Ryan, thanks for this great piece.
Some of the criticism this is getting is fair. I totally agree with Tom Ritchford’s response about the need to both practice your craft and build your business/career. They are both useless without the other (if your work is intended to be a career and not just a hobby), so being as absolute as to say “doing great work is all that matters” is very naive, unless you’re into the starving artist thing.
However, I completely understand the deeply appreciate the point you are making. I’ve experienced it a lot and have even, at times, fallen into the trap myself. Our instant-gratification society always wants shortcuts to success, yet the #1 key to success as a creative is to produce awesome work. There is no shortcut for that. It takes years of practice and experience. If you’re distracting yourself always looking for the life hack to instant success, you’re taking attention away from the heads-down practice you should be doing to master your craft.