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It’s too easy to open Google, search for “Successful businesses,” and get enough tips, ideas, and strategies to last a lifetime.
I’m not saying it’s impossible, but I am saying you should look deeper. Check their underlying story to see how long they’ve been doing it. Look at how many businesses they’ve started – and failed — before getting those results.
In 2007 I scraped together $2500 of my hard-earned cash and bought my first car 1 in hindsight, it was a vanity purchase, but I was a teenager and all the cool kids had cars — I was a cool kid. .
It was beautiful. An all-white 2002 Ford Crown Victoria with a police flood light, black window tints so dark I could barely see at night, a huge Ford sticker on the black glass, and a sound system that threatened to make me go deaf. I loved that car. I spent many nights in my driveway playing music and building imaginary empires.
Henry Ford is the perfect case study on consistency and time.
In 1879 at the age of 16, Henry Ford took a position as an apprentice in a Detroit shipbuilding firm. It was the beginning of his education as an engineer. Over the next few years, Ford consistently applied himself to learning everything he could about his craft.
He was eventually hired by the Edison Illuminating Company. There, he rose through the ranks and became one of the chief engineers. During his stay at The Edison Illuminating Company, he made his first prototype horseless carriage which would eventually evolve into the iconic model T.
In 1903, 24 years after he took his first engineering position, he founded the Ford Motor Company. By 1918 Model T’s accounted for over 50% of all cars in America.
That’s 39 years after he became an engineer and 15 years after he founded the Ford Motor Company. He was consistent over an extended period of time.
I can write ten thousand words giving you example after example of famous and successful people who seem to have made it overnight. In reality, it’s consistency and time.
Growth is a hockey stick. I’m sure you know what a hockey stick looks like. Here’s an image if you need a refresher:
Almost every iconic company, individual, and even country has this type of growth. They plug away at something, master it, and reap the rewards. There is no overnight success. You just happened to discover them at a later stage of their growth. It seems like they appeared out of nowhere.
They worked hard for what they’ve accomplished.
The most beautiful part of consistency and time is that it compounds.
Your skills get better, your network widens, and your recognition becomes pronounced.
Your amazing work doesn’t go unnoticed.
The hours behind the scenes manifest in more contracts, more customers, and a stronger brand.
What was hard becomes easy but only if you put in the work over time.
Don’t get sucked into the entrepreneur porn being pedaled around us. Read the article about how someone performed million dollar launch, make a mental note, and keep plugging away at what you’re doing.
Resist the urge to switch strategies because it worked for them.
Say no to the shiny object that looks good.
Tune out the 101 ways to build an audience post. You only need one strategy, one idea, and one focus. Once you have that, the only thing you need to do is be consistent over time.
Remember the guy digging for gold? He came within a few feet of striking it rich but turned back. He gave up too early. His scrap dealer took over the mine when he left. He found the gold the first guy missed because he kept digging.
Don’t be that person.
The original miner went on to become one of the greatest insurance salesmen to ever do it. He learned the power of consistency and time.
Make a conscious decision to stick it out for the long term. 18 months is enough time. It may not be enough time to build the empire of your dreams but it is enough time to know whether or not what you’re doing is going anywhere.
Any shorter than that and you’ve done yourself a disservice. If you’re not seeing at least some returns after that then it’s time to switch it up and try something new.
Most people don’t have what it takes. Can you blame them? It’s not easy to wake up early and go to sleep late without a steady check. You’re either stupid or determined. That’s the kind of focus that makes millionaires.
It’s the most open secret in the world. I say it’s a secret because many people know it at some level but it’s too simple to be the answer. As adults, we’re taught to give value to complexity.
KISS 2 Keep It Simple, I’m not calling you stupid baby KISS. The most effective solutions are simple. Their simplicity makes it hard to accept. We tend to create unnecessary complexity.
It’s a function of the world we live in.
More complicated cars.
More complicated computers.
Even more complicated professions.
More complicated devices.
The best solutions are simple for the end user. Think about Medium. It’s a blogging platform, but so is WordPress. What’s the difference between them?
Why are people on Medium instead of WordPress.com? Apart from the amazing community and the higher engagement, Medium is simple. All you need to do is log in and start typing. Hit publish when you’re done.
That’s it. Amazing right?
If you’ve read to this point, then you have it. You have the holy grail of success.
All you need to do is choose one target. Do you want one million dollars, get published in Forbes, write a 300-page book, or meet your idol? Whatever the target, make sure it has a definite end point. Vague goals don’t help you, they need to be SMART.
Next, identify the small activities you can perform every single day to get you closer to your target.
If you want to write a 300-page book then make a decision to write one hour every morning. You’ll be done in six months.
Get into dozens of smaller publications and work your way up to your Forbes feature. You’ll be published in 18 months.
If you want to make a million dollars then focus on a series of small investments that pay you dividends regularly. Reinvest the earnings. You’ll be a millionaire in less than a decade.
You have everything you’ll ever need right in front of you.
You just need to make a choice.