Nothing is Fun Until You Are Good at It

I’m sure most of you are familiar with the Why Chinese Mothers are Superior controversy started last week when excerpts from Yale Professor Amy Chua’s book was posted in the Wall Street Journal.  If not, check it out. It’s a great article, especially if you’re a parent.

There was one line in the post that jumped out at me immediately and has stuck with me since.

“Nothing is Fun Until You Are Good at It.”

I love this quote and think Amy is spot on.   As a ski instructor, a coach, sales leader and parent I’ve see this play out time and time again.   Learning things is hard.  Learning can hurt, is boring, frustrating, humbling, and confusing.  When we are learning, it is hard to focus on what we are doing. Most of the feedback is negative as we bumble our way through it.  In today’s world of protection; protection of feelings, self-esteem, and ego, learning to become good at something has become the victim.  The act of learning doesn’t feel good.  It’s the results of learning that feel good. Unfortunately, too few people get that far often enough.

Sales experiences this as well.  I see and hear more people say that don’t like sales, they don’t like cold calling, they don’t like the rejection, they don’t like ” ______________” (fill in the blank) when it comes to sales.  I think it’s because of exactly what Amy suggests.  It’s because we’re not good at it.   We tend to avoid the things we’re not good at, therefore we never like them.   It becomes a perpetural thing, as we do them less because we don’t like them, we get poor results, which in turns feeds our disdain and the cycle continues.

So what does it mean if nothing is fun until you’re good at it?  It means you have to work hard before things become fun, harder than maybe we want to.

Have you ever stuck with something even thought it sucked?   Have you ever just plowed through something, even though you were just dying to quit. You were desperate to stop, the pain and frustration were just unbearable?    If you have stuck it out,  you know what it’s like to come out on the other side.  You know how it feels and how much more enjoyable the activity is.  You remember when it became fun.

I shared the formula for success on this blog just the other day.   You can read it here.  When we get good at things we like doing them.  We then do them more.  This causes us to get better.  As we get better we have more success and accomplish more.  This is the good cycle and it feels great to be in.

What don’t you like about selling?   What don’t you like doing in your job?   You probably don’t like it, because your not good at it.   Go get good at it. It will change everything.

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