Hard Work Never Ends
I’m a successful entrepreneur (or that is at least what it looks like on the outside) and whilst I don’t have the choice of working or not working (to pay the bills, I need to work), I’m lucky to at least have some added space in terms of how I work and what I work on.
It is on that backdrop that I received an e-mail from someone simply asking me: “Why do you hustle so damn hard? Surely you have enough of an audience to not have to work this hard?”
This was a response to a new campaign I’m experimenting with to find a better way to engage with my 16 000+ Twitter followers and get some of them to sign up for my newsletter. This very experiment had already helped me to grow my mailing list by more than 7% in just 24 hours.
My response about why I hustle so hard: I know no other way.
I just read this fantastic article about how you can pretty much get any job you want by just creating that opportunity through creative thinking and hard work.
The hard work never ends; not if you have the ambition to succeed.
Whilst I was running WooThemes as CEO, I probably got into the most comfortable position I had ever been as an entrepreneur: I had a great team, we were building awesome things, we were communicating efficiently and the business was growing. But even that, there were loads of things that needed to happen behind-the-scenes to ensure that the comfort levels remained: strategizing, figuring out what the bigger picture looked like in 6 months’ time, having plans B, C through to Z (in the spirit of being flexible and agile), nurturing internal relationships and making sure that all obstacles had been removed for the team.
So even when things appeared to be in cruise-mode, the hard work hadn’t stopped.
I also think that I never even realized how much hard work it took just to keep a ship on course (not even to think about making it go faster or take a shorter / better route). Recently as I have been getting stuck into building my new startup, I started to remember how much hard work it was, because I’m no doing that and a bunch of other things (which I could previously delegate, but don’t have that luxury in an early-stage, pre-profitability startup).
I’ve never complained about hard work; in fact, there’s no better feeling that “going home” after a day of hard graft, feeling physically tired and knowing that you gave your all to make progress. That is rewarding and one of the reasons why I would always work on my own startup.
This is however about acknowledging that every overnight success required 10 years of incredibly hard work.
And at no level of success is the job ever just done.
Whilst the first $1000 in revenue is harder (to earn) than the first $10 000 — and getting to $100k or $1m becomes progressively easier — none of those milestones is a prompt to stop the hard work. Yes, you will be building a team to whom you can delegate tasks, but you’ll just take responsibility for a more arduous task: managing a team.
Hard work sets the tone for success.
And as the cheerleader for my startup, I want to lead by example.
The hard work never ends.