Don't Let Others Say Your Success is Due to Luck
“It takes three years to be an overnight success, sometimes more.” ~ Seth Godin
Have you ever felt you are working hard, taking all the necessary steps, and yet you seem to be going nowhere?
It can be a bit frustrating and this can lead to giving up. If you feel like giving up then this article will help you evaluate your situation and make better decisions depending on your goals.
Alejandro and I have done extensive research on successful bloggers and speakers. The same data seems to be consistent, it takes a minimum of 3 years and 400 pieces of content before the “tipping point” (see HubSpot for more info). That is a long time to constantly write blogs, record videos, and do speaking events with no guarantee of financial reward.
The natural question is, why would we do such a thing?
For us, there are two answers.
- We genuinely like helping people and work to create content which adds value to other people.
- We are playing the long game. There is no assurance blogging, speaking, and giving back will provide financial success. However, we would never know unless we tried.
Alejandro will need to find a job when he graduates from his MBA program, and I have a business which sustains me financially and I love what I do. For those that don’t know, I am a marketing consultant. These will be our jobs which pay the bills, but both of us have large aspirations which will only come from continuously giving to others.
The end result is not known, yet giving is something which makes us whole. Let’s examine the importance of providing value to others and the need to look at the long game.
What Goes Around Comes Around
I still remember coming down the court in high school reading the defense. I was dribbling the basketball in my right hand and quickly crossed over to the left. Then immediately I went back the right to go past the defender. Once I was by him, another defender came to guard me which left one of my teammates open under the basket. I was a show off at the time (still am) and instead of a simple pass, I whipped the ball around my head straight to my teammate who instantly scored. Most people have seen a behind the back pass, but few have seen an around the head pass. It was something I had worked on in practice.
Normally, when I did a flashy move the crowd would cheer, but in this moment there was silence as nobody had ever seen that pass before. In reality, I was just as surprised as everyone else it actually worked. That moment is a reflection of my soul’s desire, to help others. As a kid, I played basketball and soccer. I would always look for a pass which led my teammate to a score. After each game, I would check my stats to see how many assists I had. I did not care about my points, I wanted to know how many times I passed the ball which led to a score.
The same philosophy has been at the center of all I do professionally. My favorite thing to do while working is to see other people succeed. I know it sounds weird, but there is something about helping others which provides a sense of satisfaction. There are times when I question why this is one of my character traits. Seriously, I wonder what I am doing, especially on those days when I see my business bank account and the amount (lack of) money.
My wife always says my greatest strength and weakness is the same thing, helping others. At times I have been taken advantage of, other times I have worked for free. Yet, I also have amazing stories of seeing people become healthy when I was a personal trainer, watching students get accepted to graduate schools when I was a college instructor, seeing orphans rescued when I worked in Haiti, and celebrating when someone finds their dream job now as a member of BizLatte.
This is why I constantly give. All the hours of research, writing, videoing, and speaking are worth it, even if only a few people find their professional purpose. I also believe in the long-run it will lead to success for the BizLatte team and my family. Call it what you like, you reap what you sow, karma, or Newton’s Third Law. I firmly believe giving is the only way to truly be happy in this world, and eventually, all that giving somehow makes it back.
There is an incredible power in providing value to others, and it is something I will continue to do as long as I live. I would highly recommend it to others :)
Have you ever had a thought along the lines of “I could probably do that if I wanted to… If I dedicate myself to it I can do it,” but you don’t actually do it?
It is a blessing and a curse to be fairly good, or above average, at anything you do. This gives you endless choices and possibilities of challenges to take on… but too many choices might paralyze you and prevent you from making a decision.
How can we actually take action and become world-class at something?
“You can do anything, but not everything.” - David Allen
If Matt would’ve asked me, a year ago, if I wanted to write 2 articles per week, shoot 1 video per week, start speaking at events once or twice per month, and also start working on a podcast… On top of my MBA program and extracurricular activities… I would’ve told him that he is crazy! That it is impossible to do all that.
Yet, that is what we are doing nowadays and it doesn’t feel like too much. But the key is that we’ve only added new tasks/commitments after testing it for a period of time.
It all started with one article per month, which seems doable to anyone. Once we felt comfortable with one article per month we started adding more. Now, we have no doubt we are close to the tipping point and we are excited about what BizLatte is going to look like in the next couple of years.
Whatever you want to start… start now, but start small! Dream big but start small!
Anything worth doing is going to take time. The key is to build the habits that will get you there.
What is it that you want to achieve? What skill can you build while doing the things you need to do to get where you want to get?
Even if our articles never reach the tipping point, even if we never get more than 2,000 readers, I have still improved my writing skills.
Thanks to all the writing we’ve been doing, I can now organize my ideas much better and faster whenever I have to write an email or an executive summary.
Also, thanks to all the videos and speaking events we’ve been doing my public speaking skills have taken a leap upwards. Because of the growth we’ve seen I have no doubt about speaking at bigger stages, such as SXSW or TED, it is not a matter of IF but WHEN.
Focus on the skills you are building while you do the activities that will take you closer to your goals. There is value in everything you do if you look at it as a learning experience. By doing so, the process by itself is a success. Achieving the goal will be extra value.
Taking Action is the Goal
If money was no obstacle what would you be doing?
How can you start taking action to get closer to that?
Do you want to start a blog? Maybe start a YouTube channel or Instagram account?
I am not going to lie to you and tell you it will be easy because it won’t! But, it is very simple to get started.
Pick an activity, related to the big goal you want to achieve, and start doing it today. Aim for a small goal, it may be weekly or monthly. Start small, but start now!
Also, focus on the skills you are developing, the relationships you are developing, or the lessons learned, by engaging in this new activity you will be doing. Don’t measure success only in terms of goals achieved. Growth and learning are also successes by themesleves.
Maybe you don’t know where to start and that is OK. It happens to all of us. Identifying your purpose is a great first step.
At BizLatte, we have a free guide that will guide you step-by-step in the process of finding your purpose and the activities you can do to develop it.
You don’t have to go through this process alone. Having support will keep you motivated and accountable.
A coach might be the last piece to the puzzle you are solving to take your career to the next level.
Stay caffeinated and take action!
Alejandro I. Sanoja & Matt Avery