Had this lesson literally had *beaten* into me…
Of all the sparring partners in my karate class, I feared Adam the most.
I was a skinny teenager, maybe 120 pounds soaking wet. Adam was a college student, about my height but built like a brick house. He had at least 60 pounds of muscle on me.
One evening we were squared off, circling each other and throwing feints. I knew he had me in the strength department, so my strategy was to compensate with speed. I usually held my own.
Suddenly, I saw him start to twist away from me, and I knew what was coming.
Instinct kicked in, and I did … exactly the wrong thing.
I took a quick shuffle-step back.
As Adam rotated on his left leg, his right leg shot back and upward in a powerful “mule kick.”
My quick backward shuffle had left me directly in the power zone of that kick. It landed squarely on my solar plexus.
The impact lifted me up off my feet and threw me five feet backward.
The chest guard I was wearing absorbed a lot of the shock, but the fight was over. I gasped for 10 minutes before I could start to breathe normally again.
Bruce Lee has a famous quote: “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
Adam didn’t develop that powerful kick from mixing it up in the sparring ring. Every class, we spent the first 30 minutes performing our “basic exercises,” a boring, repetitive series of drills where we practiced basic punches, kicks and blocks.
Like the mule kick.
His mastery of that one weapon made Adam a fearsome opponent.
When I first got started with learning marketing, I was like the guy practicing 10,000 different kicks. There are sooooooo many different tactics out there for getting traffic — SEO, guest blogging, Facebook, Twitter, podcasting… I was constantly stressed out that I wasn’t using all of them.
After a while, though, I realized that I was spreading myself too thin. By jumping around, I didn’t give myself the opportunity to master any of the techniques I was trying.
I decided to focus all of my efforts on one channel for driving traffic to my site:
Over time I was able to experiment with different tactics and see what worked and what doesn’t. I learned how to grow my followers, then convert those followers into email subscribers and (eventually) customers.
My business partner John built Simple Programmer to more than 1.2 million visits per year by writing 1 blog post per week, every week, for 7 long years.
Before you try to “be everywhere,” it’s important to be SOMEWHERE.
To learn one go-to move to get visitors to your site, and become a true master at it.
Which “kick” will you choose?
Here are some of my experiences with other “kicks” — Medium itself, LinkedIn, Reddit and a few others.