One of my favourite quotes is from a well-known fictional movie character:
“Do or do not, there is no try.” ~ Yoda
This seems to imply that merely trying things will not be successful. There are certainly a lot of success gurus out there that tell you to avoid “trying” and just “do it”.
In reality there are many shades of try (is it 50?) and the trick is to know when to use the right one.
Apparently using the force to lift a fighter out of a swamp requires that you really believe you can do it. It is also an all or nothing effort. You either get the fighter out of the swamp or it remains in the swamp.
Being an entrepreneur who intends on building the next multi-million or billion dollar company from scratch also pretty much takes an all-in for as long as it takes mindset. Anything less significantly decreases your chances of success. This is because there almost certainly will be rough patches and if you are not all in mentally, you will likely quit when you reach them.
All In With a Time Box
There are things that require a fairly large commitment just to find out if you like it or are any good at it.
Learning the fiddle is like that. It is hard.
I took group lessons with 16 adults starting. Half the class came to the weekly class without putting any meaningful time practicing. They didn’t get any better than when they started. Only 6 people made it to the end of the course and of the 6 only 2 people are still playing; myself included.
Just giving it a fair try means all in for a period of time; otherwise don’t bother. You need to get good enough to evaluate if it is really for you. You can’t make that decision properly if you sound absolutely awful through total lack of effort. Don’t start.
Launching a new product or service or an existing one into a new market is like that as well.
You need to be all in for a reasonable amount of time or customers will not take you seriously but you also need to be able to reduce risk by knowing when it is not working.
Try = Experimentation
When the cost of trying is small relative to the potential payoff, sometimes it pays off big to experiment.
With marketing this might be A/B testing a landing page.
With a new product or service you may be unsure who your ideal client is and elect to run limited trial in two markets to see which one catches on.
And Thomas Edison tried a LOT of options (no it was not exactly 1000 like the mythology) to perfect the light bulb. Sticky notes is another.
Experimenting leads to learning and wisdom. And options.
If no one tried anything they weren’t certain about or willing to go all in for, a lot of things we take for granted would not be here today.
Be clear on the reasons you are trying and which method is appropriate to your situation. You don’t have to bet the company or your future on everything.
On the other hand, there is definitely a time to be all in, at least for a period of time. Never committing to anything was called drifting by Napoleon Hill in “Outwitting the Devil“. Being a drifter leads to a lack of success.
Knowing when to use which is the real secret of business success.