The Most Important Thing I’ve Learned About Growth

People ask me quite regularly “What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about growth in your career?”

It’s a good question and it took a while for me to process exactly what that one thing would be, but something that I was told once* stood out above everything else:

The most important thing is to be in love with your craft.

No matter your focus on growth, whether it’s conversion optimization, or paid ads, or email marketing or as a startup founder.

Be in love.
Care deeply.
Be hurt by failures and elated in success.

Be surprised and disappointed.
Be encouraged and dejected.
Be passionate and obsess.
Be in love with what you do.

There is no better guarantee for success than to care more than anyone else.

Show up early. Stay late.
Sweat the details.
Read until your eyes are red and bleary.
Test and experiment more. Come up with more ideas.
Talk to more people.
Fail fast, learn faster.
Outwork them all.

Build on success.
Stay humble.
Stay objective.
Don’t drink your own Kool-aid.
Keep working.

Embrace failure, turn it into fuel.
Enjoy the wins, but don’t linger.

This game changes constantly. Do not rest.
Don’t take what you know for granted.
Be open minded, but don’t be a sheep.
Listen more.
Think always.
Apply but don’t copy.
Find your own way.

Pay it forward.
Mentor someone.
Learn from others.

But most important, be in love with your craft.


Sean Ellis and I are putting the finishing touches on our next book on growth, due out this spring by Crown Business. If you want to stay in the loop, you can do so here.

*Thank you nameless person for the exquisite advice.

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