Everyday I listen to people talking about what they need to do in order to become successful. A year or more later I meet the same people, who find themselves in the same place they were years earlier. Clearly there seems to be a disconnect between what people ‘want,’ and what people ‘need to do’ to make it happen. Even more interestingly, many of these people don’t even have the convenient excuse of not having access to the people, tools or processes they would need to become that success.
So what’s going on?
Is it laziness? Maybe to a degree…
I listen to a lot of what I call ‘Braveheart speeches’, but while that may get people pumped up, the fact remains, the speech isn’t the battle.
While it is important to have a goal, an end destination, success happens every step of the journey. It’s almost never one single event that leads to success, but rather a series of small, what could be called everyday hustles that lead to that success. This is why, successful people are almost never able to point to one single moment that turned the tied. It was the day to day hustle, of working incrementally, moment by moment, passionately towards ones goal — that ultimately lead to that success.
People don’t achieve success because they don’t have a good idea, but rather they don’t achieve success because they don’t want to work on their idea every moment, of everyday. They don’t want to hustle. If every time you have to work on your idea, even the non shiny parts — and you moan about it — forget it, you are already not going to succeed.
As Gary Vaynerchuk notes, “The reason I was able to grow my business was that every day, after producing 30 minutes of wine television, I spent 15 hours a day replying to every single person’s e-mail and every single person’s Twitter @ reply.”
Sadly people want those Braveheart moments, the highs, the applause, the recognition, the lights — but they don’t want to go to battle. Being truly successful at anything isn’t won in the speech, its won in the day to day battle of the hustle.
But as in any battle, as hard as it is, you can win by being smart. Here are my top 6 strategies that honour the hustle, but make it smart (feel free to add your own in the comments section below:),
- Be prepared to do the work. No excuses. I am sorry, as simple as it may sound, there is zero substitute for hard work. Make sure, you are absolutely passionate about your idea or goal, because if you are not, you simply wont do the daily work required to transform it into a success.
- Working hard, doesn’t mean not working smart. Get a system going. Figure out what is important to making what you want happen. Break it into smaller chunks, and assign specific times and days to work on it. Even if it means you can only do it at 10 pm at night. Then do it. And even if you don’t feel like it (although as pointed out in point 1 that’s already a problem).
- Consistency is far more important than quantity. It’s not how much you do, it is how often you do it and do it well. Doing a small amount of important, quality work on your success plan every day is far more important than quantity work that only happens once in a while. Remember it’s in the day to day hustle, that leads to success.
- Get inspired to hustle. Find people who you admire, who are hustling themselves, and are successful, watch them, listen to them, read their words and take notes. Take those notes, and feed them into your system from point 3.
- When you finally start seeing some traction, especially with people begin to listen to what you have to say, nurture those relationships. Be consistent. Honour their attention. Don’t try sell them stuff, ask how you can help them, what you can do for them, and listen.
- When you do see the success on the horizon, and even when it comes, keep your feet on the ground. Most importantly DON’T GET LAZY! I call it the Rocky Syndrome. If you have watched the Rocky movies, when the character Rocky Balboa was hungry, when he was passionate, when he did that run everyday (even when he didn’t want too), he finally succeeded. A few movies in, once he had arrived, and had all the trappings of success, he didn’t hustle anymore.
As Rocky reminds us,
“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that!”
– Sylvestor Stalone, Rocky
Never stop hustling, I think Gary Vaynerchuk would agree!