I hated every single minute of the training, but I said, “Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.
Let’s get real. Are you ready?
When my last business was at its peak we were making $10M per year and my personal income was $4M annually. Was that great? Yes, it was everything I dreamed of and asked for and stayed committed to creating.
Was it all great?
Far from it.
In fact there were parts of it, sometimes many parts, which absolutely sucked.
Over 200 days per year living out of a suitcase. An average of 4 hours of sleep per night. 7 day work weeks, 12-16 hour days. Personal taxes over $1M per year. An overhead of $500K every single month that was all on me to produce. I had a vacation getaway condo on the beach in Kona, Hawaii that I hadn’t been able to get to for over a year.
Need I go on?
It was a grind.
If you’re an entrepreneur (which I hope you are), then you can relate, and you know the grind well.
Let me ask you: Who do you think has more real estate problems, you or Donald Trump?
Who do you think has more employee, concerns, payroll and tax issues, you or Richard Branson?
Look, we all think about quitting. It’s human. Even if it’s just in a really soft way such as “What the hell am I doing?” Or, “Man there has to be an easier way.”
Easy is for the weak of mind and spirit; and it’s the Kool Aid served to masses.
Life is not meant to be easy, it’s meant to be meaningful.
Get this clear right now.
There is no easy.
If it was easy then everyone would be world-class. Everyone would be Serena Williams, Danny Way or Elon Musk. Easy and great cannot exist in the same space. Please read that again.
Nothing great ever came easy. Things that come easy are easily and quickly lost.
I’ve borrowed today’s blog title from the Navy Seals. Embrace the suck is one of their mottos. The Seals are the best of the best.
This is an inarguable fact.
My life has been far from easy—light years far from easy. If you know anything about my journey I’m sure you agree.
One of the things that has been in my personal purpose statement (do you have one? You should), for more years than I can count is the phrase: “I go the distance, pay the price, do what it takes…” little did I know what it would take when I initially wrote and committed to that motto.
Had I known I may have thought twice.
But I’m on purpose. I know why I’m here. The choice has been made. And when you know your purpose; and you know why you’re here, you don’t quit.
Even though it often feels as if it would be easier.
It really wouldn’t.
Life without purpose is like a day without oxygen.
This is so profound it can’t be overstated.
I was coaching a young woman lately. In her mid-forties, she is highly successful by all worldly measures. She’s killing it in her job as an IT professional. Making a nice $110,000 per year put’s her in the top 3% income earners in the entire world.
She’s great at what she does;
And she’s unfulfilled.
Yes you read that correctly.
The point? She’s working really hard yet her work is just work; and nothing more.
Well, nothing more except miserable.
She has no personal purpose. Like so many, she’s climbed the ladder of success society gave to her; and found that it’s leaning against the wrong wall.
She works hard but her work has no meaning. Psychological studies conducted in over 150 countries around the world with over 100, 000 people asked the question, “What’s the number one thing you want more of in your life?”
The answer was not more money, house or car. The resounding answer?
“More meaningful work.”
Let’s face it, unless you’re a slug (which I’m guessing you’re not or you wouldn’t be reading my blogs), you work hard too. But are you working hard doing what you love?
Does your work have meaning and purpose to you?
Does it make you feel fulfilled?
Success without fulfillment is the greatest failure of all.
Let’s get real. You’re going to work hard regardless. You’re going to work hard doing something you love; and you’re going to work hard doing something that you despise. Work you despise is the hardest work of all.
You might as well work hard doing what you love.
You’re going to work hard!
Embrace the suck.
Even when you do something you love there are going to be tough and difficult days.
Get over it.
Get on with it.
But when you’re doing something that’s meaningful and fulfilling the suck doesn’t really suck so badly. Think about it.
I made a personal distinction and decision years ago that there is nothing that can stop me or hold me back when I’m truly committed.
There is nothing in heaven or earth that can stop you or hold you back when you’re truly committed and willing to persevere.
Losing everything external for me sucked.
Going to prison sucked.
There’s no positive smiley face spin I can put on it that makes it otherwise.
Yet it was also amazing. What better situation could I ever imagine to practice what I know and espouse to believe?
What better situation to develop, advance and grow?
You don’t grow in comfort. You grow the most in chaos. Embrace it!
That entire experience proved to me that I was truly willing—and continue to be willing—to “go the distance, pay the price, do what it takes.”
You can say “yes” all day long, but can you prove it!
Words are noise until they’re backed up with action. Embrace the suck and be a champion for a lifetime.
Easy and great cannot exist in the same space.
One of my hero’s is Leonardo da Vinci. As the illegitimate son of a peasant he was denied the ability to attend school. This type of prejudice definitely sucked for young Leo.
But it didn’t hold him back.
Leonardo is not only considered one of the greatest painters of all time, with no less than the Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, and the Vitruvian Man as a few of the icons to his credit, but he is also considered by many scholars to be a true “Universal Genius.”
Leonardo invented the tank, the parachute, the diving suit, the armored car, the first airplane and many other absolutely amazing things came from his brilliant mind.
And he never had any traditional schooling.
Think about it.
What have you been programmed to believe?
Leonardo had a motto that I adopted for myself years ago: Ostinato Rigore. Which translates in English as stubborn, relentless practice. Tenacious work.
A quick study of history proves that the greatest geniuses of all time didn’t ask for easy.
They asked for mastery.
True greatness doesn’t ask for easy, it asks for mastery.
So what are you asking for?
The mediocre masses are doing everything within their power to find easy.
While the elite few are pursuing mastery.
The masses are doing their best to avoid pain and seek pleasure.
While the elite few are embracing the pain; and finding their true pleasure in paying the price for their purpose and prize.
The masses are desperately chasing the magic pill and the secret sauce that will make them instantly rich and famous.
While the elite few are practicing delayed gratification, embracing the suck, and doing the work that will make them champions for a lifetime.
Which are you?
There is no value whatsoever in lying to yourself.
For the proof is glaringly apparent in your behavior.
Lose the fear; and embrace the willingness to suffer now and become a champion for a lifetime.
Prove your commitment to mastery and greatness.
Prove your commitment to these things above and beyond your comfort and moods.
If you choose to become great, then you must commit to your greatness above and beyond the commitment to your own comfort or moods.
Embrace the suck.
Stay Awake, Love Life, and Be Epic