do not suck (or) limiting your suckedness

suck thistooshallsuck

 

“Don’t suck.”

Luke Sullivan

 

 

Well.

 

Being great … or really good at something … ok … let’s call it ‘having some ability’ … carries with it a certain burden.

I believe everyone understands that.

 

But maybe not so obvious is that even just being competent carries a burden.

 

It is the burden to deliver.

Deliver the goods at whatever ever you can do … whatever it is that you do.

In other words … to not suck.

 

 

Now.

I could probably do an entire page of Luke quotes but this is a standout and remains in my everyday toolbox of things to say <in fact … I used it in my first post over 4 years ago: http://brucemctague.com/advertising-words-of-wisdom

 

 

Don’t suck.

I admit I often get tired of people saying ‘good luck’ in a business environment – for meetings, presentations, whatever.

 

In most business situations … it isn’t about luck.

You have probably put hours of hard work and tons of worry into being prepared and putting yourself and your business situation into the right place and right frame of mind.

 

It really all comes down to performance.

Delivering the goods so to speak.

 

 

Look.

Business is all about moments in time.

You are in the time and the place and it is just time to “do it”.

 

It sounds serious the way I just wrote it. Well. It is. Business is fun … and serious.

What I do know is that I wish I had kept any number of post it notes or little slips of paper on which Luke would write ‘don’t suck’ and randomly slid it over for your eyes only.

 

suck do notHe understood the value of humorously understanding in the end it comes down to how you perform in the moment.

 

And you know something?

 

It is a relatively simple non-politically correct thing to say … but … none of us want to suck when given the chance.

 

Sure we want to shine.

Sure we want to be great.

 

But … most of all … we don’t want to suck.

In fact.

 

I often believe being successful in business has more to do with limiting your amount of suckedness than it does with moments you don’t suck.

 

Having said that … oddly … regardless of whether you are simply competent … or absolutely brilliant <great at what you do> … most of us struggle to avoid sucking.

 

What do I mean?

 

 

“When you start to suck, stop”

Kristen Hersh

 

 

This is so explanatory it needs no explanation. And it seems so frickin’ obvious you may be thinking why did I waste my time sharing it.

 

However.

 

What I would suggest to everyone is that, in general, people don’t stop when they start to suck.suck do not congrats

We suck at knowing when to stop.

Therefore, paradoxically, even if we are good … we suck at recognizing diminishing returns which can often mean that despite being good … we suck.

 

Regardless.

Not knowing when to stop when you begin inching into the suckedness zone typically happens for one of two reasons:

 

 

  1. we are oblivious to our sucking

 

 

  1. we actually recognize our suckedness … but begin to do whatever it takes to rise above sucking <only to find out that sucking is like quicksand>

 

 

First.

Oblivious to sucking.

 

Unfortunately life doesn’t have stop signs <or any signs for that matter> with regard to sucking.

 

Nor is there a manual you can read to what steps lead to sucking.

 

You can pretty much only hope for one of 2 things … either over time you start to recognize your own signs of suckedness or you happen to have a really good friend/co-worker who has a special sign they give you to tell you that you suck <or are starting to suck>.

 

To be fair.

 

Knowing when you start to suck is difficult.

Really difficult.

 

Because the shift from ‘don’t suck’ to ‘do suck’ doesn’t usually happen as a momentous shift in the earth’s layer but rather a slow drip by drip process in which that which was dry and solid becomes a soggy mess.

 

I think it is easier to recognize when you aren’t sucking.

 

 

So what I typically tell people is that when you know you are going good … and on a roll … as quickly as you can … find a “period” point.

 

I mean a stopping point <usually characterized by the fact you need to stop talking to actually breathe)> … and … well … you stop.

 

Now.

 

That may be as difficult as stopping when you suck, maybe even harder, because it is natural to want the goodness <non-suckedness> to go for as long as possible.

 

But.

 

Stop on a high note.

 

Trust me.

 

If you are great they will want more.

If you are simply good they will want more.

If you are basically a competent provider … they will be satisfied with what is done.

 

In all cases … I assure you … if someone really likes it they will ask for more.

 

If they don’t … well … you did great.

 

You didn’t suck.

 

The corollary factoid?

 

 

Well.

If you enter into the suck zone and you stop … well … I can guarantee they won’t ask for more.

It all sounds confusing doesn’t it?

It is.

 

 

Ok.

The second point about not knowing when to stop.

 

This is when you actually realize you suck … and then begin paddling as hard as you can to get out of the suck zone.

 

Oops.

 

Nobody told you … but … sucking is like quicksand.

 

The harder you work to stop sucking the further you get sucked down into suckedness.

 

But, once again, it is natural to try and want to end on a high note so you work to get there. This is human nature to try and get yourself out of trouble once you recognize you are in trouble <insert suck for trouble at any point>.

 

And you shouldn’t try.

 

Stop.

You just need to stop.

 

A little suckedness will be recognized as just that … a little. And most people will overlook the little as a fair trade for whatever ‘not sucked’ made up ‘the most’.

 

 

On the other hand …  a lot of suckedness? It’s … well … a lot.suck life do not

And difficult to overlook or ignore.

 

See?

 

Sometimes success is defined by how well you limit your suckedness.

 

All that said.

In the end.

 

Two people whose words I have always valued, Luke Sullivan & Kristen Hersh, remind us … we can control how much, or how little, we suck.

 

Please notice that I say ‘we can control.’

Sucking in business is a personal thing. The business environment you work in will encourage you to suck in so many ways your head will spin. But ‘to suck or not to suck’ … inevitably … is up to you.

 

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Written by Bruce