Loving What You Do Isn’t Enough.
“Love what you do.” This has been echoed in some variation by some of the World’s Best Business Leaders including Steve Jobs during his Stanford commencement speech. In some corners of the business world it has been rephrased as “Do what you love.” Either way, it has been taken out of context and used by the “Ideapreneurs” and “career floaters” to justify all the great ideas and/or jobs they’ve started but never finished in the pursuit of “loving what I do.”
Here’s the dirty little secret about love: human beings conveniently substitute lust & excitement for love, when in fact “true love” is commitment, and sticking to something that you said you would do long after the thrill of something “new” wears out, because it will. Even marriages goes through this. How many times have we seen marriages fail after the “honeymoon phase?” Most vows do not include an “until inconvenience does us part” clause. Yet that’s precisely what 50% of married partners seem to hear. Love will bring you together. Commitment & dedication will keep it together. I won’t pretend to be a marriage therapist, but like anything, marriage takes consistent effort and nurturing. So does your career and entrepreneurship.
With every job or entrepreneurial endeavor there will be challenges. Every job. Every business endeavor. You can not escape this. There will be things that will happen to you that you will not anticipate or expect. Stop worrying. 90% of the stuff you are currently worrying about on the job, or in your business will probably not ever happen. It’s the unanticipated shitstorm that will hit you on a Tuesday afternoon at 3:30 pm that is gonna knock you on your ass and kick you when you are down. Loving what you do is great, but it ain’t gonna get you through these down moments.
Here’s what will: Commitment. Stick-to-it-ive-ness.
How do you develop a level of commitment that will ensure success? I’m going to share a few different ways.
You must identify your reason “Why.”
It’s not money. I repeat. It is not money. Money will come and go. When you’ve properly identified your “Why”, you can call on it when you have money, when you plateau (we all do at some point), and when you’re broke, to push through the valleys of life.
Your reason why will change as you get older. When I was a single young man my “Why” was to buy my mother a house. Now that I have a family my “Why” is to create a quality of life for my wife & children that permits them to pursue every interest and every dream they have without the fear of judgement or financial instability. Side note: this doesn’t mean I’ll support quitting when things gets tough, this just means I’ll have the finances available to HELP them. I’ll expect them to contribute. No one appreciates free. Not even my children. I also want to establish nonprofits that provide education and funding for young entrepreneurs. What is your “Why?”
Let the world hold you accountable.
If you hire the right personal trainer, one of the first things they have you do is answer a questionnaire and send them photos of yourself in a bathing suit (sometimes holding a newspaper to document the date). Some trainers have their clients post this photo on their social media pages-despite how embarrassed the client might be. Why? Because the personal trainer knows that most people are more afraid of failing in front of their friends and family then they are of actually losing weight, getting fit, and feeling & looking better. This also means that there are would be entrepreneurs that never make a grab at glory or financial independence because they are more concerned with how they will look to everyone else if they fail.
If you really want to succeed at something-share it with the world. Draw your line in the sand and pick a side. Some people will support your quest. Others will wait in the shadows hoping you fail. Either way, you’ll gain a sense of independence when you make a decision to pursue your goal-almost like a weight being lifted.
Letting the world hold you accountable is good. Having a personal accountability partner is better. Many professionals spend thousands, if not tens (even hundreds) of thousands of dollars, a year hiring business and life coaches to hold them accountable to their goals. People hire personal trainers at the gym to hold them accountable to their fitness goals. If you aren’t in a financial position to hire a coach, then find someone with similar goals & aspirations and check in with one another weekly reviewing each other’s weekly goals, activity, and results. You must do this weekly. I’ve been a part of, and seen many accountability partners give cash or checks to a 3rd party (acting as an escrow or referee) to hold in the event one partner flakes or doesn’t achieve a goal. In one case I’ve seen a someone pay up $500 for not being able to lose 30 pounds in 60 days. That person doubled down their initial $500 and guaranteed their accountability partner a loss of 60 pounds in 90 days. They got their $1000 total investment back and $500 from their accountability partner as a reward. It sounds strange but people are more afraid of what they have to lose, in this case $1000, versus what they have to gain: the weight loss and $500 prize.
In a marriage, you’ve got an accountability partner for life-your spouse. I know that my wife’s passion for fitness and her commitment to her physique is a huge reason I am in the shape I am in now. I can’t even imagine what I’d look like if I didn’t have her waking up at 4:30 in the morning. We are a family of 7, and trust me, I know when I connect and don’t connect with one of my children. It can be challenging making sure that I spend quality time with each child. Thankfully, my accountability partner (my wife), is there to remind me when one of our children needs to hear words of encouragement from me, or when I need a one on one day with one of my daughters or sons. And don’t think she keeps me on check just in our personal life-she also helps me stay on track financially and knows how to motivate me to produce more, and remind me of my value when I’m thinking of discounting my services.
Reading Your Goals Daily
This goes without saying, and it bears repeating. Read your goals daily. There is something that happens to you when you read them each day. Yes, I know that there will be days where you will feel behind schedule. There will be moments of self doubt. You may even question the viability of the goal. We all go through this, but when you see that list, regardless of where you might be in your journey, it will set you back on track. Use your list as a road map to inspire you, and don’t ever be adraid of setting lofty goals. You need to aim beyond the intended target, because the truth is, no one ever hits 100% of their goals. No one. I’ll cover this mindset on a different post, but for now, make it a habit to read your goals daily.