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Finish The Work

"Overnight successes always take years."

The Last 10% - Attention to Detail

               In the 4th Key (Frame Your Future) we just got started.  We started ugly.  Things didn’t have to be perfect because they couldn’t.  We were brand new to this game.  We were just figuring it out.  Winging it.  You know, fake it til you make it.  But as we continued to show up, this gave us the chance to have some work to show for our efforts.  Work that could be viewed and critiqued.  And with the 5th Key, we began to get some of that feedback.  These Initial Inspections showed our weak spots our shortcomings.  We created feedback loops from ourselves, our peers, and mentors.  We even learned how to appreciate the feedback from the true haters.  Because we need that feedback for this next step in the process. 


Now on the 6th Key  (Finish The Work), We take those critiques to heart and use them to make us better.  As we put in the reps, we pay attention to the little things.  These little things will be noticed by others who are also great at what they do.  That’s what makes the little details so important.  Greatness recognizes greatness.  Greatness will always be recognized.  Not necessarily always appreciated.  But definitely recognized.  This consistent attention to detail will provide opportunities down the road.  These small details will make you known for your craft.  For what you do. 


What are the little details you have been neglecting in your own life?  Personal, and professional...  Take some time to think about what needs cleaning up in your own life.  Break out the dust mop and sweep out the cobwebs and organize yourself.  Do the small things.......  Well!  This principle is drilled into new cadets in the military.  There is a reason why we make our bed.  There is a reason we take the time to shine our shoes. 

In my contracting days, this attention to detail would always take the form of crown molding.  Most anyone can cut and run trim around windows, doors, and baseboards.  There is not a lot of talent required in your basic trim installation process.  Don’t get me wrong there are always tools and techniques to make the job easier (as you will read shortly) but a lot of that basic trim work doesn’t take a lot of real skill.  Crown molding, however, is quite different.  I have seen many talented craftsmen who struggled to install crown molding.  Especially stain grade crown.  Every cut and flaw can be seen and any mistake is typically quite noticeable to the naked eye.  So how do we develop that skill?  How do we hone our craft?

Creating Systems – Refine Your Process


The only way to do this is to put in the reps.  Over time, become known for what you do.  This will provide opportunities to give your work more meaning.  More significance. 


Look at Jordan Peterson.  He is so good at verbally eviscerating his liberal opponents because he understands their position better than they do.   He was a socialist at 14 he knows the literature.  So he can see the flaws.  He has come to a deeper understanding, having taken the time to think things through.  He understands all his positions.  What makes him so formidable is that he has spent so much time and effort sorting these things out.  He has spent decades just thinking. To understand the importance of the structure of reason.  Answering the why….  Answering to the subconscious.

As you repeat your business and hone your craft, it is critical that you not only get better but you need to document how you get better.  This is the first step in creating a system.  Taking notes and testing different ideas will create patterns that can be repeated and scaled.  Paying attention along the way regardless of the work will reveal shortcuts and systems that provide advantages to those who follow them.

In your business and personal life, what are some systems you can create what processes can you document to make it easier, scalable, or repeatable?


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Specialty Tools 


The right tools make the job faster, easier, more enjoyable, easily repeatable.  scalable.

As you master the craft –  you learn the techniques.  Tricks of the trade.  The right tool produces excellence easier. There is satisfaction in that excellence.  It feels good to do things right.  There is something to be said for doing things, the right way.  And your specialty tool may not be a tool at all.  But rather a gift, ability, or even an obstacle. 


A great example of this is an Electrician.  All electricians need to be a little OCD.  Systematically organizing these lines in typical OCD fashion not only keeps you safe.  It is pleasing to the eye and most importantly the proper way to do it.   


It helps when nurses and caregivers have a high degree of openness and empathy.  Engineers need to sci-fi nerds.  Because they pay attention to the details, the back story the irrelevant facts, the background noise.  The clues in the clutter.  The Easter Eggs can be found and should be planted there. 

The best and fastest way to do this is to have the right tool for the job.  At first, this was not necessary.  You weren't good enough to justify the tool.  But now you can use these specialty devices to make the job, easier, more fun, and master most tricks of the trade.

What are the specialty tools you need to become a master craftsman when it comes to your business, product, or relationships?  How can you apply your quirks or odd behavior to your benefit?

Product or Service You Offer

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Relationship or Personal Area of Your Life

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As you acquire these skills and tools, they will help make you an expert.  They will allow for excellence.  Continue to develop them and continue to look for new and better ways.  Technology is constantly evolving and there is no way to keep up with and the latest fads and gizmos.  Many will not be worth it anyway. 


As you become an expert you will know intuitively what tools and tricks will be beneficial.  Better yet, begin to look for ways you can develop your own specialty tools and unique skill sets that will further set you apart from your peers or competition.  You can also look for spin-off businesses or other opportunities to realize….

Now that you are a master craftsman, and the work is complete.  It is time for the final inspection. Your Certificate of Occupancy.

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