“It Takes 10 Years to Become an Overnight Success”. This quote is one of my most thought about quotes in the past year or so. I think there’s a lot of wisdom in there. Most entrepreneurs would agree with this. One of the most important concepts to embrace when someone is starting a business is perseverance. There is more value to putting in a small amount of effort day after day than there is in being extremely motivated for a short time.
This concept randomly popped in my head during my morning run, as do many random thoughts. But this one stuck and I pondered it for a bit. What if starting a business is just something to do? I feel like some days when I am motivated and want to get stuff done, my options are limited to write, workout, or even clean. What if I had something in place so when I do get into those zones, I have a channel to let out my inspiration? I’ve noticed that about working out. A lot of times, I’m just working out because it’s something to do and keeps my mind occupied. It helps me feel like I’m not being lazy later on in the day. If I didn’t have working out, I would without a doubt lose my mind. I would lose so much self-esteem because I would walk around feeling like a lazy bum all day. Since the country is in a quarantine and many people are working from home, this leaves a lot of extra time for us since we aren’t commuting, there’s less meetings, and there’s less distractions leading to us getting our work done in a shorter amount of time. Of course, I’m speaking in general. For some people, I’m sure they’re swamped with perhaps more work than they had when things were normal. But I know for a fact, many of us simply have more time on our hands. That excess time leads to us thinking of what to do. For a lot of people, Netflix is the answer. However, I have a no blahh before 6pm rule. Blahh is the term I came up with for distractions like social media, YouTube, or Netflix that prevents me from getting my work done. Trust me it’s for the better. As a result, I find myself doing a lot of thinking and self-reflection. And that’s where this topic is coming from. If I’m bored at home, which is often these days, I could use another outlet for my inspiration. And that’s where a side business comes in handy.
Another concept I’ve been thinking a lot about is the concept of being a professional. I first came across this concept when I read the book, The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. This is one of my favorite books and harps on a number of important concepts. One of the concepts that has really stuck with me is that professionals go to work. They sit down and do the work day after day. No matter what. Are you not feeling ok? Too bad. Go do the work because you are a professional. Professionals don’t wait around until they are motivated to do some work. They don’t wait to be inspired. They don’t get to go home or stop if they aren’t feeling great. Day after day, professionals go to work and get their work done. This is a little more cut throat than the way it is explained in the book, but I think it is important to hammer into everyone’s brain because it’s easy to get work done when you’re motivated. What happens a week later and you aren’t as motivated as you were when you started? Most people will drop out of the race. This is where perseverance comes in handy. Even when you start to feel low, you are a professional and you do the work. This requires a lot of discipline. However, over time you will get better at resisting the lows. You will get better at pushing yourself to work. You will get better at conquering “your inner bitch”, as Joe Rogan likes to say. You may think that the discipline it requires to do something like this can limit your creativity and that you need to be relaxed and free for creativity. And you would be wrong. Practicing creativity gets you better at coming up with more interesting ideas. Practicing coming up with new ideas can turn you into an idea machine. It’s all about practice. Your body and mind adapt over time, not overnight.
It is important to give yourself the option to work on a business. The best thing you can do is to start selling something online, no matter if you don’t sell at first. You will naturally want to improve and once you get a sniff of progress, you won’t want to stop. You will start to realize that the amount of brainpower you put into your business has a direct correlation to how much progress, fulfillment, and reward you receive. Give yourself that option to work on a business. Be a professional and go to work.