…and I asked them, how bad do you want it?
“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.” – Eric Thomas
A few days ago I had a conversation with a friend about their business. They came to me telling me that they were lost, worried, and unable to continue. They told me that they had given it everything they had and it didn’t work. It didn’t matter how hard they tried they just couldn’t break through. They had put in the long hours. They had gone through the sleepless nights. In fact, those same sleepless nights turned into sleepless days.
And yet, I said nothing.
Each night while everyone else was fast asleep, they sat awake crying, praying for success to find them. Then, afraid to show weakness when the world woke up, they wiped the tears from their eyes, put on a brave face and prepared for the day ahead.
They told me that they were at the end and couldn’t continue anymore. No matter what I would tell them, they were exhausted. Done. Finished.
And yet, I said nothing.
They told me that they’ve wasted their time and that it was a hopeless dream. The rant concluded with a verbal berating of everything that they had worked towards, finally stating that they just couldn’t do it.
And yet, I said nothing.
Frustrated, tired, overworked, and confused, they grabbed me all-the-while screaming, “You have nothing to say?”
I could feel their anger building as they looked into my eyes. They had poured out every thought they were having and I had said nothing. I finally broke my silence with the question, How bad do you want it?
With a quick “fuck you” they walked away.
12 hours later I received a call from that same friend.
“Joel, I want it but I can’t take the hardships, long hours, sleepless nights, and endless frustrations.”
To which I replied, “Then you don’t want it bad enough. I ask again, How bad do you want it?”
One long and excruciating hour passed. At its completion, our silence was broken and they finally spoke up. “More than I want to breathe”.
“Good” I replied. ”Now we have something to go on. Let’s get to work.”
The struggles and hardships that my friend was going through are normal in the entrepreneurial world. They, just like you and I are human and as humans, there is a set threshold as to how much we can take.
Sadly, the word entrepreneur has become the “sexy” thing to do. From its depictions on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the like to the way it is portrayed by entrepreneurial celebrities, this generation and the next has become enthralled with the success that being an entrepreneur can deliver. You see it all the time. #Grind, #Hustle, #Winning, or any other wannabe tag that some entrepreneurs throw around as if to let the world know that they have somehow made it. From my perspective, right or wrong, this is done so that they may justify to themselves that they are the entrepreneurs they pretend to be.
A picture has been painted that being an entrepreneur is easy and that anybody can do it. For reasons not so obvious, this is the furthest from the truth. You know it doesn’t work like this.
Success Coach Tony Robbins claims that there are four things that you can do so that success finds you. I’d argue that there are more but that’s not the point. Whether or not you do them are determined by your answer to the question proposed above, How bad do you want it?
- “Focus on building a business that adds value to the world, not dollars in your bank account.”
- “There is a “model” that will help you reach success. You just have to look for it.”
- “There’s power in preparation.”
- “Become an expert in your industry. “
Unconditional of what you do, success also looks to ensure that you are ready for it. This is achieved through a series of simple tests.
First, those who seek it must have patience. Contrary to what the hash-taggers tell you, it does not happen overnight. Second, and strongly tied to the first point, it requires the seeker to do the right things for a long enough period of time. Third, it looks for struggle, for it is in the struggle that your character will develop. Fourth, and most important, are you worthy of it? Will you remember what it took to achieve it or will you forget it?
Imagine yourself looking in the mirror. You’re down, tired, and beat up. You’ve given it everything you have and you’re ready to throw in the towel. Two years previously you had set a date, a cut off if you will, that stated, “If I haven’t achieved success by ‘X’ date, I’ll quit and move on”.
That date is here and you follow through on your promise. You do what you always expected you’d do and you quit throwing away months and years of work.
It doesn’t end there.
You now turn to your family and friends to tell them what you feared the most. You have become the statistic that you didn’t want to become. It dawns on you that the day you quit was the day you answered the question, How bad do you want it? with, Not bad enough.
Begrudgingly, you go back to whatever you were doing before your entrepreneurial endeavors.
Four weeks into your new life, you find out that success was positioned to find you two weeks after you quit. How does that make you feel?
How bad do you want it?
I think about this all the time.
“If I had just stayed in the game a little bit longer, what would’ve happened? What would my life look like? Was there a way for me to have predicted the day success would find me? How could I have known?”
The answer to these questions will, of course, go unanswered and therein lies the problem that the “wantrepreneurs” are creating. The unrealistic portrayal of what entrepreneurship is has far too many people taking up the mantle unprepared for what it entails. If I may say, they would be better off not starting at all.
By no means does this suggest that entrepreneurship isn’t for you. It might just be. However, if you are only in it because you think it’s easy, I’d recommend you quit now. You will save yourself hardship in the future.
If you’re like me and still feel the need to pursue it, I feel it necessary to leave you with two final points of advice.
- Pick something you will enjoy for the rest of your life
- Learn to enjoy the journey more than the result.
Cheers to your success,