Principles Over Hacks: Why Short Cuts Often Lead to Failure

By Ryan Shelley

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I love a good growth hack. Exploring, testing, measuring and iterating to find the most efficient way to produce results just seems like the smart thing to do. But growth hacking is often seen as a short cut, not a disciplined, scientific and creative approach to solving problems with non-obvious solutions. Without a solid foundation built on principle, growth hacking won’t work. If your foundation is weak, you’ll never yield the results you’re are looking for.

I read the Daily Stoic every day. It’s a great way to get my mind centered and ready for the work I need to pursue that day. One recent email reminded me of myself a few years ago. When I was searching the web for that magical quick fix to growth. Here is the excerpt that struck me.

“There’s a great exchange between Epictetus and a student that encapsulates the true path to lasting, perennial success in any field. “Tell me what to do!” the student says. Epictetus corrects him, “It would be better to say, ‘Make my mind adaptable to any circumstances.’”

As marketers and business owners we often feel like we are grabbing water. We’re unsure if what we are doing is the right thing. Like the student in the quote above, we are shouting “TELL ME WHAT TO DO!” But doing what we are told has never lead to a breakthrough. All of the great inventions, discoveries and successes are typically the results of not doing what everyone else is doing.

We often look at these successes and breakthroughs and try to devalue them. “They got lucky,” we say, or “They’re smarter than me,” we think. But both of these excuses are just our way of feeling better about our own complacency. Sure Einstein was a “stellar” student as defined by popular culture, but he didn’t just come up with the theory of relativity on accident. He studied, did the work and laid a foundation that lead to a result in the long run. Behind every great success is a foundation of principles.

In the same Daily Stoic email they write, “It is true for your chosen field, just as it is for life. Principles are better than instructions and “hacks.” We can figure out the specifics later—but only if we learn the right way to approach them.”

As a marketer in the digital space, I am surrounded by those in search of “hacks” in order to improve their vanity metrics. Now don’t get me wrong, I am all for getting results. That’s what people pay me to do. But I believe strongly in quality over quantity, principles over hacks. Just because there is a “short cut” doesn’t always mean you should take it. Marketing has gotten a bad wrap over the years for this very reason. We’ve traded our principles for quick results and ended up destroying trust. What’s worse, others have seen these so called “quick results” and copied the same strategy.

In order to build a company, brand or organization that lasts Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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