In this thing we call life, most of us want to be successful.
Most of us dream of doing great things.
It could be: becoming wealthy, making history, being the first to do/create/accomplish something, writing a book, starting a creative business etc.
Point is, there’s something embedded deep inside each of us that we desperately want to share with the world.
But sadly, most of us aren’t willing to pay the price to achieve those things. I know because I was (and at times still am) one of those people.
The point of this email isn’t to discover what that sacrifice is (it’s different for everyone) but to prepare you for and provide solutions to what happens (or is already happening to you) if you decide(ed) to take a bold step.
I’m going to be completely transparent.
So, whether or not you decide to move forward and take that risk/make that sacrifice, here are five problems (and how to solve them) that will definitely come up.
Yup! You heard me right. When you start out in any new venture, it’s more than likely your stuff will be crap.
Years ago, while shopping one of my animated pilots around, I had one producer tell me “This is rubbish. No one will ever watch this stuff.”
Jack ass, lol! Boy did that hurt. But I think it hurt more because I knew he was “partially” right. My stuff needed more work.
That simple. In the book Outliers (I highly recommend this for anyone who craves success), author Malcolm Gladwell says that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field.
Let me take that a step further.
If you spend an hour a week (52 hours a year) working on your craft (music, art, writing, design, acting, programming etc.) it will take you roughly 192 years to become a master in your field! Again, it’s simple…
The more hours you put in, the closer you are to becoming a master within your lifetime. Keep grinding!
This is a given. At some point, you will question yourself and your decision.
“What I’m I doing here?” “I’m a failure” “I’m not good enough” “They were right” “What was I even thinking?” Funny thing is, I still question and doubt myself to this very day.
This is one battle I feel is constant. At least for me.
The first thing you should do before you embark on any journey (a goal/dream) that matters is to know “why” you are doing what you’re doing.
And this why better be good because you will need it CONSTANTLY. If you have no “why,” the moment you get tested you WILL quit.
My advice is not to let your “why” be financial only. It has to be more than that because money may not come for a while. In hard times, your why will keep you going.
This quote from Danny Thomas further stresses the point: Success has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It’s what you do for others.
These are powerful motivational factors that will keep you going despite what life throws your way.
It’s not easy to admit, but most of us go through this. I know I did.
You go online and see someone’s post on Facebook about their recent achievement and then your mind goes into a ridiculous frenzy: “Why isn’t that me?” “It’s not fair” “Where did they even come from?” “I deserve this more”
It’s even worse when you’re working tirelessly on something but it’s going nowhere…
Don’t be a jerk. Just be happy for people. I had to nip jealousy in the bud early on because it’s completely counter-productive.
It puts you in a ridiculous state of mind that doesn’t allow you to foster the right attitude to get things done.
I’ve personally found being genuinely happy for and supporting people makes me feel better.
Plus, it has allowed me to make some amazing friends/connections that my previous behavior wouldn’t have permitted.
These friends have been invaluable to my success. Backing my Kickstarter projects, buying my books, sharing my stuff on social media etc.
Not to sound silly, but it has actually ended up being a smart business move. Not that that was the plan 🙂
If you’ve been following my journey, you’ll know that I’ve been very fortunate to appear on sites like CNN, The New York Times, Forbes, The Washington Post etc.
What most people don’t know is that before I got one interview, I must have sent out hundreds of emails to journalists.
And NONE of them responded.
After that, I really just wanted to quit and move on. And who could have blamed me?
If you send hundreds of emails with details of your project to bloggers and no one responds, it’s safe to say you don’t really have a good product.
But again, you have to be willing to do what everyone else won’t.
Is key. The funny thing is that except for minor tweaks, the same email that kept getting rejected is the same one I sent to a journalist at CNN who would go on to give me my second big break.
I just had to be persistent. When you experience rejection, you have two options: Quit or Revise.
For me, I didn’t care how many times it would take, I was going to keep revising my pitch until someone answered me.
This is the approach I take into every other aspect of my creative business. There’s always a way. And if you are willing to persist (suffer) longer than everyone else, you WILL get the prize.
Doing something great takes time. And time is money. One of the main reason why 50% of businesses fail is a lack of cash flow.
It’s just hard to keep things going when you first start.
Even when you maintain a 9-5 while chasing your dreams, getting your project/creative business to a level that really matters usually requires a huge (and most times, recurring) investment from your end.
And that can get discouraging real quick.
And if like me you’re chasing your dreams full time, then you might experience moments where you’re so broke you begin to ration food 🙁
Expect this problem to happen. And if it doesn’t, lucky you!
The number one thing you should definitely do is save, save, save! This is should be a no-brainer.
But unfortunately, most of us skip this step when we start out chasing that dream.
Number two, run a very tight ship. I’m talking no shopping for two years type tight ship. You have to be willing to make sacrifices.
Your friends and family will do things and go places you can’t. And that will hurt. But you have to endure for a period and focus on the goal.
Cut out as many of your wants and stick to your needs. Remember, you have to be willing to do what everyone else won’t.
And this is definitely one of those things. It will get hard but remember it’s just for a period. The breakthrough eventually comes. Trust me.
You’ll always be like everyone else until you’re willing to do what everyone else won’t.
So, decide today. Will you be part of the majority of people who make the logical decision?
Or will you be part of the minority who are bold enough to make the necessary sacrifices to achieve greatness?
Let me know what you think in the comments section. Would love to hear from you!