Yesterday afternoon I sat watching my daughter participate in a gymnastics meet in downtown Minneapolis.
I spoke with my daughter’s coach and he told me how proud he is of these young girls who work so hard during the 3 hour training sessions they have after school 2 days a week. He went on to complement the fact that they do it with extremely packed schedules and that many of the girls on team also excel academically. For my daughter, gymnastics is in addition to other after school commitments that have her scheduled every day of the week except Friday this year.
After reflecting on this conversation I realize it was a great business lesson.
This got me to thinking about what time, energy, or opportunity I might be wasting while my fellow entrepreneurs are outworking or out-hustling me. This makes me think of an excerpt from a great book by Gary Vaynerchuk called “Crush It” that resonated with me.
He says that “If you have a full-time job, you can get a lot done between 7pm and 2am (9pm and 3am if you’ve got kids)”.
So, if my daughter goes to school full-time, has 6 extracurricular activities a week, and gives her all at every turn, who am I to complain that I’m busy and overworked? If I truly want to stand out from the crowd, I have to be committed to outwork and out hustle the masses. Anyone can be average or below average. If you really believe that you have a great brand, ideas, and/or products then you need to be creative in finding ways to carve out time or opportunities in places off the beaten path.
Personally, I have committed to curbing TV at night. If I am not spending quality time with my kids or wife, I shouldn’t be in front of the boob tube, which continues to be a growing problem nation wide. Also, many of us have gotten on the Wii/video addiction treadmill. This is something else that wastes valuable time. If my goal of being a successful entrepreneur is to become a reality, I need to work longer and harder into the wee hours of the morning.
Don’t get me wrong, we all need a little downtime here and there. However, if you want to get ahead in life, sacrifices must be made.
Finally, I am trying to be a better listener, whether I am at the grocery store, or with my kids or in a business meeting. You never know what lesson you will learn or who you will learn it from.
In closing, I always seem to come back to the Don Henley song “How Bad Do You Want It“?… “Not Bad Enough”
So, How bad do you want it? The rest is up to you.