How I learned success from a heart-attack snack

I am a horrible cook.

I am limited to a few key meals and my love of those meals means that, unless it’s a special occasion or a grill is present, I’m not experimenting. Breakfast food, ham sammichs, and burritos – with a healthy dose of various fruits – and I’m happy. So, when I speak of cooking, I’m speaking from a very direct point of view…unlike my mom, who could feed an army with 4 hours notice with gourmet 4 course meals.

I generally turn everything into a teachable moment if I can – I like to learn from life, from thing that happen to me and to others. So, when recently I got a craving for a specialty a friend of mine makes (I call it the ‘cholesterball’).  As you can see – it’s a feat of bad health creation.  When I tagged this for categories I almost felt bad for tagging it ‘health’.

A post shared by Matt Powell (@iammattpowell) on

Look at that thing – it should be shared by 4 people, of perfect health, in a lab.  It’s a heart attack in a ball.  Making that took me two attempts.  The first attempt I was focused on how I wanted it to be in the end, I kept shaping, molding, doing what I could to get it right.  The second, I stopped trying to do the whole thing right and made focus on every section of the recipe – perfecting it, making it perfect.

What’s the old saying, only perfect practice makes perfect?

Focusing on the end-goal isn’t the same as focusing on getting the end-goal done.  It’s easy to confuse the end goal for the process and this is where most people fall short in most goals and plans they create.   So, let me put this plainly – put the end goal aside, put it in a box, in the closet.  It means nothing.

Focus, day by day, hour by hour, focus on the tasks that build the end goal.  Task by task – they are the end goal.

There is no differentiating them.

You can’t build a cake without ingredients – when you decide to do something, see each time you do a small piece as achieving the end result.  If you want to buy a car, don’t focus on the car, focus on saving the money – dime and penny by dollar by bitcoin.  Without those, every cent, the ownership of the car doesn’t exist.

I see this often in business – people get so tired up in winning the job and the politics of the job they forget to do their submittals.  They get wrapped around the project, not the project details.

When I built the cholesterball, the first time I didn’t get each segment right – the egg wasn’t perfect, so when I cooked the whole thing, it collapsed.  That small part – cold water with a pinch of salt, 12 minutes on boil – it was the cholesterball.  But the first time I did 8 minutes and lukewarm water.  Because, who cares, right?

I probably should – look at that thing, anything that stops it from completion is probably a good thing.  But, still…

Every task you do is the end goal itself.  Don’t forget this – make those perfect, the end goal will be perfect.


Quick Shop