Beyond the Bullsh*t (The Untold Story of Great Entrepreneurs)

Jan 10, 2024

I wanna share a personal challenge that has over the years, messed me up quite a bit. I also wanna preface this by saying I am still a work in progress. I've not yet mastered this, and every day, quite honestly, remains a new adventure. Now I wanna brace you because logically what I'm going to share, is actually easy to grasp, but applying it is where the challenge lies.

Here is the dilemma I experience, and most of my highly-driven peers face this as well, and that is progress doesn't always manifest as a clear step forward.

So what do I mean? Growth is not always a quantifiable gain or measurable advancement. It's not always something you can touch or post on social media for validation. Sometimes growth and progress can be subtle or even invisible.  It can be a sidestep or even a step backward as we refocus on the big picture versus seeking immediate gratification.

Now this continues to be a struggle for me, as oftentimes my inner voice tempts me to seek that instant gratification, be it money, health, parenting, or my companies. The human brain is pre-wired for this, which is why you see countless gurus, experts, and brilliant marketers proclaiming they have the secret formula for overnight success. 

Do this for 30 days and you will have a swimsuit model body.

Drink this and you'll be a lightning-fast runner and break all the records.

Buy my course, and I guarantee you'll have a million-dollar business in 12 months.

It sounds so sexy because we are enticed by immediacy. Unfortunately, it's all bullsh*t and the pursuit of immediate gratification will lead us astray.

  Reflecting on this, I ask myself now, how can I find value in the steps that aren't necessarily glamorous or immediately rewarding, but vital to reaching my long-term goals? Ultimately, it's about embracing patience and having an unwavering confidence that my vision will manifest into reality. It is foregoing immediate rewards for something more significant down the line. There is value in persevering through the grind in silence to create something impactful.

Taking a step back to fine-tune certain aspects of your business is not a loss. Exploring, questioning, and reinventing might not result in instantaneous success, but if you can discipline yourself to focus on the big picture, you'll understand that in the long run, these actions foster happiness, fulfillment, and ultimately victory.

The allure of instant gratification will always give you a temporary high, but it will invariably leave you empty. True achievement, true excellence, in anything, takes time. We don't always see the behind-the-scenes struggles of successful entrepreneurs. The countless rejections, the long nights, the failures, the perseverance.

Our society only celebrates and recognizes the finished product. The essential actions of the most successful are not visible. The athlete at the gym at 5:00 AM, and the comedian practicing her craft in the motel bathroom the night before she goes on. The entrepreneur working nights and weekends for years before they get their big break. We sometimes lose the fire in our belly because the results are not outwardly glamorous.

There is no medal around our neck. There is no social media-worthy photo op. It is the subtle progress, the quiet private triumphs that matter the most. I recall the time in my twenties when I was leaving my well-paid corporate gig to embark full-time on my entrepreneurial journey.

I was having some beers with my college buddies who were kicking ass in their careers, and here I was venturing into something less conventional, and according to them, I was quote-unquote "tossing away my master's degree". It was an interesting period, a trying time far from conventional, but here I am in my fifties and so grateful that I mustered the courage to persist.

I've been required throughout my journey to delay gratification so many times. This is the entrepreneurial journey. The audacity to walk the less traveled path provided me with experiences I could never have imagined.

The belief in myself and in my dream to be a successful entrepreneur provided me the opportunity to coach my kids in their youth sports. It provided me the chance to be with them more often. I ended up coaching 42 different teams when they were growing up. Baseball, softball, basketball, soccer. Rarely missed a school function.

A corporate gig at a fancy Boston firm would never have given me that gift. So giving into the pressure to satisfy the immediate, to feel valued in the here and now, can destroy the massive opportunities that lie ahead for us. I assure you, that the willingness to step back and take time to discover and cultivate your vision is invaluable.

It might be daunting when you or those around you don't understand your path, but if you aim to be that fearless entrepreneur, that's the journey you must embrace. It might take years, but it will be worth it. The underlying theme is that immediate gratification is an illusion.

Real progress is usually gradual and demands perseverance.

Keep your eyes on the prize as you lay the groundwork for a magical future. This is uncomfortable and a path few have the patience to walk. Remind yourself why you're foregoing minor triumphs and why quietly building something substantial is more powerful and fulfilling than boasting about every little win. Your opportunity to shine will happen.

Look in the mirror every day and passionately remind yourself that you are going to make a major impact in the world and let your vision, your dream, be that unstoppable force that pulls you through.

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