Over the years I have met many business owners with ground-breaking ideas, cutting-edge technology, knowledge, skills—you name it, they had it all. And for whatever reason their businesses never took off.
On the other hand, I have also met business owners who had very little knowledge of what they were getting into, they didn’t have any revolutionary ideas or products, and they either met the right person at the right time, or a sudden shift in the market created a demand for their product or service.
There are many factors to becoming successful other than one’s simply ‘being awesome.’
So if timing and luck play a role in success, how does one beat the odds?
I believe that it’s a willingness to put in the time. And time is a tough thing to give when we’re groomed from a young age to be instantly gratified.
Why do you need to put in the time? Because you never know what tomorrow will hold. Tomorrow you might meet the right person. Tomorrow the market might suddenly shift. Refusing to give up on your dream means that you take control and you leave less of your destiny up to chance.
When I wake up every morning the question I (try to) always ask is “Am I willing to put in the time?”
If I can answer “Yes,” then I feel like I am heading in the right direction to achieving my dream.
It may sound easy, but what happens if business doesn’t skyrocket as fast as you had planned? What happens if you aren’t making the money you thought you would and you have a mortgage, a car loan, and groceries to pay for? When it seems like nothing is going your way, are you willing to persevere and keep driving forward?
One thing that you aren’t going to learn in university/college is adversity.
You have to train yourself not to be stopped by anything. If you let one thing stop you, you’ll let anything stop you. When I first started Urban Jungle I had to take on a 2nd job just to make ends meet. I even had to sell my car and put up my house as collateral.
What are you willing to do?
I am a firm believer that your level of commitment will dictate your success. Committing to your success means that you will do everything in your power to make it happen. This means doing whatever it takes; no excuses, no ifs, no buts, no maybes. Failure is not an option.
Plus, your commitment to success needs to feel empowering not daunting. Business should feel more like a challenging game of poker and less like digging a ditch.
Burn the Boats.
Around 200 BC, Xiang Yu, a great Chinese warlord faced a situation, which made it necessary for him to make a decision that would ensure his success on the battlefield. He was about to send his armies against a powerful foe, whose men greatly outnumbered his own.
He loaded his soldiers into boats, sailed to the enemy’s country, unloaded soldiers and equipment, then gave the order to “burn the boats” that had carried them. Addressing his men before the first battle, he said, “You see the boats going up in flames? That means we cannot leave these shores alive unless we win! You have one choice. Win. Or perish!”
“Every person who wins in any undertaking must be willing to burn their boats and cut all sources of retreat. Only by so doing can one be sure of maintaining that state of mind known as the BURNING DESIRE TO WIN, essential to success.” – Napoleon Hill
Committing means to devote yourself unreservedly and work smart.
Are you willing to put in an 18-hour day?
Are you willing to sacrifice seeing your family and friends?
Are you willing to put your house on the line and risk all your savings with no guarantee of return?
I’m not saying that you will ever have to do any of these things. You may never have to work an 18 hour day and you may never have to put up your house as collateral. But that’s not the point. The point is, are you willing to?
If you are willing to, then it means you’ve increased your odds. Tomorrow just might be the day.