2+ Hard Things

I published my first book last week, and I’m very happy about the milestone and how it’s been received so far. 

The process has made me more familiar with the Amazon Kindle bookstore. I’m suddenly aware there are tons of books published and many of them seem quite promising. But despite that most never really take off in a big way. 

This has made me realize that the secret to success isn’t doing just one hard thing. Writing a book is hard! It takes a ton of motivation, resilience, domain knowledge, writing skills, and creativity. But clearly, just doing that one hard thing isn’t enough. 

But if you combine that one hard thing with another hard thing, you dramatically increase your chances. If you do a tour promoting your book, run a marketing campaign, or if you have already earned a reputation in your domain, your book suddenly rises above all others. 

The reason is simple - there are 7 billion people in the world and we have a pretty efficient market. For any single hard thing you are doing, there are many others doing something similar. But the competition, quality, and uniqueness of what you do dramatically increases with you do 2+ hard things*.

The first hard thing gets you the entry ticket into the game. The second hard thing onward is when you really start playing and winning. 


1. You can also do a less popular hard thing or one hard thing really, really well. Those are challenging as well. I'd argue that, in general, doing 2 hard things well is easier than doing one hard thing really, really excellently. 

2. This is synonymous with Scott Adam's Talent Stack theory.