StartUp Tip #51: Do the hard things


The entrepreneurship journey is not easy. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. Value lies in the fact that it is not easy and not everyone is doing it.

Every time I read a management or self-help book, I find myself saying, “That’s fine, but that wasn’t really the hard thing about the situation.”

The hard thing is not having an amazing idea. The hard thing is making that idea happen.

The hard thing is not looking for fancy offices and cosmetics. The hard thing is making rent money at the a slow month.

The hard thing is not going on a strategic session and conceptualise amazing plans, the hard thing is implementing those plans, consistently, slowly, drip by drip.

The hard thing is not writing up a fancy proposal. The hard thing is taking the pain of rejection and picking yourself up and move on.

The hard thing is not setting a big, hairy, audacious goal. The hard thing is laying people off when you miss the big goal.

The hard thing is not hiring great people. The hard thing is when those “great people” develop a sense of entitlement and start demanding unreasonable things.

The hard thing is not setting up an organizational chart. The hard thing is getting people to communicate within the organization that you just designed.

The hard thing is not dreaming big. The hard thing is waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat when the dream turns into a nightmare.

As Denzel Washington has said “Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship.”

“If it were easy, there wouldn’t be successful people.

Success comes from breakthroughs in doing the hard things.

How many easy things do you do in a day versus the hard things?

If you do the easy things, you are not progressing much.

Doing the hard things is when you dig deep and do the hard part of:

  • Calling a client who has not paid you in a long time and having the difficult conversation;
  • Motivating your staff just after losing a big proposal;
  • Having the courage to keep on keeping on even when it is easy to throw in the towel;
  • Walking away from temptation that will compromise you morally, even if no one will find out;
  • Doing the emotional work of looking at your staff in the eyes and telling them that you won’t be able to pay their salary this month because business is slow.

Competition is in doing the hard parts, not the easy part. The easy part can easily be outsourced.

If you can’t take pain, maybe entrepreneurship is not for you.

What is the hard thing in your business or at work? Spend more time doing it.

Specialise in doing the hard, difficult things.

Keep moving, Keep growing, Keep learning.

See you at work.



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