07 Dec “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” – Wayne Gretzky
Make the commitment
Diana is overflowing with dreams. She wants to be a great painter, run a marathon, write a book, learn to play the piano, get promoted at work, start a vegetable garden, become a great golfer, and many more things, all cluttering up her to-do list. Unfortunately, she starts all of her projects with passion and motivation, then a couple of weeks in she gets bored or discouraged and moves on to something else. Sure, she may become a decent painter, but she will likely never take the time to learn to do a beautiful oil painting of her mother, which is why she wanted to paint in the first place. She may train long enough to run a quarter marathon, but she probably won’t stick to her regimen for the time it would take to gain the stamina for a full one. She may work enough extra hours on projects and take enough initiative at work to get her manager to begin paying attention, but she will probably lose motivation before she has worked long enough to get herself promoted.
It’s likely that you know someone like this. They dabble in everything for just long enough to gain some skill, but never long enough to become truly great. This is where the 10,000-hour rule comes into play. The 10,000-hour rule states that for any activity, it requires approximately 10,000 hours worth of practice to become truly excellent at it. That takes sincere commitment.
Many ambitious executives and entrepreneurs can understand how necessary this commitment is to achieving something extraordinary. When you decide that you want to be an entrepreneur, you must make the decision with your whole heart and a clear mind and then you must simply do it. You must firmly decide that you will do everything you can to be successful, because you will never flourish as an entrepreneur if you can’t make it through the times when moving forward in your business is difficult. The situation is similar to going on a demanding day-long bike tour, traveling toward a particularly beautiful vista on the coast. Sometimes you will feel like you should just turn around and go home, and forget about the view you wanted to see. At other times, you may end up traveling for hours along a path that doesn’t seem to change. But knowing that you have the goal of getting to a specific worthwhile point keeps you moving ahead and striving for the summit. This knowledge will also help you to relax about the endpoint and enjoy the journey that you are on. Your career can be seen much the same way – you need to work long hours and put in a lot of effort to reach your goals sometimes.
All business people have imagined how the successful culmination of their work will look. If this image is truly strong enough, it should practically pull you forward. You will only live this moment once, and that means that you must do your best while you have time. As Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
What does all this mean practically? It means that you can’t sit and wait to be inspired. When you made the decision to be an entrepreneur you also made the decision to follow through and be proactive with your opportunities. Passively waiting for something good to happen in your business is not a good strategy, since you are no longer putting your all into your venture. Not to be cliché, but in this business you must go big, or go home. There is no in-between if you want to succeed. So follow through, and be consistent. It may seem impossible sometimes to keep up the momentum and level of energy that you need throughout your whole experience, but you must try.
Living your life with full commitment and always doing your best is a key to success in all areas. It simply is true that in order to succeed in your career or your venture, you must put all of yourself into what you are doing. Having reservations, holding back, or giving up too easily are unnecessary obstacles on your way to the summit.