We’ve all heard stories of so-called overnight successes.
Well, I’m here to tell you they’re a myth.
But what about the people who win the lottery or inherit a large amount of money, you may ask?
I don’t consider those people to be success stories.
They’re certainly fortunate — and good luck to them — but there is a big difference between fate smiling on you and attaining success as a result of your own effort.
It takes grit and it takes stamina and it takes a large amount of hard work to be a success, and it never happens overnight.
What about those Silicon Valley tech heads, you may ask, who developed successful apps and social media sites that are now worth billions?
Look at their back stories, however, and I can guarantee you’ll find failures, mistakes and frustrations along the way.
The real trick, the real key to success, is in the perseverance and the staying the distance.
And it won’t be easy.
There will be times when you wonder why you don’t just get a regular job or stick to something more predictable or safe.
However, the rewards in the end are worth the hours of pain and frustration.
Here is how to stay the course when you feel like giving up:
1. REMAIN TRUE TO YOURSELF
This is the toughest one of all.
If you’re putting yourself out there time and time again and all you’re hearing is a succession of ‘no thank-yous’ then it makes sense that you’ll start to doubt yourself.
You may start to question your abilities, wonder if you’re really cut out for this.
At times you will tell yourself that you’re mad to be chasing your dreams, that the doubters are right.
And this is the point where most people give up, but if you can listen to your gut, the inner voice that says you’re onto something, then you’ll reap the rewards.
2. BE PREPARED TO COMPROMISE
While it’s important to stay true to yourself, you also need to be realistic about your project and know what you can and absolutely cannot compromise on.
You see, there are two types of entrepreneurs: those who refuse to compromise on anything and those who don’t believe in themselves and compromise on everything.
Aim for somewhere in the middle.
You want to be true to your vision, but able to compromise to allow for practical considerations and the ideas of others.
3. DON’T TAKE REJECTION PERSONALLY
How good are you at hearing the word ‘no’?
When you’re first starting out, you’re going to hear it a lot.
At first this will seem odd and a little confusing.
Surely, everyone else can see the value of your idea?
At this point some people get angry.
They take a rejection or a lack of commitment by someone personally.
My advice is: don’t.
You need a thick skin and resilience to survive in business and the best entrepreneurs know how to learn from rejection.
They don’t take it personally and they realise it’s just part of the journey.
4. REMIND YOURSELF WHY YOU ARE DOING IT
When things get tough, when you can’t see the forest for the trees, it’s time to pause and remind yourself why you’re on this journey.
Maybe it’s because you’re passionate about what you’re trying to create or do, maybe you want to build a better life for your family, maybe you don’t want to wake up one day at 65 and wonder, ‘what if?’
Most likely it’s a combination of all three things and, I dare say, a few more.
It’s worth writing down all of the reasons you’re chasing a particular dream and sticking them above your desk.
When the chips are down, take a long, hard look at that list.
Is there a particular entrepreneur, business person or investor who inspires you?
Study their life, read their books, and post your favourite quotes from them somewhere you can see them.
If you can master some of these tips, you’re halfway there.
A good idea is one that is waiting to be seen to completion.
Chances are if you don’t stick at your good idea, someone else will. And how frustrating would that be.
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