Tools vs Skills – Why Your Gear Doesn’t Matter!

Stephen King is asked all the time what kind of pencil he uses when he writes. In fact this has gone so far, that apparently he refuses to answer these sorts of questions in his talks. This is the same as asking an artist what brushes they use or a musician what guitar they play.

Show Notes

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And the follow-up questions are usually similar to, "well, what BRAND of pencil?" and "what brand of brushes?" "what kind of guitar strings?"...this sort of stuff. And these kinds of questions are very interesting because they point to a deeper issue:

These sorts of questions suggest that if we could just find out what they use, what brand, what sharp they keep their pencil -- the whole nine yards! -- then we think we can be just as good as them...

...that if we use what they use, we can get the same results and be just as good as them. Sounds pretty ridiculous when it's stated out loud, doesn't it? This is because our brains are crazy and have no idea how the real world actually works!

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So thinking that we can be just as good as them if we just had the same tools is pretty silly. If all it took was having the same tools, the same gear, the same equipment...then we could just "buy" the same results, right? If only it were that easy!

In reality, the actual tools and gear that people use has next to nothing to do with how their work turns out. In other words, beyond a certain very low threshold of quality, the tools don't contribute to the end result. Said even simpler, tools don't matter.

So the tools you use in your online business, whatever that might be, don't matter a whole lot. You can't buy skill and you can't buy results. That stuff only comes with time and effort.

Really, they're just tools. What really matters is the work you do with the tools you have. Tools make doing your work easier for sure. Better tools have more features or provide better quality that allows you to work faster and more efficiently...but only to a point.

Very quickly, the features and the quality drops off. After that, it turns in to brand loyalty, consumerism, gear snobbery, and luxury branding. This is because all of this is governed by The Law of Diminishing Returns. Let me explain:

The difference between the lowest quality option and the next step up is pretty significant. For example -- and I'm just making these numbers up...adjust these for more expensive products like laptops or other gear you might need -- So for example, compare a low-cost $100 option to a $200 option.

Here, the price hasn't gone up that much (only $100), but the quality and the features goes way up. The next step up is usually also pretty significant...from say $300 to $900. Again, price has gone up (this time a little more), but the quality and the features have gone way up.

But interestingly, beyond a certain threshold, the quality of the product -- that is, the VALUE you're actually getting for your money -- slows down. In other words, there's less difference in quality and you get less value for money...while the price goes way, way up.

As the price for upgrades go higher and higher, you get less and less value for your money. As you spend more, you get less and less in return. The more money you spend, the lower your ROI and the fewer features you get.

And interestingly, this model applies to everything from cars and cookware and other consumer goods to the sorts of tools and gear you'll use in your online business: Computers, cameras, and other tools, services, and gear you'll use.

You know, if I told you about the gear I use here with Ten Ton and how old it is, you'd be surprised! Gear snobs would laugh at me while real go-getters who want to minimize costs might be inspired, who knows!

So questions that are much better to ask than "what kind of pencil do you use" or "what brand of guitar strings do you play" is "WHY do you write that way," or "WHY do you play that way" or "what knowledge did you need in order to do that?"

This is because really great results are produced not by gear and tools, but by skill, work ethic, and solid habits. Amazing things always happen through deliberate practice and consistent actions done over and over. That's how real results are produced.

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Geoff Blake, Ten Ton Online

Hey there, I’m Geoff! Business, marketing, and the web can seem like a tangled, confusing mess, right? Well if you wanna get clear, straight info on all this stuff (no gimmicks or hypey nonsense)...then you're definitely in the right spot! Start here (free!)