This is a little more “Rah, Rah” than many of my blog posts, but I have been doing a lot of reading recently (check out my review of Ray Dalio’s Principles) as I get ready to put the #TRIPLETHIS business growth platform into book form (there, I said it out loud – I am writing a book – gah, that is scary) and my brain is spinning right now with ideas. A common theme in books about business & growth is about the journey that transforms the intrepid founder. In my case, as a serial entrepreneur, I can tell you that growing a business is enormously challenging. But nowhere is it more challenging than inside the mind of the founder. The challenges that you face help define you. They help create you.
As a father (I have 5 kids), I am always concerned with helping my children having the opportunity to forge their own path. I try to be an example to them (as does my wife with her awesome baking business – JuliaCooks) that you can create your own sense of destiny and autonomy. In my 1 on 1 coaching with agency owners, it is part of my job to be blunt about the things that they are doing wrong. A client told me that two days of depression set in after we talked about breaking down some barriers that were holding her agency back. The client told me that hearing some support and acknowledgement that they were embarking on change would have been really helpful in the following days. This is a video rant that is in admiration for all that are so amazing, not because they are financial successes, but because they try.
By the way, in the rant, I mention the author Richard Bach – I haven’t read them in a long time, but I remember liking Illusions & One very well. Also, I mention a quote my family festooned my office walls with – it has been attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson. That may not be entirely accurate – it is more likely a concatenation of Emerson’s tone in Self Reliance and a passage from the wonderful e.e. cummings in an essay called A Poet’s Advice To Students – encapsulated in e.e. cummings: a miscellany, that reads “To be nobody – but -yourself– in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else–means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” Regardless, if you don’t know Emerson or cummings, please change that! (And yeah, I used to be an English teacher…)
Hey gang, it’s Tim. I heard a quote this morning that was erroneously attributed to the writer Richard Bach. It says, “A professional is an amateur who never quit.” That’s actually pretty similar to something I used to say when someone asked me about the secrets to start-up success and I used to say, “A great founder is someone who’s too dumb to know when to quit.” But there is really something to be said for gumption, right? There has been a bunch of thoughts. There was the Outliers book [Ed. – Malcolm Gladwell], where it talked about 10,000 hours to make you a master at what you’re doing. Then there was this quote from, not from Bach, but what I really wanted to talk about today is the fact that when you are working in your start-up or your agency, this stuff is really hard.
You know, as you’re growing your business, you are constantly stretching beyond where you’re comfortable. As a matter of fact, when I started this kind of messaging, I’m actually stretching beyond where I’m comfortable, this whole video thing. But it is in that moment, when you’re stretching beyond where you need to be, when you’re creating new processes, when you’re deciding how to attract new customers, when you’re defining a new opportunity, when you’re following your fully forward future vision, it’s in that moment that you actually change from someone who’s just messing around with whatever you’re doing to someone who’s committed. It’s that level of commitment that really, really makes an incredible difference in not only your results, but in the satisfaction you have in the journey, right, because even though in my Triple This we talk an awful lot about goal setting, and creating milestones to achieve those goals, those are functions, right?
The goal is the function of your activity. The goal is the output of the effort that is your input. But in order to sustain that effort, in order to become the professional, to put in that 10,000 hours, you absolutely have to have an emotional true connection to what you’re doing. Nobody, I think, ever starts a business just because they want to make money. Or actually, let me rephrase that. They don’t stick with a business just because they want to make money because there are way easier ways to make money than forging your own path, creating your own business. Getting a job is actually a terrific way to have a very comfortable life and if you are good at your job, you can be paid incredibly well. But creating your own business, creating your own agency, a start-up, a drugstore, whatever it is, if you are doing something on your own, you are choosing an arduous path, because when you are creating, nothing is easy. But if you don’t quit, then you can become very good at, and very successful.
But I want to think a little bit about the reasons why don’t quit. You don’t quit because it’s important to you. It becomes important to you because you have tied this goal of business success to an emotionally important concept. As part of the fully forward future planning that we do in Triple This is, we always break down the why of what you’re doing. We always breakdown why you have picked this goal. It’s crucially important that you do this, because frankly a goal without meaning, its arbitrary. You know, it’s a mile marker. It doesn’t matter. You know it’s completely meaningless. It is in this moment when you are choosing to make your own business, when you are choosing to create an opportunity for yourself, when you are choosing the arduous path, that you are throwing off the shackles of playing around, because if you choose to build a business, if you choose to take this risk, you are doing something incredible. You’re awesome for doing it.
There’s a great quote that’s right up here in my office. You guys can’t see it, but this is something that my family put up when I was away on a business trip, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you into something else is the greatest accomplishment.” For those of you who have taken the step to create your own business, to build your own thing, to reach out into the world to create something that heretofore did not exist, that is the greatest accomplishment. When you go from the amateur to the professional, because you didn’t quit, you are becoming whom you are supposed to be. You are creating an incredible journey and I’m so excited for you. Rock it. Have a great day.