We all know those people who crave success. Who obsess over their creations. Wake up thinking about it, go to sleep thinking about it. Call them in the middle of the day, they are working on it. I use to think they were weird until I became one of them. Until I decided to give a damn.
I was inspired to write this post after realizing that I had become obsessed with making Anti Wantrepreneur a success. I was sitting at the desk in my living area and a friend asked me, “How many hours do you work? 80 hours a week?”
She had seen me in the same spot the day before typing away on the computer for hours straight. It so happened, that day I woke up early, around 7:00. I told her that I usually don’t work this much, that I had some items to finish before the end of the month. The biggest one being The Alibaba Crash Course.
In the past I use to get offended when people asked me that. I thought it was them indirectly telling me to do something else or stop “working so much”.
But I realized… I had been working a lot. I was waking up every morning at 7 am to write blog posts or record podcasts. The interviewees for the podcast are usually in the states so they are behind 12 hours. So I record the episodes early in the morning. From the hours of 7 am — 9 am. Which is usually 7 pm – 9 pm for the guests.
I usually spend most of my day writing posts and emailing people for partnerships, interviews, or to contribute to the site. When the evening comes I am doing the same thing. My girlfriend told me that I needed “to not work so much”. To me it’s not work.
Why? Because I never once said “I hate doing stuff for this website”. The site is my child and it is in the nurturing stage. So I am giving it a lot of attention and I LOVE working on it. I am at peace when working on it. Fully in flow and focused. I go crazy when traffic grows or people write me saying they love what we are doing.
This was a message I got on Facebook last week: “Bro! I just started listening to the podcast! And I just wanted to say very good job! I love it! And I love that I can just chat with you…I think its very awesome! Thanks for everything you do! I really appreciate it all!!!”
And that was word for word. For someone to say that to me is very touching and let’s me know that I am doing something of value.
Why was I waking up so early to do podcasts, write articles, reach out to people?
Because I give a damn.
I care enough about my project to put forth the extra effort. To spend hours replying to emails and researching.
Is this wrong?
Hell no. If someone tells you, “You work too much” or “You need a work life balance” they just haven’t found the thing that makes them obsess.
I remember speaking with Khailee Ng of Says.com (Multi million dollar start up) on a trip to Krabi, Thailand. I asked him “What do you think separates a million dollar company from a $50 million company?” He instantly replied “Having someone who will stay up and obsess over every aspect of the business. From the pixel placement in the logo to the customer service”.
Alexis Ohanian the founder of Reddit recently did a video for google entitled “Making Something People Love”. In the video he outlines why his 3 start ups Hipmunk, Reddit, and Breadpig were all major successes because he cared enough to make something that people really loved. From doing something exceptional for your users to rethinking boring pages on your website. Caring makes a difference.
Think about ALL the successful people who give a damn. Who care enough to put their all into their passion. Kobe Bryant shoots 800 jumpshots a day. Michael Jackson would rehearse for months before a tour. Floyd Mayweather is pound for pound the best fighter in the world. He trains 3 times a day, runs at least 5 miles a day preparing for his fights. Tim Ferris maps out the marketing for his books 6-9 months in advance to make sure his books do well.
These are my role models. Not the people who work some and take breaks. To the truly successful, their work is their lives. They are the best at what they do and enjoy EVERY second of it. When you look at them you say “That guy is a…”. They wear the essence of who they are on their sleeve.
I know people who have jobs they hate. When you see them you say,“I wouldn’t expect him to be doing that. He looks like a…”
I choose to care. I choose to worry about my performance, stay up late chatting with a potential partner, to chat with a kid for 30 minutes who needs help, or send that new entrepreneur free access to a course that will help them with their business idea.
For the Alibaba Crash Course, I validated the course myself, researched all the content, wrote everything, and built the entire site myself. Carefully crafting all the elements from emails, to color scheme, to flow, content, making them perfect for the user. For the podcast I find the interviewees, record the interviews, edit the recording, and publish them. I record the intros for the podcasts over and over until I feel it is up to the standard I have set.
As I grow and learn my standards are raised.
Ending this, I feel happy to have a core group of friends who grind and hustle everyday, even though they have surpassed many of their peers. I have so much admiration for those who stay up late to make sure their project is perfect or their final product is awesome for the user. The day of releasing crap has come to an end.
So I ask you, do you give a damn?