What do you need to fire yourself from?

At Shopify, leaders need to re-qualify for their leadership team each year: “Now, obviously, the flip side of that is in order to do that every single person, particularly on the leadership team, has to requalify for their job every single year. And that is difficult in year one and year two, it becomes incredibly difficult in year 10, year 11, and year 15, where the stakes, the challenges, the opportunities are all so much bigger. But I think for the most part we’ve all focused on requalifying for our job and also keeping our I don’t want to say modesty but just staying grounded in this whole thing and realizing that we’re the same folks who were there at the beginning. And in that way, it’s just been a really awesome experience for us.” 

Letting yourself go from things you’re not qualified to do is the first step to excellence. Finding someone qualified is the next. Persuading them to work together is the next. Hiring them is the next. Look for people who are the best—or at least aspire to be—and are willing to practice it. Be prepared to pay top dollar.

If you’re not qualified to do the thing you aspire to do—say, writing a book when you’ve never written one—you can start as an intern. Be easier on yourself. Show up consistently. Learn from everyone. Ask dumb questions. Expect the journey to take a while, and don’t try to make a full-time living from it yet. Pick away at it.

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