Repetition is the key to success

Tomorrow morning, my son and I will head up to Blood Mountain with his Boy Scout Troop to do the annual rain or shine cold or warm day hike. As we planned and gathered our gear for this outing, I recalled all the things we do again and again, and why we do them.

  1. We practice a sport or music maybe every day to get better at it, and maybe even make a living at it. I remember juggling my soccer ball until my thighs bled when I was 14. That repetition gave me confidence.
  2. We repeat something that we are trying to learn over and over until we get it right. The example at the top of my mind is teaching a class, like the Google Analytics Certification Bootcamp I’m leading on January 15th. The first time was good, but not great. My aim is to make the second time great and then build upon that.
  3. We exercise on a regular basis to build stamina, stay healthy, and change our bodies, which can then change our lives. This time of year is always a popular time to consider and actually do something about our health.
  4. Traditions like this Blood Mountain hike are repeated for the joy of doing something with the same group of people year in and year out, and finding the new adventure in each time. Last year, it was 40 degrees, raining, and windy. Tomorrow looks to be in the 30s and maybe sunny. We might get to see the view from the top, which our Scout Master has never seen in 7 years of doing this hike.
  5. We repeat the customer acquisition and retention processes at startups in order to turn startups into businesses. That’s the main difference between a startup and a business: a business has repeatable processes, whereas a startup is an experiment machine in search of those repeatable processes.
  6. We repeat meetings (check-ins, standups, or 1-on-1s) to track progress and build relationships. For more on how this works, read Rivalry’s blog on weekly 1-on-1 meetings.


Those are just a few examples of things we repeat regularly for very different reasons. Just like the things we do as families and friends over the holidays, we set schedules to the things we repeat, and that builds a process, which creates a repeatable, scalable system that can be passed down from entrepreneur to manager and parents to children.

What are your traditions and other things that you do repetitively?

What do you think about that?

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