It’s not like how you imagined.
The wins aren’t nearly as big as you thought they’d be. There are no epiphanies; rather it’s a slow settling into your craft.
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There is no end. The road goes on.
We’ve signed a lifelong contract.
It’s a process. Trust the process.
Smile and make the most of it.
I know, you don’t feel like you know what you’re doing. Here’s the secret, none of us know what we’re doing.
We all play it by ear.
The world is changing around you and you’re terrified.
You’ve got salaries to pay and mouths to feed.
One second you’re hearing about deep learning.
The next second it’s all about artificial intelligence.
Right after that you land a client or embark on a project that’ll tax the resources of your company to limit.resources of your company to limit.
Welcome to the game. Play to win.
You don’t have the resources to compete head to head with the Teslas, Facebooks, and Instagrams of the world.
You do have one thing they don’t – the ability to move fast, break shit, and keep going.
Our size is our advantage.
Our grit is our advantage.
Our creativity is our advantage.
This is what makes you a huslter.
You can’t stay small forever. Either you grow or you die. Choose to grow. It’s always a choice. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Growing pains aren’t restricted to puberty.
You may have started your company with a friend, but he’s no longer cut out for the demands of your growing business. You may have started with a specific idea – it won’t last in that form beyond your first three customers.
It’s the nature of your endeavor.
Instead of holding onto a single idea, allow it to mature and evolve with you, your customers, and your business. Nothing in our line of work is written in stone.
The one constant is growth. If you’re not growing you’re dying.
I have an inspiring story or maybe it’s a pathetic story.
In 2009, I tested the waters of online business for the first time. I didn’t make my first sale until about eighteen months later.
Well, we can blame it on many things, but when I look back with the 20/20 vision of hindsight, it’s clear. I was a victim of shiny object syndrome.
For a month I would pursue fitness.
The next month it would be weight loss (yes, those are different niches).
The month after that would be dating advice.
I didn’t have focus.
Last week, I launched an Ebook and made a couple grand in three days. It’s because I built an audience and a tribe around something specific – I focused. I’m a huslter. You are too.
Without focus, your business can’t do anything (quote me on that). Focus is what gets you amazing results.
There’s another part of focus that people always seem to leave out.
If focus is your innate skill then consistency is the hours and hours of practice on the playing field.
It’s the time you put in at the gym when no one is watching.
It’s the stuff legends are made of.
We don’t know our customers as well as we’d like.
How the hell are you supposed to know what keeps them awake at night?You can’t but you must. If you don’t then you can’t make the right decisions.
Your vocation is a series of hard decisions. Make them fast and change them slowly.
Believe in yourself or no one else will.
Sometimes, the right decision is the hardest one. During the impending financial crisis of 2008, Beal Bank laid off almost 50% of their staff. It was a hard decision. That decision helped them survive to see another day.
If you’re afraid of making the tough decisions and sticking with them then you’ll die a slow death. I know, you’re thinking about what “they” will say. Here’s the thing, “they” don’t really matter – the people who trust and depend on you matter.
I’ve seen it with my clients and I’ve seen it with my friends.
The right decision made to late is just as bad a0s the wrong decision made on time.
Failure is a constant companion.
It won’t always be a life changing failure, but a loss is a loss no matter how pretty.
Your only aim should be to not fail so badly you can’t stand up.
The fear of failure makes me stay up at night. It also makes me wake up early in the morning. You know what failure is afraid of? Perseverance.
In The War of Art, Steven Pressfield identifies the only thing you have to conquer – resistance. One of its most powerful faces is fear – the fear of failure.
If you don’t do it then you can’t fail – can you? It’s a stupid excuse but way too common. Ask yourself – what’s the worst that could happen?
Success has its own type of fear associated with it.
“If I make a million dollars how will my life change?”
Will my family constantly harass me for cash?
Will I lose my closest friends?
Will I attract a lot of fake people?
Yes and no. Success gives you everything you want and everything you dread at the same damn time (shoutout to Future).
Do it anyways. It’s worth it.
You only need one idea.
Amazon is a single idea. They sell things online. They’re worth billions.
Facebook is a single idea. They connect people all over the world (or at least that’s what they did in the beginning). They’re worth billions.
Instagram is a single idea. They let you share images and videos. They sold for a billion dollars.
Everything I’ve mentioned started as a single idea. Sure, they’ve transformed over the years. Facebook added an advertising platform, Instagram added stories, and Twitter went to the trolls.
One. Single. Idea.
It’s your starting point, but never the ending point. Remember I said not to hold onto any idea too hard? It still applies.
Your One True Idea (I should trademark that) can be the difference between you changing the world and joining the ranks of the fallen.
Sometimes, that idea will come during your first venture. Other times, it’ll come after you’ve built, sold, or failed many times. That’s the training ground. That’s the consistency.
Find it, embrace it, crush it.
We’re in it for the long haul. We’re in it to win. It’s hard – I agree. That’s why most people go out and get jobs. It’s allowed. For you and I, the road isn’t nearly as simple.
If you’ve not done so already you’re going to cry, you’re going to be afraid, and you’re going to fail like a champ. You’ll also smile, find the courage to do it, and stand up every time you fall.
Talk to me in the comments, I want to hear from hustlers who do it day in and day out because life is more than a paycheck.
P.S. Some may think otherwise, but I feel hustler and entrepreneur can be used more or less interchangably.