The 4-step process for becoming great

1. Begin.

2. Do the work.

3. Ship.

4. Repeat.

Almost nobody truly does all four. Those that do inevitably become great.


  1. Hah, nice Johnny, nice.

    I’d add a 5th step:

    5. Refine + repeat, consistently.

    Because I did the first 4 for years and years and years, and it resulted in nothing but mediocrity and ‘failure’.

    Shipping to deaf ears, or in a language people don’t really connect with still = shipping, just unpolished and unrefined, so step 5 is needed.

    I was learning and making refinements along the way though, and years later, they all came back in a big, refined, way.

    • Johnny says:

      Oh sure. I figure that’s implied, but yes, banging your head against the same wall over and over isn’t likely to get you anywhere.

      I wanted to keep it simple. So many people are looking for the magic pixie dust, but won’t get off their ass and take action… or will quit… or will create but then never put it out the door.

      • Haha! Well, it totally is, and you hit the nail on the head for sure 😀

        I figured if you’re going to tell someone “Begin”, then I’m gonig to tell them “Refine” 😀

  2. Also, I love the sexy bkg on your comments 😀

  3. Peter Zink says:

    This feels like a Seth Godin post, and not the typical intricate JBT motivational post, but I enjoyed it for its simplicity and truth nonetheless!

  4. Tony says:

    My mind is officially blown.

    The simplicity made my eyes bleed.

    If actually applied, these steps are probably all you’ll ever need.

    Thanks for the terrifying (an enlightening) experience!


  5. Fred Roeber says:

    Hey Johnny, Ben Rubin turned me on to your stuff. Always interesting. I’d like to add what I think is the most important step. Not sure if it’s the first or second but it’s “Pull together the right team”. Because success is all about the people you work with!

    • Johnny says:

      Hey Fred,

      Yeah, there’s a lot I could add to this to clarify, but I think that so many people obsess over all of the little details that they forget the basics. People worry about if they did this or that or whatever and then they don’t start… or they start but don’t do the work… or they never ship, or they give up after trying once.

      So, yeah, I agree, but…. action above all else. 🙂