Is the Law of Averages Overrated?
“The harder you work, the luckier you’re going to be.” Although it might sound cheesy, the law of averages always makes it’s way through..provided there’s enough effort mustered towards the ideal that you follow.
Frank Bettger brilliantly illustrated this principle in his book “How I Raised Myself From Failure To Success In Selling”, when he gave the example of Babe Ruth, probably one of the most memorable baseball players of all times.
Babe managed to score in his 22-year sports career an astonishing number of home-runs: 714. More than impressive. But he held another record well hidden in the shadows of his success: 1330 strikeouts!
So what made him succeed, despite suffering over 1000 repeated defeats?
The lesson is pretty straightforward. It was his absolute confidence in the process. Babe saw every failure as an effort towards something bigger, namely his strive to become the greatest batter in the baseball history. It didn’t matter how many times did he miss the ball, as long as he got enough exposure to make his healthy swings.
No wonder he became on of the greatest showmen and best payed baseball players of his time.
But let’s be honest. You probably don’t posses Babe Ruth’s confidence.. not yet. So what do you do when you feel like you’ve invested enough effort into your goal and there’s still nothing showing up?
You start Testing. Exactly!! Testing with a capital T.
In fact, according to Einstein, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting to get different results. How crazy is that? Life is way more interesting if you start playing with variables.
You are searching for a job, have applied with the same resume at 20 different job ads and still no result? Change the approach. Get in contact with recruiters on LinkedIn, engage with members of the same industry group you are part of, or maybe play the long game by connecting with somebody who’s already working at the company you aspire to work for.
Your supplier doesn’t respond to your phone calls and all the other chains of your business are severely affected because of this? Get a new one. Or talk with your distributors to give you a little bit of space for a time frame of 1-2 weeks.
The right approach is everything. And it can only be discovered through, you guessed it, a looot of testing.
I’m an example too. As a novice blogger, I play with different parameters to see how my audience interacts with my content. Sometimes I write chunky texts, full of abstract things that get almost 0 readers, while other times I depict things in a shorter, more relaxed manner and get noticed from places I wouldn’t even expect. Sometimes I even add provoking questions, to stir up my followers and engage them in off-topic conversations to find out more about who they really are.
At the end of the day I make plenty of mistakes, but I get something more valuable than failure in itself: experience, which ultimately translates into confidence.
To come back to the initial question, the law of averages is not overrated. It might not work in the short term due to lack of enough exposure, but with enough effort the results are there. If ever stuck or in doubt, change the approach. But always trust the law of averages.