Enthusiasm Matters More Than Excellence

Silhouette of a rooster demonstrating excellence by crowing at sunrise.

My best friend just moved to the central valley of CA, to a little corner where three different farms meet.

One of the neighbors has a rooster named Beethoven. Beethoven was not there the day God handed out operating instructions.

Beethoven has not—ever—understood the assignment. In Beethoven’s case, the rooster does not crow at midnight. . . or at dawn, which are the only two hours a day a rooster is legally allowed to crow. Beethoven’s preferred business hours are any time between 3 am and 2 pm. (Just not dawn. Never dawn). 

My best friend has gotten used to it—out of necessity. But I wake up at indecent hours whenever I visit, and always with an intense craving for chicken. 

Despite this fellow’s ineptitude for crowing at actual dawn, he is so busy the rest of the day! He salutes and caterwauls and peacocks like the certified professional rooster that he is, with no regard for the fact that he’s missed the target on the single thing that was expected out of him in life. 

But here’s the reason you should care about this. 

Beethoven is famous. 

Shortly after my best friend moved into the neighborhood, he mentioned in passing “the rooster with the broken brain” to a coworker, and they said, “I know that rooster! He belongs to the couple who own the local bakery.”

The local bakery, incidentally, with the most mouthwatering sourdough that makes my gluten-intolerant little heart explode. 

It turns out Beethoven has earned such infamy that he is the logo for the bakery. Beethoven is a household name, it seems. 

When B told me this, I immediately thought: confidence is more important than competence! Here’s proof! And that means enthusiasm matters more than excellence or perfection. In Beethoven’s case, it matters more than even being good. Because what he lacks in accuracy, he makes up for in bravado. And that has made him memorable.

I often encourage other creators to “start ugly” and “take messy action.” Today, I’m doubling down on that and telling you that enthusiasm is more important than looking professional. 

Ideally, of course, you’d have a really solid blend of both. But if you’re excited about what you have to share with the world, and the “looking professional” piece is holding you back from doing it, this is my invitation to make like Beethoven and shout about your thing from the rooftops.

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