March 13, 2023

Whatever we’re about to do has already be done by somebody


In the early years of the space program, one of the hardest parts about being an astronaut must have been the lack of precedent.

Imagine you were a crew member and you wanted to perform tasks like maneuvering the satellite once in orbit, or treating an someone blood clot while still on board.

It’s not like there was an extensive playbook. There was no operational record where astronauts could see how previous occurrences were handled over the years.

Everything was a first. The space workplace was fresh powder as far as the eye could see.

Thankfully, that’s no longer the case. For the vast majority of the tasks we need to do for our jobs, odds are, somebody somewhere has already done them successfully. And they’ve most likely documented it. Maybe even tested it. All we have to do is follow their recipe, make the necessary tweaks for our unique situation, and execute.

Our work no longer solely relies less on training, skill and originality, and more about research, organization an agency.

This is ultimately a good thing. Because it means we no longer have to waste our energy on administrative, operational and technical issues. We can save our effort for the more valuable work like creating and connecting.

My startup once launched a series of email drip campaigns to reengage inactive prospects and sign up new customers. Now, our marketing team had never tried a tactic like this before, so naturally, we were a bit overwhelmed.

Where do we even start? We have fifteen thousand email addresses, so what are we supposed to do with them?

But we quickly learned that our problem was not unique, and that thousands of other companies had been in our shoes before. After doing some basic research, we discovered a plethora of software tutorials, messaging templates, design examples, artificial intelligence chat bots, and instructional videos.

Within minutes, we had an extensive playbook to follow. Our overwhelm faded like a fart in the wind. Setting up the email campaigns was easier than we thought. Which meant we could focused the majority of our energy on the phone with prospects and running demos to close deals.

Can you imagine how differently the space program would have gone if the crew members simply googled the phrase, how to land on the moon?

It gives new meaning to the old expression, it’s not rocket science.

That’s what we have to remember about our work. It’s not like we’re exploring the frontiers of some faraway planet. We’re not starting from scratch here. Whatever we’re about to do has already be done by somebody. T

he giant leaps for mankind have already been taken, so all we have to do is focus on those small steps. We no longer have to be technically proficient, professionally certified and massively trained like we used to be.

What’s going to launch us ideas into the sky will be our ability to take agency, do research, stay organized and manage our energy so that we’re focusing on the work that with the highest impact.

Houston may have a problem, but the world has tens of thousands of solutions waiting to be employed.

Three, two one, liftoff.

Happy precedent’s day.

What if you were never starting from scratch?