This metaphor isn’t fully baked, but let me cook. #punintended.
I’m an avid runner; one, I find them to be therapeutic, two, I crave a thrill of competition, and three, running teaches me a lot about life and mental toughness. I’ve run in over 13 mud runs in the past two years (i.e. Spartan Race, Warrior Dash, Savage Race, you get the gist).
What I love most about mud runs? They are the perfect balance between being challenging and annoying. Swan diving into a mud pit doesn’t bother me as much as having to continue to run whilst covered in that dry, heavy, earth-residue. When asked why I don’t just run, “regular races,” I tell them that it is the challenge, monotony, and discomfort of completing these mini obstacles (“the mud”) that makes the reward that much sweeter (“your light”).
After picking the brains of numerous entrepreneurs and creatives that are my age, the first thing I notice is how grandiose our plans seem to be. I say “our” because my plans are grandiose AF. At times I fail to realize (or I simply just ignore) the daily grit it takes to make my desired end-state a reality. In my almost-expert opinion, we are lost in the minutia of our mud or blinded by the light of our sun.
Though the subject of a later conversation, this is one of the key differentiation of our generation from those before us. We are entrepreneurial, passionate, and determined and think we can solve any problem we want to… on our own.
Now let’s be clear, I’m a firm advocate of “you can accomplish anything you want,” but I’m also a firm advocate of, “you can’t do it alone.” (tweet that)
Thinking about my ventures, each and every one of them has a solid team that does just as much gritty-grunt work, if not more, than I do. They also each have a fruitful network that is more-than-willing to give advice our volunteer their resources. The common denominator in all of this is that the daily effort is what we must stick to, like mud, and it is what made us accomplish today’s successes, our light.
The light is where we want to be, it’s what reminds us why we are doing what it is we are doing, and the where we are trying to go. But that ugly, uncomfortable, annoying ass mud that sticks to us, it’s how we grow and what our daily activities are that get us to the clouds.
Appreciate Your Light.
Your light is when you are in your MF’in zone, you know that jittery feeling you get when you really feel like you’re living your best life and fulfilling your purpose? That’s it. For some of us it is when we are speaking to or mentoring others, for some it is feeling the hard-copy of a book you wrote, for others it’s standing on the couch in a section you bought with champagne in one hand and Hennessy in the other — we don’t judge.
It is imperative that you know where your light is, and continue to look towards it.
- Utilize an accountability plan to document your big picture goals, the Guide 2 Great is an excellent example (I’m tooting my horn!)
- Utilize imagery to remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing. This can consist of hanging your vision board, placing sticky notes on your bathroom mirror, or hanging posters of your goals around the house.
- Tell other about your light. We are prideful by human nature, so there is a power in telling others your goals, which naturally helps you complete them.
Know there will be storms that oftentimes may block your light. They’ll be times your goal seems unattainable, or that it is no longer your purpose to fulfill them — be sure to weather the storm. #pungameon100
Stick to The Mud.
The mud is the tough shit. It’s what you try and put off until the last minute, it’s producing consistent content and blog posts, it’s scheduling tweets, it’s creating templates for your Instagram stories, it’s doing what you wish you could pay someone else to do.
Though the mud sucks, it is what will carry you to the finish line, and make your light that much brighter. (tweet that)
- Develop automated processes, to help make the grunt worse less gritty. Using tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, and Zapier removes a lot of manual labor.
- Create a schedule and utilize your mornings, how you start your day will determine the momentum you carry throughout it.
- Document your journey, for you creatives and entrepreneurs I KNOW you are wishing you had someone you could pay to stick to your mud, when that time comes it’s imperative that you have your standard process documented to ease the transition — go ahead and start documenting now.
- Consistency is more important than you think, everything you do is on the record, every post, every action, and every piece of thought leadership. You’ve heard the quote, “We are what we consistently do, so excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
- Lean on others, creative cooperation is a #majorkey when it comes to getting through the mud — remember that the whole is greater than the sum of its part. Lean on others to accomplish your daily tasks.
I know the mud sucks, the mud is why I’m up all night writing this blog post. But I promise you — when I get a text that says, “B your blog post really inspired me,” or, “Thanks for you post it’s the reason I decided to start my new venture,” that right there is my light — and it makes the mud worth it.
Stick to your mud. Appreciate your light.
What’s your light? Drop it in the comments — you never know who may be able to help you through your mud.