Get the First Win.

This is a photo of white golf balls and red, white, and blue golf tees on a driving range.

I went to the driving range once and found myself next to a couple that was playing golf for the first time. They had an instructor with them, and within the first minutes of the lesson, he was walking them through the complex biomechanics of the swing. He was telling them that there were more than three dozen different parts of the swing, all of which had to work together. He was giving them tips from professional golfers. He was getting into the mental side of the game.

In the hour alongside them, I didn’t see either of them swing the club a single time. The entire lesson was on golf theory.

And I remember thinking: These people will never come back and try to play again — because they never had that first win.

Golf can be a frustrating game, and yes, a really good swing is a complex thing, but the reason you come back is because of the feeling that happens when you hit a really good shot. That feeling — the sound off of the club, the whoosh of the ball in the air, seeing the ball fly — is what every golfer chases. You come back to try to recreate that feeling, over and over again. Those first-time golfers weren’t going to hit a drive 250 yards or experience a perfect wedge shot, but they never even got the chance to try.

With anything you’re doing for the first time, you’re chasing that first win.

Maybe that first win is the first time someone compliments your work.

Maybe it’s the first dollar you make.

Maybe it’s the first time a lesson starts to click.

The goal is to get that first win as soon as you can. Because once you’ve gotten that first win, you’ve experienced a taste of what the work is for — and can decide whether you want to come back for more.


That’s a photo of golf balls and tees at a driving range. It was taken by Robert Ruggiero for Unsplash.