brad dickason
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Tools are a distraction

I switched newsletter platforms before I ever sent out a single newsletter. I had a form on my website, a list of emails, and my first newsletter ready to go. Instead, I spent two weeks migrating to a new tool before firing off my first email.

In college, I spent 50 hours researching guitars. When I finally purchased one, I played it less than ten times.

I spent years trying to find the perfect surfboard, only to settle on the second board I ever purchased.

You spend time researching and buying tools because you believe they'll fulfill a fantasy. You want to go faster, become more productive, or get better at what you do.

You think that a new guitar will help you play like Eddie Van Halen or a new pair of shoes will make you jump as high as Michael Jordan. This is just clever marketing.

Reebok sold the Pump, Nike the Air Jordan. Each of them came with a flashy marketing campaign and commercials featuring the best athletes in the world soaring towards the basket. When you first bring them home, you feel a rush. But that feeling quickly dissipates.

Shoes don't make you jump higher. They just give you a false sense of accomplishment.

Meanwhile, experts can succeed with the most basic tools.

Kelly Slater can catch a wave on a dining room table. JOB can ride a Costco Wavestorm (the defacto beginner board) at Pipeline, one of the most challenging waves on the planet.

The amount of time saved rarely comes close to the time spent learning a new tool. It's easier to look for a new tool than to do the work. It's easier to blame the tool than yourself.

You don't need another tool. You don't need a different productivity app.

You just need to put in the time.

Have you obsessed over tools? Do you spend more time researching than doing? Let me know: @bdickason

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Post last updated: Apr 16, 2021