There’s a principle in psychology called illusory superiority, also sometimes called the Lake Wobegon effect, from Garrison Keillor’s fictional midwestern town where “all the children are above average.” Illusory superiority is the weird psychological wrinkle that allows the majority of people to have the sense that they are in some way better than average. Smarter than most, luckier than most, more ethical than most, more deserving than most. Mathematically it makes no sense. How can the majority be better than average? (I think it’s related to the idea that violence could never happen in one’s neighborhood also known as denial.)
I pay attention to the opposite principle, which I think of as the Law of Most. The Law of Most says that by definition most businesses are not exceptional. (If they were, the word “exceptional” would be meaningless.) Most marketers, consultants, realtors, lawyers, writers, most designers, are not at the top of their field. It’s just how things are. “Top” only means top when it stands in distinction to everything else.
This is why you should not believe everything you read. Because the Law of Most applies to experts, too. By definition, most experts are mediocre.
Learn From the Best
There are experts, and then there are experts. Just because someone wrote a book and sold a bunch of copies doesn’t mean he is right or that he knows what he’s talking about. Among all those books I’ve read on marketing, I’m sure there isn’t one in which I didn’t find something valuable I could take away from the reading. But I’ll go through 50 books before I find one that makes me go, “Okay — this guy has figured it out.”
How many books have I read on marketing? Two hundred, maybe three hundred; maybe more. How many do I rely on daily, considering my North Star, my 100 percent trusted go-to guides? I can count them on one hand.
More from SOFREP
Geo Hand’s Guide to Surviving Delta Force Selection and Assessment (Part 5) : Wet Boots, Snow and Pain2
The MiG-35’s Surprising Role in Russia’s Military Strategy3
My Time With “Demo Dick” Marcinko the Founder of SEAL Team 6 and Dan the Drunken Strap Hanger4
Aero Precision AR-15 – The Perfect Custom Build?5
US Air Force Advances Next-Generation Sentinel ICBM to Modernize Nuclear Deterrent
Preserving Democracy: The Dangers of Weaponizing the American Legal System
SOFREP Stands With Our Brothers Who Demand Responsibility for ‘Disastrous’ Afghan Departure
Adam Brown: A SEAL’s Life of Courage and Redemption
Complete List: Ticonderoga-class Missile Cruisers To Retire By 2027
Nuclear Close Calls That Nearly Caused World War III
Our roots in shooting sports started off back in 1996 with our founder and CEO, Josh Ungier. His love of airguns took hold of our company from day one and we became the first e-commerce retailer dedicated to airguns, optics, ammo, and accessories. Over the next 25 years, customers turned to us for our unmatched product selection, great advice, education, and continued support of the sport and airgun industry.
Barrett is the world leader in long-range, large-caliber, precision rifle design and manufacturing. Barrett products are used by civilians, sport shooters, law enforcement agencies, the United States military, and more than 75 State Department-approved countries around the world.