A lot of conversation goes into deciphering what makes Taylor Swift special. She’s charming and beautiful and has a phenomenal team behind her. But I’ll be honest and say that none of that matters as much as this: Her songs are good.

The lesson I take from watching her (and maybe you resonate with this) is that I can’t really control what folks think of my appearance or personality and I can’t count on the kind of opportunity/success-making-machinery others do…

but I have everything to say about the quality of my own work. And that’s my job: make good work.

I’m not saying the rest just falls into place or that it’s unimportant. It’s just not as important as putting my best foot forward to make the best work I can make.