Featured Posts

I don't want to settle, do you? One of the main reasons I decided to create this blog was because I wanted to share my thoughts, struggles, losses and victories on following through with others. I could...


Coloring outside the lines I have three beautiful goddaughters who are wise beyond their 4 years. Ok, so it is possible that I may be a tad biased, but whenever I get to spend time with them they inevitably...


My wife married an athlete, but now she's stuck with... What is it about hitting 30 that changes so much? In my 20s it was harder to talk myself into taking a day off from working out than it was to talk myself into going to...


What if I'm not an Outlier? In my constant quest to figure out the "It Factor" that true follow-throughers have enabling them to actually achieve the goals they set out to accomplish I'm always looking...


I want to be a follow-througher! We’ve all done it. We’ve all seen a movie, heard a song, seen an ad, watched a show, read an article, read a book, tried a product…. we’ve all seen or used something...


Follow Throughers Rss

What if I’m not an Outlier?

Posted on : 10-18-2010 | By : Adam Piotrowski | In : Books, Entrepreneurship

Tags: , ,


In my constant quest to figure out the “It Factor” that true follow-throughers have enabling them to actually achieve the goals they set out to accomplish I’m always looking for a good read on the subject.  There’s no better way than studying some real life examples, no?

My latest read was Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers.
If you haven’t read it, you should. It’s definitely an interesting read. Essentially, the book is a study about the patterns that shape greatly successful people (Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, pro athletes, etc). Our common thought is that greatest comes from hardwork and determination. That’s the true American ideology, no? That you can achieve anything you want as long as you’re willing to put in the work to get there.

Gladwell’s argument is that this is not the case. True, it takes hardwork, but his point is that ultimately, the underlying reason for most success stories is a combination of cultural influences and timing. I’m not going to spoil the book for you by going into it all, but I will say that I finished the book and one of my first thoughts was this:

What if I’m not an outlier?
What if the timing of when I was born didn’t coincide with the optimal timing for me to be successful in the things I really want to do?

He does provide a lot of great examples to support the arguments he presents. But like any study, it’s definitely easier to present your theory favorably if you only give attention to the examples that support your idea. Granted Bill Gates is a great example to support your idea, as are the others he presents. Yet I find it hard to believe that there aren’t a good amount of examples of people without the ideal cultural or timing factors that prove those aren’t the only cases.

Likewise, what about all the people who also grew up at the same time and had the same or similar opportunities and cultural upbringing of those highly successful people? Opportunities are never afforded to just one individual, but perhaps only one individual capitalizes on a given opportunity. That’s where I think the follow-through factor comes into play. I have to believe that. If not then wouldn’t we become victims of our own circumstances?

There is no doubt that the timing of our birth and the culture in which we grow up as a profound impact on the opportunities we get and the individuals we become. We are definitely products of our environment in many aspects, but do we not have more control over our futures than Outliers may suggest?

I’d like to think so.

Talk Is cheap

Posted on : 10-11-2010 | By : Adam Piotrowski | In : Books, Change


There’s something about the act of writing something down that just makes it more real, if that makes sense. We can tell ourselves, or others for that matter, that we’re going to do something, but there’s something much different about just saying it and actually writing it down.

The key here is the commitment level with each action – speaking vs. writing. If you’ve every read up on human behavior, you may have come across Professor Robert Cialdini’s thoughts on the science of persuasion. Essentially, Cialdini’s research suggests that there actually 6 basic laws of winning friends and influencing people. I’m not going to get into all his ideas in this post as they merit much more attention than that, but am going to touch on one key one here: commitment.

This has to do with the principle of consistency and how people are inherently hard-wired to align with their clear commitments. His research shows that once an individual takes a stand or goes on record for something, he or she prefers to stick with that commitment. I think the key here is going on record. That’s actually part of the psychological science behind petitions. Asking someone to sign a petition in support of an upcoming issue, for instance, is a small request. And the petition itself doesn’t decide if the issue goes through or now. But research shows that when it comes time to vote, those who signed the petition were more likely be consistent with their previous commitment in line with the petition. So if this works for influencing others, can it work on ourselves?

Maybe that’s why writing things down is different than just saying you’re going to do something. Writing it down is going “on record” in making the commitment. So that’s part of the “science” behind the creation of this site. It’s me going on public record things I aim to accomplish. There will be plenty to come, and I’ll share that here, but here is commitment #1:

- Stop procrastinating on getting this blog (ironically enough about follow-through) up and running and commit to a consistent post every monday.

Baby steps, but have to start somewhere and I know that fitting this in between my work schedule and our recent move from LA to Nashville. So I’m going in line with Cialdini’s arguments in the belief that consistency and commitment will work in my favor.

How about you? Any tricks for getting things done you care to share?