Published by Nick Welch on

The Internet is filled with steps. And Rules. And guides. But what good is any of it if your can’t apply them? If you’re anything like me,  then you’re intimidated by the daunting amount of work that these lists purport and the potential for failure that comes with them. Or maybe you’re trying to do them all and can’t keep them straight. You need a winning strategy to apply these winning strategies.

The pros seem to have it together. A blog post, a podcast interview, a self-help ebook, a new fiction novel on top of a trip to Abu Dhabi. (I’m talking about you, Joanna Penn. Oop, there’s an email about her newest podcast now.) I mean, how do they do it all? I can barely keep track of which button is for copying to the clipboard and which button is for pasting in the Word app.

Let me tell you the story of a dude. One of the most get things doney-est guys of all time. Of course,  I speak of Ben Franklin. BFranks was one of the founding father’s of a little thing called the U.S. of Kicking A.  Per Wikipedia: “A renowned polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat.” Well. Crap. Set the bar high much?

On the plus side, that whole key and kite business was determined to be total junk by Mythbusters. The only message anyone is sending by telling that story is that major scientific breakthroughs should be achieved by risking your life. It’s only fun if it’s truly risky and it’s only risky if you’ve got something to lose. Like bladder control.  Am I right?

Here’s another crazy thing Ben did that you may or may not have heard of: The Thirteen (Moral) Virtues. Not only did he want to get a lot of crap done, he wanted to be a straight up guy while doing it. I won’t go into what the virtues were, you’ve got Google for heaven’s sake. But what I do want to talk about is how he intended to achieve these goals. It’s an age-old process called One At A Freaking Time.

First, Ben created a daily chart of all the virtues to keep track of when he’d been a total tool bag. Then he set about working on one virtue each week. If he kept his chart clear of the first virtue, (noting but ignoring his failures at the rest) then he moved on to stacking the next virtue on the next week. His final goal was, of course, to eventually stack them all together and become the nicest guy in America. It kind of explains why he went on so few dates.

The important part is that it’s a template for implementing those pesky 73 steps to success. You probably don’t need a chart, maybe just a list. So don’t let that intimidate you. The important part is that you break down your goals into bite-size chunks and chew up one each week until you have a mouthful of winning. Make it work for you. Start small, win big. That’s what I always say.

Or at least, it’s what I’m going to start saying now.

This has been a test of the Emergency Havoc System. Had it not been a test, I would have followed it by Unleashing Havoc on your buttinski. For now, practice Unleashing your own Havoc at home in front of the mirror. And maybe throw me a comment in that box down hither.



Nick Welch

Nick is loudmouthed storm of havoc working on a number of projects that will see the light of day sooner or later. In the meantime, he's writing motivational and inspirational articles for sequential artists and writers.

1 Comment

THE STARTUP ARTIST – 005 – TOOLS DON’T MAKE THE MASTERPIECE, YOU DO! · September 22, 2016 at 7:14 pm

[…] be a “list maker”. This also explains my satirical post from a couple weeks ago: “ACHIEVING YOUR GOALS IN 73 EASY STEPS“. Which you should read if you haven’t already. <(That was a hint that you should go […]

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