Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Critical mass "five smooth stones"

Most people operate their lives on a "ready, aim, fire" approach. Maybe we learn this concept from hunters with their rifles or bow hunters. Maybe Annie Oakley said it. I'm going to let you in on a little bit of sharp shooter information. Some of the trick shots are accomplished by shooting bird shot instead of a bullet. I don't mean to take anything away from sharp shooters, some are quite amazing. I do want you to think about things differently than most people do. The problem with the ready aim fire people is most of the time they spend so much time getting ready and aiming that the target or the opportunity disappears. Let me give you a little history lesson about hitting targets. When generals called forth their archers it wasn't to single out individual targets, very often. When English long bowmen fired at the scotsman Wallace it rained arrows. Long bowmen were valued on their ability to rapidly fire the next shot. Robin Hood's ability to telescope arrows was highly valued , If you could find an enemy that would stand still for being shot twice. Let's look at how hitting targets really works. I own a trebuchet. It's a wooden contraption for throwing pumpkins the length of a football field. To hit a target we use the historic method of "ready, fire, aim! The treb is loaded and pointed in the correct direction.That's ready. We fire it. We might hit the target. Probably not. So let's say we miss. We correct our aim and fire again.. Give us three shots and you'll be smelling the pumpkin goo. Artillery men have a history of practicing ready, fire, aim. You've at least heard the story of David and Goliath. Basically a teenage boy slays a giant with a slingshot. Now there are several things that can be learned from this story. One is that Giants should not laugh at their opponents. Two is that David refuses Saul's offer of his armor, because it doesn't fit. There are more lessons here. I can imagine the small shepherd boy practicing with his sling. I can imagine
that he was a very capable shot. Before David goes out to face Goliath he picks up five smooth stones. That caught my eye the first time I read it. Why five? Then I learned about the concept of ready, fire, aim. Five was certainly enough to do the job. More would have forced David to carry extra weight. One smooth stone could have done the job, turns out it did. He took five because there are always things that can go wrong.. David understood ready, fire , aim.
I've been typing about your need to have a critical mass of inventory. For David critical mass to do the job was five smooth stones. There is a surprising thing that happens with the ready, fire, aim approach to life, to selling your art work or to hitting any other target. Failure is removed from the equation. A miss becomes information, The next shot may gather enough information to result in a hit, if not the next one will. Make something, get out in the world and miss a few times. Get the best tools you can afford, enough knowledge to do the job, by all means get ready! By all means fire! Then aim Brad

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