LISTENTO THIS EPISODE:
Hey, this is Steve Sims and welcome to another episode of The Art of Making Things Happen, the podcast. I bought a pair of headphones. That may sound not too exciting, but Bowers and Wilkins was a company that I grew up being in love with, B&W, I always looked at them as the height of audio, the best sound quality and any time, I got a chance to go into someone’s house that was very affluent, there’d always be a B&W set in there. I knew that Macintosh Audio and B&W speakers were something that one day in my life I would want. Just the same way that people want a certain car, a certain watch. This was one of my, hey, when I’ve got this, I’ve made it, kind of things. Now, before I managed to get the audio system, I got a smaller section of that.
And I’ve always said before that, if you’re trying to get something, get the key ring, get the book, get the manual, whatever, but work your way up to it so that you’re buying into the experience of ownership earlier. I went out and I bought a pair of these B&W headphones and I love them. They were absolutely fantastic. They were brilliant. Now I’d never had this quality of headphones before so to me, this was earth shattering. It opened up this door of the most amazing sound. And I had these headphones for a while and then one day my wife came along and she said, “Hey, we’re going on a journey. I’ll take those ones, you get the wireless versions.” Because I thought, great, I love a wireless headphone. Great, that benefits me. You get a set of B&W headphones, I now get another set of B&W headphones, which I did.
And I bought them and I got them home and they were crap. And I remember plugging it into a splitter so that I could listen to the wireless headphones and then quickly take them off and put the other headphones on to listen to a warmer, sharper sound. Now, the wired headphones and the wireless ones actually came with an option to wire direct, so it wasn’t, well wireless, you lose the sound quality. No, you could hardwire these in direct as well. The older ones were an older model, by about three or four years. They were an older model, they’d been used a lot. They’ve been bashed around. They had really been used. Computers, flights, loads of different things. These new ones were sparklingly brand new. I think we still had the box on the desk and it concerned me.
I phoned up the B&W dealership and I said, “Look, I got these headphones and I just wired them against my older headphones and they’re not as good. They’re not as warm. They’re not as sharp. It’s not as crisp, the base.” And he said to me, he said, “Well, when did you get those ones? Not the older ones, the newer ones.” I said, “Ah, I got them about a week, a month ago. Something like that.” He said, “How many times have you played them?” I said, “Once, twice, couple of times.” He said, “No, no, no, no.” He said, “Headphones take time. They need to be worn in. The electronics need to be, the vibration, the sound, the audio, they need to be used in order to get them warmed up.”
And I thought, hang on a minute, you’re telling me state of the art technology needs to be running? And he said, “That’s a perfect example. You got to run these things in. The point of the other ones where you never had any benchmark to consider it with. You’d always had headphones that weren’t that quality so of course they sounded better coming out of box, but they got better with age.” Now I listened to that and I wasn’t quite sure if I believed it so we used just the wireless headphones for a couple of months and he was right. And eventually I ended up getting a Macintosh Audio. And I said to the guy, “When am I going to get the optimum sound?” And he said, “That’s a great question, probably in the next two years, depending how much you use the audio system.” He said, “It’d be good after six months of constant use, but that’s when you’re going to get up there.”
I bought a set of B&W stand up speakers, same thing. Hey, six months you’ll have great sound. But until then it’s getting in. I bought a performance motorcycle and it had to be run in before I could crank it up to the red line. You see the bottom line of it is, we think just because we’ve purchased it, it’s perfect that second. The answer is no. Most things of quality have to be worn in. They have to be massaged. They need to understand their environment. And it’s the same as you. Whenever you do anything, you can guarantee yourself it’s shit compared to what it will be like in six months’ time or a year’s time.
My first podcast, oh my God. I think we actually canned it because we did 18 podcasts, went back to the first couple was like, oh hell no and we had to kill them. I swear even the ones from the earlier sections are still pretty rough and ropey. You get better with age. What you work on gets better with age. Technology, believe it or not, certain things like audio gets better with age. That’s why a new Gibson guitar is cheaper than a Gibson guitar out of the sixties because it’s worn in. It’s got warmth. It’s got depth. It’s got a sound. The strings, the wood, the neck, they will become as one through use. Good pair of boots, good pair of jeans, good pair of leather jackets. In fact, Levi actually sell used jeans now more expensive than the new ones. Sotheby’s actually had an auction the other week for used denim.
See the bottom line of it is I want you to think about what you’re doing. Don’t hold yourself to a benchmark that’s not there. Don’t be scared to come across bad. Don’t be scared to fail and not be perfect because you ain’t there yet. You got to try these things. You’ve got to go through the ropes. You’ve got to warm up. You got to flex. You’ve got to get run in and you’ll only be good after maybe your second or third oil change.
Someone said to me before that perfection is like a unicorn with three blue testicles, it doesn’t exist so don’t try to find it. Do what you’re doing today and get better. Get going, then get good and let yourself off the hook that you don’t need to be perfect from day one. To be perfect, takes time and enjoy the journey.
This is Steve Sims. Short sweet episode of The Art of Making Things Happen podcast, but they are there for your impact. Hey, if you love it, share it. Tell people about it. If you hate it, tell me. If you want a certain subject spoken about or brought up in one of the episodes, send me a message, An Entrepreneur’s Advantage With Steve Sims, the Facebook group, or you can find me pretty much everywhere on stevedims.com. All of the socials are the same. Look after yourself, do something impactful and I will speak with you soon.