year-olds sprinting to the springboard like Olympians, only to do a bunny hop. Every time they jump up on the trampoline, they stick the landing like they won gold, smiles and all. Then they repeat these exercises over and over.

One day I was sitting in this very chair becoming impatient because it’s painfully boring to watch. Run, run, run… hop. Stick it!

When do they get to the fun stuff?

Isn’t it like us to want to skip the boring beginning?

Forget the follow through, let’s get to the flips! The shiny tactics. That’s what we notice when see both an Olympic gymnast and an internet sensation. Look at that twist! Huge conversion on that Facebook ad. Wow, she jumped high. Who designed that landing page?

But here’s the secret the pros know. It’s not about the middle. Great gymnasts and successful entrepreneurs can apply the new tactics, and adjust if needed. Because their approach is solid, it’s easier to add in a new move.

Then, they know the value in finishing strong. Everyone wants to learn to flip, to create great landing page, to write the perfect ad… nobody wants to spend hours sticking the landing — dealing with customer service, following through.

But that’s where the difference is made. Master the approach and the stick and the other stuff will come.

How do we do that in business? We nail down things like our business systems, our market, and our message.

Yes, we need to build our skills, test new tactics, and hone our craft.

But nailing down the fundamentals gives us the freedom to grow all that fun stuff.

That’s why I created the Freelance Co-op. We’ll help with your approach and your stick, you can learn to soar creatively.

Been a direct response copywriter since 7th grade when I wrote a 30-page sales letter asking my crush to the dance. freelancecoop.org