Performance is the only thing that counts.

“I think it’s a fallacy that the harder you practice the better you get. You only get better by playing.”

—Buddy Rich

For some would-be Authorities, it’s time to stop practicing and start performing.

Nobody’s embarrassed at practice, but when it’s time to perform, they can come up short in front of everyone. And that’s no fun. 

So they conclude that maybe it’s better to just stay in the shadows. Perpetually practice, train, rehearse. Get stuck “getting ready to get ready.” Better design my own business cards, because money’s tight, and that takes two days.

Sure, you need to train. An Authority depends on deep, wide, and fresh input. But it’s all for naught if you don’t get in the arena and perform.

The problem with performing is you, and the world, get to see how good you really are. Maybe you’re not really cut out for this stuff.

That’s how hope can die. Then what? Why take the chance?

Because that’s how you get in the Hall of Fame. That’s how you get the good gigs. That’s how you get paid. It’s how you get attention — whether you think you want it or not.

Don’t worry about getting better — it will happen, because that’s what the stress test of performance produces. That pressure is what you can’t reproduce in practice, and it’s what makes the majority of the difference.