People start businesses for a variety of reasons.
Some want to be financially independent. Others want to be their own boss or make their own schedule. Still others just want the notoriety that comes with building a business.
So long as you’re motivated to work, it doesn’t matter what gets you up in the morning. What’s right for you is right for you.
But one of the reasons so many fail, is because they aren’t willing to do whatever it takes to build their business.
When the going gets rough, they give up. When they are faced with decisions they don’t want to make or actions they don’t want to take, they give up.
So, whether you’re starting from scratch or you’re in the midst of building your business, it’s critically important that you ask yourself how badly you want it.
How do You Know if You’re Serious?
Think of one thing you love to do most. It could be a hobby, a passion or a social activity. You love it so much that if you could do it every single day, you would.
Have you identified what it is?
Now ask yourself whether you’re willing to give it up.
You wouldn’t need to give it up forever. But you would need to be willing to give it up for a window of time.
Most people find it incredibly difficult to give up something they hold dear to themselves. The more set in your ways you are, the harder it tends to be.
“But can’t I do both?”
Look, I’m definitely a both/and person as I’ve shared before.
But I’ve watched other entrepreneurs attempt to balance their lives. There was one in particular that worked every day, doubled up on workouts and tried to maintain a social life on top of it all. What happened to her? She burned out in a hurry.
So, if you’re not willing to give up a bit of Netflix time, sacrifice sleep, stop hanging out with people that drag you down or prioritize your business over other things you love to do, you probably aren’t serious yet.
What’s it All for?
There are those who aren’t willing to do what it takes.
But there are also those who sit on the other extreme. They’re willing to do whatever it takes to build their business, but they don’t have a clearly defined purpose.
Those who are pulling 14- to 16-hour days often fall into this category. They’re doing the work, for sure, but they don’t have an end goal in mind. They’re just doing it because they’re doing it.
Knowing your “why” is key, not just for motivation but also for reigning yourself in.
If you overwork and burn yourself out, you won’t be able to sustain your work habit. So, pulling long days is shortsighted. It’s the opposite of consistency, because there’s a good chance you’re going to fall off the map at some point. You’re going to have to recover from the damage you’ve done to yourself.
It’s a different matter entirely if you can identify a clear target. For instance, let’s say you’re working a day job that pays you six-figures and you’re building a business on the side with hopes of making six-figures with it. You can see that you’re just three months off from making it. So, you put in an extra hour or two at night to get yourself over the hump. To me, that makes senses.
What doesn’t make sense is trying to be productive for the sake of being productive. Sure, you’ll get a lot done at first, but as you become more tired, and your health begins to deteriorate, you won’t be able to keep it up. Even if you work the same amount of time, you won’t be as effective because you won’t be as sharp or focused.
As I’ve shared with you before, we should aim to embrace effectiveness — not productivity.
If you get into business, rest assured your resolve will be tested.
You will encounter challenges. And, you may even feel like giving up at times.
People who are highly motivated tend to make sweeping decisions about their future and what they intend to accomplish. The only problem is that the moment you do this, you invite disruption. Something will come along to test you, whether it’s a breakup, the passing of a friend or a family member, a car accident or otherwise. I’ve seen this play out many times.
Business is easy when everything is great. It’s much harder when you’re facing challenging times. So, it’s about how you respond in challenging times that makes all the difference.