Million dollar revenue year over year.
From living in van down by the river to living in a penthouse on Miami Beach.
How many times have you heard these things? How many times have you wished it could be you?
If you have been exposed to any level of media sensationalism or internet marketing you have probably heard it a few times.
It’s exciting and depressing at the same time. The excitement comes from your thought that says, “Hey, that guy did it… so can I.”
The feeling is valid.
Odds are pretty good that if you are neck deep in researching success, business, and investing that you are pretty smart.
Thinking however is not success.
Success comes from action.
You’re smart because you realize that you need to educate yourself on the tactics and principles that have made others successful. The internet puts this all at your fingertips. The internet might be the greatest economic and educational equalizer that God has ever bestowed upon the world.
Here is the depressing part though.
It has not happened for you… yet. Perhaps it’s because you haven’t taken action or perhaps it’s because you have not taken the right actions.
If I want to get to China, I can take action in a number of ways.
I could dig a hole in the sand at the beach hoping to reach Hong Kong.
I could join the Navy, spend years training on my job specialty, and hope to make that a port of call.
I could also just buy an airline ticket from JFK that is a direct flight.
The idea that success happens overnight is simply not true in most cases. Short of hitting the numbers on Powerball, even the longest shot big payoffs are years in the making. Success is defined by the route we take and there is no Star Trek “teleporting” options.
Ask anyone who was an early adopter of Bitcoin (and held on to it) if they made their millions overnight. That success took years and all they did was get involved in a speculative opportunity that could have easily gone to zero. What made them millionaires is that they stuck with it when others gave up on the idea or didn’t get involved at all.
As an aspiring entrepreneur, I constantly listen to podcasts from guys like Pat Flynn and Ryan Moran who have these wildly successful people on their show. In 30 to 60 minutes you hear how people have gone from zero to a million.
I think what is missing is the fact that it does not happen without failures.
In school failure is a bad thing. It might mean summer school. It might mean repeating a grade. It means getting yelled at. In school, you fail because you didn’t do things the way you were “supposed to”.
In real life, we are presented with primarily two options: employment and “self-employment”.
If you are reading this, perhaps you are involved in both like myself and Peter.
You have a day job where expectations are structured similar to the school system. Failure is met with similar reaction that your teachers might have given you in school. The difference as an adult is that this can get your ass canned and your ability to survive will be put into jeopardy as a result.
In self-employment, be it as an entrepreneur or investor, things are different.
No one is going to tell you do your homework. No one is going to tell you what time to show up. It is all on you.
Your report card is your results. Your results are what puts food on the table. Those results might be customer satisfaction and retention. They might be simply a ledger of your successful and unsuccessful trades.
In either realm, failure is inevitable. You are going to have them. Your measure as a person will be defined with how you deal with them.
When you are trying to make it on your own though, it is going to be up to you to push yourself. Alternatively, you can have mentors or peers that support that need for a push.
Grinding is tough and there is no road map for how long it will take you to achieve success. Some people have businesses that go from zero to a million in a year. In other cases, “overnight success” is 20 years in the making.
Make a decision. Decide what it is you want to do. Do you want to be the best in your industry as an employee? Do you want to be a successful entrepreneur? Do you want to make a living from being an investor?
Pick what is right for you. Figure out what it is going to take to get to that level. Write it down. Make a plan by chunking it down to weekly, monthly, and yearly goals. Review those periodically.
Identify the skillsets you are missing. Is it more cost & time effective to learn them? If not, outsource them to a specialist. Do not let small road bumps become impediments to your success.
When you fail… and you will sometimes… use a tactic I learned in the military: The “After Action Report”. Analyze what went right, what went wrong, and MOST IMPORTANTLY… why did those things occur. Be honest. Dishonesty only hurts YOU.
The only bad failure is one you don’t learn from.
When you go back to the drawing board, take those lessons learned with you.
When you have to repeat this process again and again, be persistent.
If you still have air in your lungs and follow this process YOU WILL SUCCEED.
Believing in your own ability to succeed is a necessity.
When you finally succeed, it might feel like an overnight success. In the interest of those coming up behind you though, admit that it took a hell of a lot of different approaches and tries to get there. You were there once too.
There is room at the top for everyone. Success is like candle light, not a pizza… there is an infinite supply for everyone to enjoy.
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