80% Of Success Is Showing Up

By | Friday, March 30, 2012 Leave a Comment
The title of today's post comes from Woody Allen. Sort of. What he actually said in a New York Times article back in 1977 was, "Showing up is eighty percent of life." The quote's mutated a bit over the years, a combination of fuzzy memories and tweaking things to make a point. Also, what people also seem to forget is that he's a comedian, not some great sage or philosopher. There's no way to quantify life and/or success like that.

That said, the suggestion isn't entirely without merit.

This week has been crazy-busy for me. There was a new product launch that, shall we say, didn't exactly go smoothly. Nothing I could've done with it; the problems were all technical in nature, and I'm on the marketing end of things. But because I'm on the marketing end of things, that means I'm one of the folks doing a bit of scrambling trying to ensure that messaging out to our clients is both positive and informative. But what's helped my co-workers immensely -- and they've expressly said this in the past day or so -- is that I've been on-hand for whatever updates and revisions that needed to be made. Not that I just available, but I was in the office right in the midst of what was going on. Requests and confirmations and whatnot could be shouted over the cubicle walls, important meetings could happen on the spur of the moment in the hall, quick requests were literally just a few steps around the corner. Others, who were working online and over the phone, were undoubtedly contributing but the filters inherent in instant messaging, text messages, email, and even phone lines slowed communications down somewhat. I wasn't doing anything that any of a half dozen other co-workers can't do, but I was here, so I get to play more of a "hero" role.

Just because I showed up.

The same can be said for almost any profession, I think, including comic creators. If you put your comic out on the web, that's great. If you're able to garner however much audience you get via online advertising or word-of-mouth or whatever, that's even better. But how many more people will you connect with by doing signings at your local comic shops? Or getting a booth at a convention? For that matter, just going to a convention, even if you don't get a booth? I know creators who've gotten their self-published books into comic shops in large part because they walked in the front door and said to the owner, "Hey, would you like to sell my comics?"

Now, granted, you've got to actually DO something once you show up. You can't just stand there and expect to have accolades heaped upon you. You've got to talk and respond to people, you've got to have/do something worth remembering, you've got to have "the right stuff" (whatever that ephemeral phrase means). Being in the right place at the right time is certainly advantageous, but KNOWING that you're in the right place at the right time AND seizing upon that opportunity is critical as well.

But you can't be in the right place at the right time if you never show up in the first place.
Newer Post Older Post Home