Innovation is the enemy of systems

Oops! - Part II by Kyle May

I’ve been thinking more about systems, but this time it’s other people’s systems – why are they so hard to implement?  Is entrepreneurship really a thinly veiled desire to do things your own way as much as possible?  It seems like it sometimes.

I’ve tested countless techniques, courses and systems, and I can’t really tell you if they’ll work for you, because I can’t leave well enough alone.  I need to embellish, expand, and often over-complicate, because after all, I deserve to be in the advance class, right?


Here are two (very) simple systems I’m working on adopting, as verbatim as possible, from other people.  They’re pretty much no-brainers, but I’m hoping it’ll give me reason to pause the next time I think about expanding on something new before I’ve even given the core principles a thought.

Recipes.  Yep, the things that make ingredients into meals.  I know enough about how to cook that I can usually make something tasty, and sure enough, I tend to use recipe books as starting guides for the meal instead of actual instructions.

My new rule is that I do the recipe as word-for-word as possible at least once, ideally twice, before I start making it my own.  And amazingly, I’m starting to learn new tastes and not just put chopped tomatoes on everything, because I like chopped tomatoes.

My new gym bag.  This is more symbolic, but all of these steps are symbols to help me when I think about adopting proven systems (proven without my help, I point out!)  I joined a new gym this week, and the new member package included a red branded gym bag.

It’s obviously intended to give branding to the club, but I’ve chosen to interpret it as a system in itself. I’ve used the same shoulder bag for years, whether it’s for my laptop, my gym clothes, or basic luggage, but I’m adopting this gym bag as a key part of my “going to the gym” system.  It’s by my office door, and in the morning I fill it with fresh clothes, and suddenly it’s my bug-out bag that I can grab and go, no friction, and get my workout on.

Like I said, it’s silly, and later (after I’ve broken various parts of me by overdoing exercises and gotten that out of my – ahem – system,) I’ll be taking personal training sessions (already paid for) to let someone else give me the proven steps to better results than I’d be able to do on my own through supposed innovation.

Photo by Kyle May





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