The Better You Get, The Harder it is to Improve, and the Harder it is To See You’ve Improved

I studied piano for 10 years, up through Grade 8 piano, and Grade 2 musical theory with The Royal Conservatory.

In the beginning, progress was rapid, it would take less than a year to progress a grade level. By the end, progress was much slower, and it took me between 1-1.2 and 2 years to complete Grade 8.

The slow progress was frustrating, especially compared to the earlier, faster progress. That made it important to get more granular in tracking progress. I had to note that I was playing more complex pieces, and that because each grade contained more pieces, it was unreasonable to expect the same rate of progress through the grades. Instead, it was better to note how frequently I was able to finish an individual piece.

Now, I find I’m in the same position in my business.

When I was starting out, it was easy to see how quickly I was learning and applying new skills, but now, progress is incremental. In the beginning it’s easy to see how frequently you’re able to research, write and publish a piece.

Now, publishing daily, it’s harder. I have to look at the quality of the work, which is subjective. I have to look to:

  • how fast I can get it written, edited and published.
  • how much better the first draft is
  • how much less editing is required before hitting “publish”

Going deeper, are my headlines improving? How do you tell?

Are my videos getting better? How do you tell?

It’s easy to think you’ve stalled out, that progress has ended. The key is to trust the process, to believe that doing it every day will yield incremental improvements that, added up over time, will lead to quantum leaps of progress.