Torture vs. Inspiration

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Who do you admire?

For me one of the great joys in life is to watch great athletes perform. Sure, it could be sports, like Tiger Woods or Michael Jordan. But there’s a lot of other sports.

Maybe it’s watching Eddie Van Halen sit on the edge of the stage with his guitar and spin off those magical riffs. Maybe it’s Newton or Einstein. An artist like Banksy. Or Whitney Houston belting out a note that seems to last forever. Maybe it’s Coltrane – not merely playing his sax, but possessing it.

In business it could be Richard Branson or Seth Godin or Jay Abraham, or someone else whose video you watched just yesterday. You sit there and shake your head as they perform and you wonder, “How does he DO that???”

Admiring great performers is a double edged sword. They inspire you at the concert, but when you’re home alone in your basement practicing your guitar, Eddie Van Halen only seems like he was created to mock you. “Listen to me and my pathetic chords, how am I ever going to amount to anything?”

Listen up:

Star performers are never to be the mold you shove yourself into. They’re the anvil you use to pound the slag off your own performance, so that you can eventually be the best YOU, not  the best THEM.

Star performers aren’t a standard you have to live up to, they’re a GIFT. They’re lights dotting the landscape, but they can’t illuminate the patch of real estate that you stand on. Only you can.

You are seeing them at their best, exercising the gift they’ve perfected. You don’t see how ordinary they are at everything else they do in their life.

They’re not there to see how extraordinary you are at what you do.

Later this morning I have a group of people arriving for a 4-Man Intensive. Each one of them is in the process of becoming great at *something*. I gave them all questionnaires to fill out and I greatly enjoyed reading them last night.

"So many options for growing my business, but what should I do NOW?" Tell me your most pressing business problems and I'll show you your BEST next step.

As I’ve matured as a business coach I’ve become more and more focused on the individual that I’m coaching, and less focused on the specific snapshot of their business. Their business could change at any moment, but the essential greatness of the individual is always there, waiting to be discovered.

If 2 years from now you’ve added a few zeros to your net worth and slammed the ball out of the park, you will still be basically the same person you are today. The difference will be, you found a way to harness the greatness you already had, a way that was suddenly new to you.

When you do that, you’ll find that even other superstars suddenly look at you and wonder “how you do it.”

Want proof?

Planet Perry member Finn Peacock sent in this true story:

One of the biggest Rock Gods in Australia is a singer called Peter Garrett. An amazing performer whom I and millions of other Australians have admired for years.

A couple of weeks ago Peter Garrett sent me an email, saying he had just used my website – and he ‘really admired what I was doing’ (and personally invited me to his stadium show in my hometown later this year).

Thanks Perry! I’ve been with Planet Perry since 2006, and you’re is responsible for me starting the business that Peter Garrett admires.

Finn Peacock

See? It’s doesn’t seem extraordinary to you. But it is to them.

What “ordinary” thing do you possess that’s really extraordinary?

Answer that question and adding zeros to your income might not be as impossible as it seems.

Perry Marshall

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About the Author

Perry Marshall has launched two revolutions in sales and marketing. In Pay-Per-Click advertising, he pioneered best practices and wrote the world's best selling book on Google advertising. And he's driven the 80/20 Principle deeper than any other author, creating a new movement in business.

He is referenced across the Internet and by Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, INC and Forbes Magazine.

80 Comments on “Torture vs. Inspiration”

  1. 80/20 Princeple, whether as a process, method, technique or science, is essentially about breaking some rigid limitations; including the truth of the present and the outcome.

    When you know more and deeper about a thing, you know the answer that is too fast and too simple must be wrong.

    When what we want happens with the least friction and the least consumption, it is called a good work of engineering, and it is also an experience of the wonderful joy of life – to be the master of destiny.

  2. That was truly inspirational and insightful. The thought of discovering my own greatness totally frees me from the need to “measure up.” I am ENOUGH!

  3. Hi Perry, Thanks for your emails of inspiration. The “Who do you admire” email was very timely. Tomorrow I am going to record some video for a new website and I am my own toughest critic but your words about becoming the best YOU instead of comparing yourself with practiced professional performers was just what I needed. Thanks and all the best John Barnett.

  4. I admire you, Perry,the reason is that, I bought the 80/20 book that you so kindly just about gave away, see, I missed school a lot when young so my ability for mathematics is less than perfect. When studying geometry for my papers in Ceramic Tiling, I got the dummy guide, passed. Anyway, I want to say thank you for the 80/20 book, although I am no mathematician, I can count what I need to. I have implemented the 80/20 rule in my life and it has worked wonders. I am now training for certification to be a life coach and just won a personal development prize in a raffle. I reversed diabetes type 2 and overcome many, many things and see everything as an opportunity to grow, and gain knowledge needed, rather than an obstacle. 80% of the good in my life comes from the 20% of the personal development I do on myself, which is now a habit and I noticed that 20% of the very important questions I ask myself in order to grow, come from 80% of the 20% of the work I do on myself with NLP, Psycho-cybernetics and high performance habits and all the rest. And I am about to upload my website, which I did myself through a course in Udemy.

    Perry, thank you for this book, I know this comment doesn’t have much to do with your post but I want to say, I admire you.

    Very kindest regards

    David Boyd.

  5. You are such a great story teller Perry, its like I’m right there in It! My imagination becomes more in tune, especially when I read the “80/20 In Sales, and Marketing!” Thank you kindly for the value you provide.


  6. Exceptional. I think comparison eats away at both our personal and business endeavors. I’m an independent filmmaker. My favorite director is Edward Zwick (Glory, Legends of the Fall, Blood Diamond). But the day I try to be him… you’re right. That’s the day I fail. I need to be who God designed me to be. Else I spend my life as a triangle trying to fit into a squared-shaped spot in life.

  7. There’s a story about when Paul Butterfield of the Butterfield Blues Band went to see Hendrix, and he was so humbled by how Jimi could make 10,000 sounds with one guitar that Butterfield didn’t touch a guitar for 2 years. Your post made me think of that right away, and to NOT COMPARE is something we all need to be reminded of every so often. So Perry, besides being one of the greatest modern-day wordsmiths I know of, what is it that you do that a lot of us might be better at? :)

    Thanks again, this one’s right up there with Poodles and Wolverines.

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