Secret recipes

Sometimes I wonder why so many people decide to share their secret sauce online. Why should they give away what made them and their organisations successful, particularly if they are still in business? Why not keeping it all for themselves, compounding edge on competitors and alternatives?

Then I immediately realize, of course they do.

They know that 99.9% of the people that will consume their content will do absolutely nothing about it. Even when you read that to be rich there are three things you totally have to do, or that to get more leads you need to follow a four-step strategy (success guaranteed!), or that the future of work demands you to most definitely have these ten characteristics, getting to implement that requires an effort that the vast majority of people are simply not ready to put in. An Italian saying goes something like “there’s a whole sea between saying and doing”, and that is the case here. Just because you know something, even if it probably would benefit you, does not mean you are capable of applying that and make of it an habit.

The remaining 1% also do not represent a danger for those who share. The power of context, timing, luck have to be factored in the recipe, and that is something nobody can replicate. Looking back at what happened in the past and pinpoint some key success factors is easy. A lot more challenging is to be at point zero and figure out how to proceed from there towards success.

The point, I guess, is that if you have something to share, something that people might find valuable, something that might help somebody somewhere, go ahead and share away. Even your most secret ingredients are safe in plain sight.

And if you are one of the consumers of content, be mindful that things that are shared are usually a sensible starting point, but to make them work for you it’s not enough to put in the work, you’ll also have to figure out how to make them work for you.

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