Doing the Work and Asking for More

If you would ask me today about the ultimate success formula — I would say it’s a cocktail of many things, but the one ingredient that dictates the general taste is — doing the work.

When I moved to London in early 2012 I was determined to do exactly that. I’ve joined one of the startups near Old Street as a junior front end developer. I’ve quickly realised what skills I needed to build to succeed at my job. JavaScript, CSS, Mercurial SCM, Django and Python were all the technologies that required my attention. I’ve studied during my evenings and weekends.

I’ve put hours of work.

It paid off. I became confident solving tech problems and doing my job well.

And that’s a trap. It makes you believe that you can slow down and take it easy from there. Don’t be fooled.

Doing the work is a long-term strategy, not a short-term exercise.

Why shouldn’t you slow down? Because there is no status quo. It’s either evolution or degradation. You either put more work or eventually you will loose.

Doing the work is not enough. You need to ask for more.

When you discover a delicious cocktail — you ask if you can have another one.

I’ve asked for more work. I’ve learnt new technologies — Node.js, MongoDB, Git, LESS and Sass. I’ve changed my jobs. I’ve joined Imperial College London to lead front end development and build ambitious web projects.

Then I had to take it to the next level and 7 months later — my first book React.js Essentials was published.

Today I have a privilege of training and mentoring other people. It’s been 3 weeks since I’ve started teaching immersive full-time front end development course at The Iron Yard. I see how much work my students put in. Some less, others more. Can’t wait to see their results.

The habit of doing the actual work and asking for more — is the shortest path to success.

As a mentor, my job is to direct them and challenge them. Push them out of their comfort zone. Support them when they struggle. And celebrate with them when they have breakthroughs.

Your work is the ultimate declaration of who you are.

No one can argue with the fact that you put in hours of work. No one can beat it. It’s honest. It’s innocent.

And most importantly — it produces results.