“The thing is: a 1x contributor can’t become a 10x merely by working ten times as hard. The physics of time won’t allow it, certainly, but it’s also because 10x doesn’t work on the same axis. It’s not about more effort. It’s about more insight.” – Seth Godin
Performing At The 1x Level
Playing at a 1x level for my writing means taking low paying jobs that are time-sucking. Jobs that just about anybody can get. Jobs that leave me feeling empty and discouraged. Anxious and stressed out. Most importantly, 1x work leaves me feeling unfulfilled. Like I’m not really contributing to the world.
It’s important for me to feel like I’m not just doing something because I have to. I enjoy some semblance of control. For me control is freedom.
If I feel like I have to write to pay the bills I’m unhappy. If I’m writing because I love the subject, support the project, or I’m being challenged then it’s all worthwhile.
Performing At The 10x Level
10x means I’m turning away jobs that don’t interest me or fulfill me. Where I’m charging top dollar but I’m so comfortable with money that I can confidently say, “no, that’s not for me”.
It’s about partnering with clients who have vision. Who see behind just making money but also making an impact. Who want to leave their mark on the world.
10x means quality over quantity.
It means taking on 12-36 projects a year. Whereas 1x would have me take on as many as 12 in one month. Getting to the 10x level would likely take a lot of sacrifices. It would take years of beating on my craft. Pushing aside pretty much everything else.
Putting on those blinders is the easy part.
The hard part is sustaining that tunnel vision for long stretches of time. I find I work best in a 7-10 day sprint. I can’t go to 10x in just ten days. Probably not even 10 weeks. But hobbled together I think they move the needle in a BIG way. Rome wasn’t built in a day. But you better believe they were laying bricks every hour.
I’ll end on two questions, partly to me, but also to you:
- How can we flat out say no to distractions or projects that put me in 1x mode?
- How can we reduce self-talk seducing us to falling back into 1x mode because it’s the safer path?