I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few weeks taking a deep dive into my companies. I always tell my clients that you have to inspect what you expect, and I’m no different. It’s an exercise that I am committed to doing at least quarterly, though likely more often than that (you’re welcome team!). So, I’ve been inspecting and asking questions and restructuring job descriptions and eliminating unnecessary or less effective systems and processes. It doesn’t mean that what we were doing before was bad, simply that we can (and will) do better.
This is all part of being a leader and building a business to be able to scale. I see a problem, break it even more and then put it back together again. And just when I think I’ve solved all the problems and I can breathe for just. one. second., another problem in another company pops up and I break it even more and then work with my team to put it back together again. This is one of the core cycles of a business leader and it can be exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. It takes a rare breed to be able to build a business and the talent who are able to keep up with the leader’s intense drive are just as rare.
And yet, people like to talk a big game. There are a lot of people who have big goals and dreams and like to tell everyone and their mother (and post it on every social media platform too). Or you have those people who are the perpetual students, learning, taking classes, reading the right books, signing up for every conference, taking notebooks full of notes, and then… nothing.
You see, enthusiasm is everywhere. You see it on New Year’s Eve or on milestone brithdays or after coming back from a great conference. Millions of people are ready to take on the world, to change the world, and again… nothing. We don’t have any shortage of enthusiasm in this world, let me tell you that. Great ideas. Accumulation of knowledge. Good vibes everywhere. But what does a big idea and a positive attitude amount to? Absolutely nothing if you don’t take that knowledge and execute.
Enthusiasm is everywhere (just like goals are). It’s endurance that is rare. How many people do you know who had an incredible New Year’s resolution to change their life? I see those hands raising! How many are actually still invested or committed to that goal? Did they start slacking off? Allow themselves to cheat? Get distracted by a squirrel? Allow other things in their life to become more important? Did they lose sight of their why? All of those things may be true, I’m not discounting that. But you can either have reasons or results.
And how does one achieve results? Grit, grind, persistence, never giving up, endurance. I’ve told you before and I’ll tell you again. Building a business is hard. It’s much easier to go back to phase one or two where you are generating all the income based on your own entrepreneurial efforts. It’s easier to be so involved with the company that you know every single person’s wants, needs, and goals and can personally help each one achieve them. Building a business is hard and it requires endurance. It’s not for everyone, but those that can survive the 5-7 year grind are the ones that will reap the rewards.
But endurance is rare. It’s rare to find an individual who will sacrifice a salary for an opportunity for growth. It’s even more rare to find a business that survives beyond it’s first year! It’s rare to find talented individuals who are ready, willing, and able to run along side you (sometimes pulling you along!) for years and years, struggling just like you are day in and day out. When you do find those individuals, your focus as a business owner is to build a moat around your key people such that if you lost them it would be devastating to your business, or at the very least leave a big whole for a while. Sure, everyone is replaceable (even you), but those key hire replacements would take years to find. Build a moat and keep those people on your island through equity, vested interest, higher salaries, and bigger opportunities to constantly grow.
We all talk about the grit and grind it takes to build a business, but I’m not talking about being gritty enough to muscle through a tough project. I’m not talking about the daily grind. I’m talking about mastering the boredom of singular focus. Enduring the daily grind, for not just months, but years. You literally have to up your threshold for mental and emotional pain. In order to build a big business there is no way in hell you can be the same person in year two that you were in year one. Not if you want your business to survive and thrive anyway.
So, how do you build your endurance muscle? Practice. Lot of practice. Lots of failure too. Lots of trial and error. Some more practice. A big dose of drive, a dash of insanity, and another sprinkle of failure.
But in all seriousness, you need to get real clear on your why and then start playing mental games with yourself (no, I’m serious!). You really have to decide who is going to win the battle of wills. You or the voice in your head telling you to give up, that you’ve done enough. And then the endurance part kicks in. You may be battling yourself like this for years, but on the other side of endurance is success. If your why is strong enough, you can withstand any how.
You get to choose how you show up every day. You get to choose what actions you take every day. Some of them are going to be uncomfortable, and boring, and routine, but if you can get over that, then you can get on to success. It’s like the people who always give me a story about why they don’t work out. It’s because they hate it. They’ll never love working out like I do or enjoy fitness like all the Instagram Fitspos do. Let me tell you something that may be a shock to you. I don’t like working out. I don’t like getting up at 3:45am. I don’t look forward to my training. 90% of people don’t like working out and I don’t blame them! It’s hard and it’s uncomfortable. But those same 90% LOVE the feeling they get afterwards – feelings of pride, accomplishment, joy, fulfillment, success, etc. That. That is what people are after when they work out and that is what people are after when they build a business. But the only way that happens is if they ENDURE! Endure the pain, the struggle, the sweat, the tears, the long days and even longer nights.
Enthusiasm is everywhere. Endurance is rare.
I don’t give a shit about how excited you are to work out, start a business, write that book, etc. What I care about is your execution and endurance. That’s where the magic happens. That is where “over night successes” are born. That is where you will ultimately find fulfillment.