“Repetition makes reputation and reputation makes customers.” – Elizabeth Arden, Born Dec. 31, 1878.
This is 100% true.
Many people may read this and nod, and yet still struggle with it. They’ll struggle both with achieving it, and with understanding the success of others who you feel are inferior to your own bad self.
Here is the key observation that you may have missed, but I cannot overstress the importance: “quality” is not part of the equation.
This is not a disparagement of quality. Quality is great. Have some quality sprinkled throughout your efforts.
But if you can't achieve quality on a given try, do the work anyway today and see how you do tomorrow.
This is why consistent and frequent mediocrity will always be more successful and popular than sporadic and haphazard excellence.
Repetition – consistency – frequency: these generate and display a perception of reliability, of bottomless information or input, of ubiquity. These become your reputation.
And when people know that if you were off a little today, that they can come back tomorrow and maybe it will be good, or sublime even… then they know they can come back the day after that, too.
Again and again.
Once you have the machinery, the will, the discipline or whatever it takes for you to enter your arena and repeatedly perform whatever it is you do – regularly and routinely – THEN quality can have an impact – regularly and routinely.
But the fields of failure are littered with talented, skilled, and quality creators who simply could not repeat.
And therefore they created no reputation.
And therefore could only ever make customers of the odd random person wandering by on pure chance.
But you're not going to do that, are you?