Practice Makes Perfect
Having spent the last 5 years studying piano, I’m often reminded of the joke, “how do you get to Carnegie Hall?” To which the beatniks of the 60’s deftly answered, “practice, man, practice.” It’s easy to dismiss this as a joke or worse — conventional wisdom, but I think practice is the key to success in every endeavor.
Practice is the only path to success
As a web developer for Flathead Beacon Productions, I take on a lot of different roles. Sometimes I play the part of customer support, sometimes I’m an educator for businesses, other times I’m discovering new technology to find solutions to new problems. I’m a business consultant, a problem solver, a listener, a teacher, a student, a critic, a marketer, a complete nerd, and more. The problem is that I’m good at some roles, and not so good at others. But regardless of the role I’m playing, I try to research and practice techniques and skills that will help me improve.
Performance can be intimidating, but practice is simple
Many people are intimidated by performance whether it’s delivering a public speech, closing a sale, building software in a new programming language, or even customer support. But practicing is quite simple. Here are a few methods I’ve learned along the way.
- Spend a little time every day. If you want to improve at something, the first thing you need to do is approach it daily. In order for your mind to absorb a subject, you should set aside a minimum of 15 minutes a day to return to the subject.
- Focus on the basics. Don’t waste time learning about advanced techniques until you’ve mastered the fundamentals.
- Avoid roadblocks. As you develop a new skill, you’ll be sure to run into roadblocks. This would be intimidating in any other time, but not in the information age. The Internet is packed with information from people who have experienced the same problem you’ll run into. Learn from their mistakes.
If you just follow these steps, you can master any subject you put your mind to.
Competing Against Yourself
I’ll let you in on another secret: I don’t possess a natural talent for much of anything. As a competitive person, this really bugs me. But practice allows me to channel my competitive spirit in a constructive way. Everything I’ve learned was acquired the hard way: through lots of practice. But I’ve developed the confidence that I can achieve anything, cultivate talent, and experience success. I can play Bach, Brahms and Beethoven. It’s not even that hard. All I have to do is practice. Let today compete with yesterday.
This is why I love working at Flathead Beacon. I consider myself fortunate to be surrounded by a group of creative professionals like me who strive for perfection through practice. I’m proud of the work we deliver, but I’m even more excited to watch our ability grow over time. Ours is a culture of talented, young people who can accomplish anything. We practice a lot.
See you at Carnegie.