“The price of success must be paid in full, in advance.” – Brian Tracy
People love success stories, especially those that are of a ‘rags to riches’ nature… or one where the underdog overcomes insurmountable odds to claim victory. Movies often dramatize success stories and romanticize the journey so that it moves the audience.
It’s no wonder that millions of people think that success is easy and only requires a modicum of hard work… preferably enough to fit within 90 minutes, just like in the movies.
The reality, however, is far more brutal and savage.
Achieving success can take years of work, and often does. Yet, you can find yourself faced with the possibility of losing it all overnight if you’re not careful.
In order for you to succeed, one of the best things that you can do for yourself is to come to terms with just how difficult it’s going to be. Once you understand this, you’ll stop crying, “Woe is me!” and instead grit your teeth and keep going.
This is the lay of the land. It has always been that way.
Like Michael Jordan’s trainer, Tim Grover, once said, “Everything gets easier when you stop expecting it to be easy.”
You might want to write that quote down and stick it on your wall. Once you embrace the fact that the journey is going to be an uphill struggle, you’ll be more willing to pay the price.
That’s the only route to your destination. It may seem that others have an easier life getting to where they want to go… but that’s just an illusion. Everyone has their own journey and most are fraught with peril and struggle. You’re not alone.
Here’s what you can expect…
- Long hours
If you’re quitting your day job and starting your own business, expect to go from working 8 hours a day to 16 hours a day. Most entrepreneurs discover that they work longer hours for themselves than they would if they’d work for someone else.
Yet, they willingly do it because it’s their passion. Nevertheless, long hours will take a toll on you and skew your work-life balance. Be ready for that too.
Failure is inevitable. We see it around all the time and no matter how many times you encounter it, you never really acquire the taste for this bitter pill. Yet, failure is integral to your success.
The more you fail, the more you’ll learn… and the more you learn, the better your attempts will be and you’ll succeed faster. Sometimes, you need to take 2 steps backward to take 3 steps forward.
- Financial risk
Any venture is a bet at best. No matter how much research you do, or how well you know your audience, etc. there’s ALWAYS a risk. Movie studios and record companies still cannot predict which of their movies/songs/artistes will be a hit.
All they can do is try and watch how the market reacts. If it’s favorable, they have a blockbuster or a chart-topping single. If it fails, it’s a financial loss on the books.
The only way to win is to play the game and to be prepared in the event you face a loss. Do not risk all that you have.
There’s a quote that goes, “It’s lonely at the top. That’s why a Bugatti has 2 seats, but a bus has 50.”
This is very true. As you focus on your goals and keep moving forward, your friends and family will either need to level up to be on par with you, or they’ll fall behind. In most cases, you’ll notice that you lose friends along the way.
They’ll tell you that you’re ‘not the same person’ anymore. And you may not be, because your goal will transform you during the journey. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.
To get more in life, you have to be more. To become muscular, you need to spend more time at the gym. Not because you’re vain, but because that’s what the goal requires of you.
To become financially free, you’ll need to spend less time on your social life and more time working on your business. Not because you’re anti-social or think you’re better than everyone else, but because that’s what the goal wants from you.
Others may not understand the sacrifices you need to make… and will lay blame at your door. You, however, will need to forge ahead on this lonely path, because the reward will make it all worthwhile.
- Doubt and insecurity
It’s common to doubt yourself, and you’ll do so over and over. Since success takes time, you’ll keep second-guessing yourself. You may think it won’t work. You may wonder if the naysayers were right. You may wonder if it’s all worth it.
Doubt and insecurity are normal when pursuing your goals. Do not let them faze you. Just keep going.
- Sleep issues
Insomnia and other sleep disorders may arise when your mind is preoccupied with your goals and work. Maintain good sleep hygiene and do not neglect exercise.
Always aim to get 6-8 hours of sleep every night and avoid burning the candles at both ends all the time. It may be brighter, but you’ll burn out faster.
- Repeated rejection
You’ll hear the word ‘no’ tons of times. Rejection is normal. Anyone who wants to progress must get used to being rejected.
Most actors get rejected for roles. The products you create may be rejected by the market. Your new goals may make your friends and family reject you.
Once again, this is the price of success. Hearing the word “No!” over and over but still persevering is the trademark of most successful people.
By now you’ll realize that success is indeed an ugly journey. Most people are never ready for how difficult it’ll get… but now you know. If you’re willing to endure all these and more, you’ll see success in whatever endeavor you set your mind and heart on.
“No one has a corner on success. It is his who pays the price.” – Orison Swett Marden