14 April 2015
I’ve often wondered whether it is possible to become great at absolutely anything. At first glance it might seem highly improbable and you could argue that we are all gifted in certain areas and deficient in others. However, having set up an internet hosting business with absolutely no knowledge of the industry, I would encourage you to consider this possibility more closely.
As a boy, my passion was in music, but it was practice – rehearsing over and over again – that got me a scholarship to Durham Chorister School. Since then, I have taken on a number of endeavours, some more successfully than others, but when I have felt passionately about them, I have somehow managed to practice my way to success. Don’t get me wrong, there have been plenty of failures and frustrations along the way, but with the right guidance and a firm goal in mind, you can climb that steep slope towards success.
I remember when we first got our film team at UKFast and the look on Tristan’s face when he realised how uncomfortable I was in front of the camera. It was one of those looks that said, “I think this might take a while…” He wasn’t wrong. It took hours of practice talking about topics I felt passionately about with a video camera in front of me, and then sitting with headphones and listening back. I actually watched one of them back and felt pleasantly surprised to find there weren’t as many ‘umms’ as I thought there would be. Years later I discovered Tristan had edited them out. Thanks Tristan!
It’s also worth pointing out that, whilst we’ve all heard of the saying ‘practice makes perfect’ it’s also true that ‘practice makes permanent’. For this reason, it is so important to make sure you learn from the best in your field if you want to reach the next level. If you make mistakes early on and don’t receive any advice from someone more experienced and successful than you, those errors will be much harder to correct further down the line.
Would UKFast be at the point it is today if we hadn’t sought to learn from businesses that were much better than us? Probably not. Has it taken plenty of practice to get to this stage? Absolutely! Whether you’re an elite athlete or an entrepreneur, persistent practice pays off.