Good enough, long enough

Doing good enough things long enough creates more-than-good-enough results. Choose incentives that'll keep you going.

Repetitions, Time in market, Consistency, Discipline, Showing up, Doing the work. Power Law: 80/20. Flywheels. Done > perfect.

I could think of more semantically proximate concepts, but that'll do. Writing all of these down felt boring, nearly pointless. Faded clichés? I guess I just wanted to dig through the initial crust of my idea. Peel off the rough and get to the juicy. I may edit it out.

I've been thinking about the returns of consistency, input frequency and output quality. I'm seeing it in my own life. Doing "good enough" things every week for a year—or some years—creates more than "good enough" opportunities or results.

Hundreds of good enough reps, basically steps towards (some) success:

A boatload of organic traffic/SERP rankings turns into brand recognition turns into a CTO with millions to spend on M&A finding us on Google.

Thousands of weight lifts turn into a healthier mindset, less back pains, more strength, more confidence.

Hours & hours of recorded conversations turn into a small, profitable business and a great network filled with talented folks.

I'm not great at writing, lifting weights, or discussing SaaS in front of mics and cams.

I'm good enough. Enough for compounding returns to kick in. For time to reveal opportunities.

I'm not even that "disciplined." I'm pretty lazy, actually. So, how could I keep doing these good enough things over long enough stretches?


Good AND bad ones.


Psst! When highlighting bad incentives in this article, I am making a judgment. They aren't bad because they aren't strong enough to motivate you. They're bad because they come from a place of fear, hurt, or vanity. Doesn't mean they won't push you forward. But you'll pay that debt eventually.

Bad incentives

I deeply wanted to prove to myself and others that I was good enough to write for a living. It was almost existential for my early identity and later anxiety. Writing and telling stories was something that always came easy. Other things, like math and manual work… not so much.

I was afraid I could not manage to make money doing most jobs. I told myself this awful story:

If you can't monetize writing, you'll be a total failure.

In reality, I wasn't that bad at those other things. I was just bad at dealing with adversity.

When things got hard, when I wasn't good from the start, I fled, dismissed, ignored, and abandoned. Writing also gave me a false sense of control over reality. Over the way people would see and understand me. God forbid someone didn't like me! Conflict and rejection equated to worthlessness in my youth. I made sense of that shit only five years ago in therapy.

Good ones

I deeply enjoyed writing. I admired writers, rappers, singer-songwriters, scenarists. How amazing is it that these guys can create worlds, bring tears, tell transforming tales, and inspire… all with a pen stroke?

From the mushy meatball inside our skull, electric signals fire up, and out of a mysterious evolutionary mechanism—language—a story appears.

From messy thoughts locked in a Pandora's box, a thread escapes. It first travels at the speed of speech, then the pace of print. Today, it rides invisible waves and lands in your pocket in milliseconds. That idea can spread, impact, and evolve in the wild. All because someone sat down and just wrote it.

I aspired to be one of those wordsmiths. To play the same infinite game. And I intentionally use the term 'game' here. Writing has always been fun to me. Sometimes painful, but almost always fun. I would be content to make a living doing this fun thing. I also had faith that I could get better at it. I wanted to.


Bad incentives

I took up weightlifting three years ago, after selling Snipcart. I had promised friends and family I'd get a personal trainer if we closed the sale, so I did.

By the time I started going to the gym, I was already 31, wiser than my budding 23-year-old writer self. Hence, there were fewer bad incentives motivating this sustained initiative.

The ones I can identify:

I knew I was significantly overweight — still am. If I could at least have some muscle growth, strength gains, and a better posture, maybe people would think of me as having a "strong build" vs. a "fat ass."

I was also afraid I'd sound like a lame liar to everyone. Again, other people's perception. Accountability has power. I recognize that. However, I still struggle to trace a clear frontier between accountability and external validation.

Finally, I was terrified if I kept smoking and eating junk without exercising, I'd straight up have a heart attack before 40.

I've since stopped smoking. Eating junk… well… it's on the roadmap™️

Good ones

→ Regaining a semblance of trust and pride in my body and physical capacity.

I used to be pretty fucking athletic in my youth. Naturally strong, agile, and fast. The "do a backflip" anywhere type of dude. Black belt, free skier, long-boarder.

When I broke a vertebra in Colorado and a collarbone in the Philippines, that changed. I lost faith in recovering fully, so I indulged for too many years in unhealthy behaviours.

After my personal trainer slowly but surely convinced me to bench press, back squat, and deadlift… my perspective changed. Maybe I wasn't that broken after all. Perhaps I could still impress and challenge myself physically.

Along with early strength & confidence gains came back pain relief and reduced stress levels. After coming out of seven months of negotiating remotely during Covid to sell Snipcart, I needed that badly.

When I hit the gym regularly, I could be a better presence for my people—partner, family, friends, and employees. I liked that version of myself.

→ Developing a good relationship with my coach

I could not have done it without my two coaches at the gym. Having someone who believes in you, wants the best for you, and shows up with you four times a week… was a game-changer for me. It makes "skipping" costlier—you don't want to throw money down the drain, sure, but you especially don't want to disappoint someone you've come to trust and respect.

Ah, almost forgot: having friends to fuck around with in the gym and laugh through sweat and reps… great motivator.

Launching a business

For context, I started SaaSpasse 15 months ago. It's a content platform and community for SaaS builders in the province of Quebec.

Bad incentives

I didn't co-found Snipcart. I joined as an intern six months after its launch. Sure, I eventually led the company. But that shitty feeling of "not really my company" and "not really an entrepreneur" never left.

I'd be lying if I said launching a business didn't scratch that itch.

Another bad one:

I didn't want other people to think (👈 the telltale again) I was just lucky with Snipcart's growth & exit. I knew I had been lucky. I didn't want people thinking I had been just lucky.

Good ones

I'm proud to say there are many good incentives behind launching SaaSpasse. So I'll just rapid-fire them all:

  • Get better at telling stories
  • Meet fascinating founders & tech professionals
  • Explore new business models (media)
  • Explore new content formats (podcast, events)
  • Learn more startup tactics & strategies
  • Prove to myself I can take some risks
  • Prove to myself I can deal with some adversity
  • Enhance my network drastically
  • Give back to my community by lifting it up
  • Open up richer opportunities for future projects


Lucky enough

Writing this piece without a word on luck would feel hypocritical at best.

I have a pet peeve about entrepreneurs who claim they completely deserve their success. They mistake reality for meritocracy. This is not the case. If you look closely or far enough, we are all beneficiaries of luck.

It may sound harsh to some, but I'm saying this with love. Yes, even if you're the hardest-working, most talented genius we've seen in decades. Even you have tasted a few drops of luck:

  • Access to a commercially viable Internet
  • Access to a global network of shipping
  • Being born a white occidental male
  • Being born in a country with good education and social nets
  • Not being raised poor
  • Being born in a time with freedom of speech and self-expression
  • Being born in a time where entrepreneurship is more accessible than ever
  • Not getting hit by the bus this morning…

I mean, for Christ's sake, the list goes on forever. Your co-founder isn't a back-stabbing son of a bitch. Your board didn't try to railroad you. Your employees didn't cancel you. Your market wasn't legislated to death. Your industry wasn't destroyed by a pandemic. Your data wasn't ransomwared.

So yeah, you are lucky. We all are.

The best we can do is recognize when we're especially lucky and act on it. The best entrepreneurs do this. They ride waves of timing and dive through windows of opportunity. And yes, that takes talent, but luck, too.

Talent & time increase your exposure surface to luck.

Maybe the title should be:

→ Good enough, long enough, lucky enough

Keep going


→ Good enough repetitions * Long enough timeframes = More-than-good-enough results

Know thyself is a prerogative for this formula. Prompts:

What are you good at?
What do you really want to become good at?
What type of distance eater are you — sprinter, jogger, walker?
Why are you doing this?
What feeling, result, or purpose is part of your equation?

Go deeper than bullets on a pitch deck.

(The only counter-advice to this is: do not make "your self" an over-labelled, rigid identity. You're allowed to evolve and surprise yourself.)

Successful entrepreneurs possess self-awareness. It allows them to double down on strengths and hire for blindspots.

I should ask more about real, unfiltered incentives on the pod. Real Why's, not PR Why's. I don't know. Not everyone's comfortable with too much transparency.

So go ahead. Find the triggers that will motivate you to do something good enough for long enough.

If you can manage to do that, you'll eventually get lucky enough to catch some success.

And then do it again 💪

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