PROGRESS IS SLOW, usually, until that one moment when something big happens and jumps us ahead. But mostly, we slog through the mundane things, the banal repetitive actions, baby-stepping it toward our goals. These are the ordinary things, consistently done over time, which will eventually lead to extraordinary results.
In the meantime, we bang our head against the walls, we kick at the doors, we throw heavy objects at the blacked-out windows, all in an effort to break through something, anything, which we know will validate that we’re going in the right direction.
IT’S EASY TO GIVE UP!
But giving up may not look like giving up. As we conquer one obstacle, jump through another hoop, something else either gets in our way or knocks us back on our ass. This is usually the moment we ask ourselves, “Do I really want this?”
We then start to evaluate every choice we made in our life, and whether or not what we’re up to is what we actually want to be up to.
For example, I recently got in front a group of Angel Investors who get together once a month to evaluate startup presentations. The purpose for this meeting is not to invest, but strictly to help make the presentation and the presenter better, so that when we (in this case, I) present to people actually looking to invest, they will hopefully jump on board.
It went super-great, and they all gave me amazing feedback. And then one of them said, “I think you should bootstrap it for another year or two, really get into some serious revenue and proof of concept, and then come back to us.” Two others agreed.
I was floored. Bootstrap it for TWO MORE YEARS?!? ARE YOU EFFING CRAZY?? I’ll go broke in a lot less time than that.
And then the evaluation process started. “Maybe I should just continue to write and direct and do photography,” and, “Why am I so ambitious? I should just lead a ‘normal’ life. Normal is great!” But for me it’s not, really. Never has been.
I seriously thought about what I’m trying to do and contemplated very deeply on, “Is this worth it?” Is all the work it takes getting this company launched and all the work it’s going to take— years of hard work and problem-solving— to make it successful and attractive for a potential purchase in 3—5 years really worth it? Is trying to set myself up for financial freedom truly a worthy pursuit?
And then of course every meme on Facebook was, like, how do you know when to quit, or what’s the price of happiness, or do what you love and the money will follow, and all that bullshit.
And I really thought, am I chasing something so big so I can eventually do what I really want to do in life, rather than just doing it now? Am I doing it for the right reasons? What the fuck do I really want?
Is asking myself these questions really a way for me to quietly give up because, “Awww, it’s so bloody hard?” Maybe the idea of an unambitious life is there as a test to see what I’m really made of.
And after thinking about it for a few days, finally an answer came.
I WANT IT ALL!
ALL, DAMMIT! Not some, not this thing or that thing, I WANT IT FUCKING ALL! Call me Veruca Salt, but that’s what I want.
I want to get this company funded. I want to write screenplays and direct passion projects. I want to continue shooting photos, I want to continue coaching my awesome clients, I want I want I want!
I. WANT. IT. ALL.
Trying to achieve one thing in life is bloody difficult, so clearly I must be insane.
How do you know when to give up? I don’t know, because I don’t know how. I never have, and never will. I remind myself that ordinary things consistently done over time… lots of bloody time… produce extraordinary results. And to get it all? To make it all happen?
Schedule schedule schedule.