If there’s one thing I’ve come to appreciate more than anything else this year, it’s the value of hard work.
Collectively, we under-appreciate the value of hard work. We’re tricked into thinking that success is based on luck, based on circumstance or some other outside factor. Being in the right place at the right time.
Throughout this past year, and throughout my life, I’ve come back to the same conclusion: Hard work is a prerequisite to success. Hard work pays off. Hard work is about taking things on step at a time to chip away at big goals.
But along the way we’re sidetracked by shortcuts – we’re encouraged to take the easy way out – we’re forced to make tough decisions and the easier path is, of course, always tempting. Why work hard if you don’t have to, right?
When it comes to results, we’re always in search for answers – we want other people to tell us how they’ve achieved success, how they are where they are today, and what got them there.
When I look at someone like my friend and partner, Sam, a guy who left a corporate lifestyle years ago, started a company, wrote a book, and has been living his passions ever since – someone I looked up to when I was a wee lad in college, and now have the pleasure of working with. He is where he is today because he hustles and he works hard.
Or someone like Jenny Blake, a fellow blogger who I’ve had the pleasure of knowing for the past couple years – someone who, like the rest of us, started a blog to put her ideas out there and share them with the world – had the dream of writing a book, and has now turned that dream into a reality. While the rest of us talked about writing a book, but never found time to get around to it, she made things happen and pretty soon she’ll see her book on store shelves across the country because she hustles and she works hard.
Or my good friend (and client) Courtney Dial, who left her comfortable 9 to 5 to pursue her passion with Pizzazzerie – turning a blog into one of the best-known party, event, and entertaining inspiration sites on the web – with over 100,000 hits a month after only existing for about 8 months. She ignored people that told her it wasn’t a realistic business model, but has found huge success because she hustles and she works hard (and probably doesn’t get enough sleep).
When people ask me how I’ve ended up where I am today – my first response is “hard work”. Of course, there’s more to it than that, I’m also extremely fortunate to be in the position I’m in, but above all, I work hard – nights, weekends, whatever it takes to do great work. (Note: Hard work is much easier when you love what you do)
The value of hard work cannot be substituted with anything in this world. It is the essence, the life-force, and the reason for success. It’s also the biggest deficiency for most people – the lack of desire to work hard, especially in a society that demands immediate gratification, holds us back.
Don’t let it. Don’t be focused on immediate results. Embrace that results take time. Hustle. I’m living proof, as is everyone I mentioned above, that hard work pays off. And through all of those late nights, work-filled weekends, failures, and successes you’ll learn more about yourself and what you’re capable of than you ever thought possible.
How has hard work paid off for you this year? What are you working toward right now?