At every stage of their journey, the hero of a story is faced with difficult choices — decisions that will shape their destiny.
Will they choose to grow, to ascend to new heights? Or will they stay stuck, circling the vortex of their current limitations?
Our avatar, Larry, is stuck.
He believes opportunities are singular events — where results are, at best, like the brief report of a firework blast.
When it comes to evolving his website, he deems it a task too tedious, too insignificant. He fails to grasp the transformative power of doing something (like this), and doing it well.
Larry doesn’t yet understand how our message applies to him.
He’s too caught up in his frantic chase for growth-hacks, trending tactics, and get-rich-quick schemes.
“Knowledge is only potential power. It becomes power if and when it is organized into definite plans of action and directed at a definite end.”
— Napoleon Hill
Sadly, Larry remains blind to that truth.
Perpetually surface-skimming, Larry dabbles in something for a moment, only to discard it when instant gratification eludes him. At the end of each loop, he jumps onto the next ‘big thing’, leaving a trail so erratic, it could make your head spin.
But, in Larry’s mind, each new “solution” is a beacon of hope.
The big reset button in his never-ending quest for a new life.
The tragedy is: these promises of secret solutions are little more than clever illusions built up by gurus (charlatans), and Larry falls for them every time.
They (the gurus) may sell a shitty product, but, they still know Larry better than he knows himself.
And they’re constantly one step ahead of him…
They write copy specifically for Larry.
Words designed to act like that light on the head of an Angler.
The allure of that shining beacon in the lonely, intimidating darkness of entrepreneurship is irresistible for Larry.
What happens next is inevitable, and predictable.
Trapped in a world of confusion and frustration, Larry gravitates towards any glimmer of hope he sees.
The trouble is, some lights are deadly…
Like most, Larry won’t survive.
But not all heroes share that fate.
Jasper is different.
He sees the game.
He knows that business-building is an process, not an event.
He embraces the fact that growth happens in small, constant, and outright relentless increments.
He operates in nimble iterations and relentlessly fails forward into his inevitable and undeniable success.
Jasper’s process isn’t revolutionary, it is evolutionary.
He builds evolution into his system from day one, because he understands how to leverage lean feedback loops to his benefit.
Jasper doesn’t stop, even if he thinks he has something working well. Once one flywheel runs effectively, he builds another, and another, and another — compounding his output.
Unlike Larry, who spends all his resources building his one Big Idea (before validating it), Jasper uses quick, small-scale, budget-friendly tests, to help his assets evolve in predictable, reliable, profitable directions.
Jasper is willing to invest his own time and money. He doesn’t want to outsource unless he has to, and he doesn’t want to rely on investors. He wants his business to pay for its own growth.
He’s frugal, not cheap.
He doesn’t lure talent with rev-share promises.
He doesn’t waste money chasing shiny objects.
He avoids the dazzle of quick fixes, choosing instead to lay deep foundations, working from First Principles rather than an amalgamation of borrowed tactics.
Jasper chooses to show up (every day) and do the hard work.
Because he understands that success requires discipline.
Sure, on a long enough timeline, Larry might get lucky and earn himself a fortune. After all, a broken clock is right twice a day.
Yet, even if he does earn that payday, there’s no guarantee that Larry can be in the right place, at the right time, again.
Because Larry built on that shaky “foundation” called luck — any brief success becomes an unrepeatable flash in the pan, and eventually his “business” crashes.
He won’t be able to do it again, because he never really knew how to do it in the first place. He got lucky.
Luck isn’t a viable business model.
If Jasper’s business is like a castle, the value he provides to his pocket of people is like a moat surrounding and protecting that castle, keeping it safe from invaders (competitors).
Over time, this moat deepens, bolstered by the compounding force of earned trust and attention.
Jasper’s audience can’t imagine a world without his work.
Larry, on the other hand, is an opportunity-seeker, forever hunting for magic bullets. Fickle. Scattered.
He’ll take whatever short-sighted wins he can get his hungry hands on in the least amount of time.
His ego rules him.
Jasper seeks a deeper, richer life. His business isn’t about bragging rights or material wealth.
He doesn’t pose next to Lambos for social media clout.
For Jasper, it’s about meaningful work and financial freedom.
Quality over quantity.
Because he values making his business better, not bigger.
Jasper wants a life where he gets to do meaningful work, and take a vacation without checking his bank balance first.
He actively chooses to keep his company intentionally small (whether that means a team of fifty, or a team of one), because he believes staying small is key to serving and mattering in the noise, distraction, and sameness of the modern world.
Larry is constantly trapped in thinking too big.
He’s stuck in a cycle of information hoarding, rarely putting anything into practice, and thinking “someday” he’ll eventually crack “the big secret.”
Like an addiction, he buys marketing products and courses on tactics constantly, cobbling them into some horrific franken-solution (which of course doesn’t produce results), because he doesn’t understand what he’s attempting, so…
Rather than think for himself, Larry seeks easy solutions and fool-proof systems, hoping to offload responsibility onto others.
Jasper chooses the road less traveled.
The unscripted path.
He knows there’s no such thing as a perfect system so he doesn’t waste time searching for it.
Instead, Jasper relies on strategic flexibility, creating his best work, and making small, carefully-measured bets along the way.
He doesn’t know exactly how he’ll get where he aims to go, but Jasper trusts in his process.
And he refuses to believe his fate is set in stone.
But where does that leave Larry?
And what does any of this mean for the rest of us?