The Hard Part
It honestly feels like a year since I wrote a blog post, and it's probably been because I didn't feel like I had anything to say. When I first started writing, it was always about how to build a business, and little learnings here or there. Today's a different type of post, it's about when you are fully in that grind, and bringing out your greatness.
It's a cliche to talk about life knocking you down and getting back up. In my life, I've been really fortunate that I've had to get up only a certain number of times to achieve a milestone.
After some time passes, milestones start getting further apart. 3 mistakes, then 5, then 10, before you really start to see some progress. As a millennial and a generally impatient patient person, it really eats me alive when things don't happen at a certain pace.
Nowadays, milestones have gotten much further apart. We put our second product on the market (shoutout Lasso) and honestly, it's unbelievable. But the growth phase of a business is arduous and tedious. It's not like our next milestone is anywhere close. Honestly, it's not even like there is a milestone.
Product is in the market, okay, now it's time to grow it. Period. That's it, there's no next step. It's this forever.
It only took us 3 months to go from product design to physical product done. That felt great, but it also primed me to operate at light speed. That's why I'm sitting here 16 hours into my day writing a blog post, because I have all this energy to move things forward and I'm looking for places to put it.
But through this tremendous change of mindsets, I'm learning what I consider to be my most valuable lesson yet. Falling in love with the process of perfectionism.
I don't want to be perfect. Not at all, because then I'd have nothing to do.
But I want to try to be perfect, and I think that's my favorite part of life. It's going after something you know you can never achieve. It's understanding mistakes always happen, but finding ways to mitigate their impact. It's understanding the true grit it requires to grind out the hard part of building a business.
They say 97% of new businesses fail, or something like that. I'm glad to not be one of those. But I want to be higher in that 3%. And everything I know tells me it has nothing to do with what you sell, but how you approach that process every day.
It's a passion to study the greats, and I've probably seen every video chronicling an athlete's rise that exists. However, there is only one constant, with most great athletes, it's not typically athleticism that carries them. It's a sickening work ethic, and a presence.
It's a presence I felt when I met Wynton Marsalis, or President Obama. It's an energy that can move a whole room to follow your words and your stories, and move the way you move. It's honestly the reason Lonzo Ball has a chance to really do something special.
As I grind through the Hard Part of building a business, where there are no goals and you constantly work to get better, I'm reminded that with maturity our motivations change. Those periods of changing in motivations are hard to get through, but once you do, you reach new places of growth. Here's how it worked with me.
My reasons for working hard:
- Approval from others/chip on the shoulder syndrome
- Desire to find self worth in building something
- Desire for social importance and meaning to life
- Desire to push through something difficult
- Passion in defeating all mental limits
So that's where I'm at now. Number 5. Really testing myself to see how hard I can go, and how sane I can be. The Hard Part takes a toll, but that's what it's supposed to do. And if I weren't ultimately up to the challenge, I wouldn't have started.
I'm ready for this, life, and I'm excited to struggle.
And for anyone who took the time to read this, comment on what drives you. Why do you push yourself to greatness?