So I get a decent amount of emails asking for helpful advice on starting a business. Most of the time the questions involve bigger picture problems and, after having conversed through several emails, the number one thing that always seems to be lacking from people is their work ethic. Maybe it isn’t necessarily a lack of work ethic but perhaps just a general misunderstanding of what it takes to accomplish something like starting and maintaining your own business. Lets break it down just a tad bit.
There is a statistic, which states that, on average, it takes 10,000 hours of doing something to become an expert at it. I would argue that one is never an expert and that you should always be continually learning. But that’s beside the point. Regardless, this would mean that in order to become an expert it would take you over 27 years of devoting 1 hour a day to whatever thing you wanted to become an expert at. Think about that for a second and realize how mind boggling that really is. Have you ever worked this hard for anything in your life? Better get going.
The second biggest topic that I end up discussing in these emails asking for help revolves around marketing and advertising. There is always this thought that if someone puts out their best work that they’ll be “found” by some agency or person willing to make them a star. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I read a quote the other day that went something like, “Late to bed, early to rise, work like hell, and advertise.” Although I could have changed part of that quote to reflect my own sleeping patterns the underlying point still holds true. Just because you’re willing to put in the work doesn’t mean that you’re going to be seen in the increasingly large expanse of noise that is now a part of our society. You have to learn how to get your name out there or you will never be seen. You have to learn how to sell yourself.
So when somebody tells you that it’s going to take some serious work, believe them. But don’t get discouraged. The time you’re willing to devote to your craft will pass whether you put in the work or not. It’s a much better feeling to look back and know that you took advantage of every opportunity presented.
No pressure, no diamonds.