The Push-Up Paradox

I’m overweight and not in a good way. I’m skinny fat. 

All of the fat is basically in my mid-section and if you follow any health expert they’ll tell you that’s the worst place to have it.

It’s been like this for about 4 or 5 years and it needs to change.

The main problem is that I don’t move enough anymore. At least not in a significant way that has an impact on things. So what I need to do more of is work out.

And this is where the Push-up Paradox ALWAYS kicks my ass. If you haven’t heard of this before it’s because I just made it up this morning. I hope I’m the first one to come up with this.

Anyways, here is how it works.

You’re weak, overweight, and have no muscles. You’re told push-ups are one of the best exercises you can do because they work so many muscles.

So you try to do a push-up and it sucks. It hurts. You get zero, one, or maybe a couple knocked out.

And that’s it.

You’re done for the day.

But what in the hell are 2 push-ups a day going to do for you? It feels absolutely pointless to do any tomorrow.

You need stronger muscles to lift your weight, but getting those stronger muscles also means you’ll lose the weight which will make the push-ups easier.

And that’s the paradox.

The stuff you think you need right now isn’t available to you and when it is available, the hard thing is no longer hard.

It’s the same with our businesses.

Let’s say you want to conquer YouTube. So you sit down, record a video, and it’s not great.

Also, nobody watches it.

Even worse, it took you FOREVER to do the video.

So now you’re telling yourself that only if you could get good at editing video then everything else would be easier.

If only you had muscles then those push-ups would be easier.

You made a promise to yourself that you would do push-ups for 10 days straight. 10 days isn’t a long time and it takes you seconds to do the push-ups since you can’t do that many.

After the 10 days, you’re able to do 7 solid push-ups. That still isn’t a lot, but considering that you started the journey doing 1 push-up that’s a massive improvement. 

So you figure another 10 days won’t hurt. Now you’re able to do 15 push-ups.

Another 10 days…30 push-ups.

And that’s the tough part of all of this. In the moment, it never seems good enough. It doesn’t seem like it will have any impact.

30 days of recording videos and even though a ton of people aren’t watching them, you’re 1000% faster with video editing. So much so that now you can focus on other aspects of video creation.

Now that you can do 30 push-ups you decide to incorporate pull-ups.

This is the part that I simply can’t teach you or help you with. Scratch that, I have an idea, but I’ll get to that in a second.

I don’t have shortcuts for you to do things long enough that they are easy. When you do them and people on the outside wonder how in the hell you’re so good at it.

When I started back on Twitter in April I made it a point to talk to Creators with little to no audience. I wanted to grow along with them. I didn’t tell them that, but it felt like we were all showing up together each day and doing our push-ups.

But just 3 months later a lot of those people are no longer around. My guess is that being able to do one more push-up a day wasn’t good enough for them.

And I get that, but I also know that push-ups don’t work that way. For a while, you won’t be able to do an extra push-up a day. Then you will. And then something magical happens. You’ll be able to do 5 more push-ups than the day before. 10, 20, 30, etc.

Of course, this only works if you have good form. Doing videos just to do them won’t help you much if you aren’t looking at your form (whatever the hell that equates to with video).

You’re frustrated because you can’t do all of the push-ups you want that will produce the body you desire. But you can’t get the body you desire if you give up on doing the push-ups.

You thought you needed muscles to get to where you wanted, but in reality, you simply needed time and the right movement.

And that’s how business is.

Every single day, doing your push-ups using good form, and getting just a tiny bit better. It almost never feels like progress, but progress is happening below the surface. It’s only much later that our friends note that we look different.

But it’s tough getting to that point…

I promise you that I’m really trying my best not be public enemy #1 in this space but it’s tough. I’m an anti-hero.

There is a writing program that some of you might’ve been a part of. It’s pretty big. I’m part of their mailing list because I always like to see what marketing people are doing.

They have a new cohort coming up and the doors closed yesterday. But today, I received that magical email saying they are going to keep the doors open because SO many people are asking for it.

I know this game. I’ve seen it enough.

So I was curious if this was the first time they’ve done this or not and I searched my inbox. It looks like that almost every single time they do a cohort, they send some variation of this email to their list.

It’s manipulative and it’s the type of marketing that I’m hoping to get more people away from.

So this experience mixed with the Push-ups Paradox has driven me to try something.

I’m going to host a Challenge for you. I’m calling it 30 x Creativity I. The whole goal is to get you to create meaningful content for 30 days straight (push-ups every single day), but here’s the kicker.

I’m going to give you a prompt and your content has to be around that prompt. This is meant to exercise those creative muscles and ensure that you aren’t stuck trying to figure out what to create.

I don’t care if it’s Twitter, Threads, LinkedIn, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, blogging, or email. This is about content creation that pushes you to better yourself.

And it’s completely FREE. No strings attached.

If this sounds like something you want to be a part of then all you have to do is click the link below to join. The fun begins this Friday.

I want in on this challenge!

Before you click the link let me suggest something to you. Take a step back and let the dopamine calm down. Make sure you WANT to do this for yourself and understand why you want to do it. Because the disappointment in not completing the Challenge will be more than any rush you get now from the idea of joining it.

I hope to see you on the other side.

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