I continue to be amazed at how often people stop — just stop.
These are people who say they love what they do, and are passionate about making it work. People who’ve started something.
And then they just stop.
But stop is the polite way of putting it. They give up. They quit.
And here’s the thing: Projects don’t work out. That novel or that screenplay or that launch — it doesn’t work out. And it fails more often than you’d like to know.
The best people I’ve met, though, don’t stop. They see ideas through to execution. If it fails, it fails. But it isn’t going to be because they didn’t put in the work.
So keep going. Just keep going — even when it seems like the work is shit, or isn’t taking you anywhere.
I believe this to be true — and so do many of the smartest people I know: The people you want to work with are those who keep going when the work gets hard. Those are the people you’re going to want on your team.
Be one of those people, too. Keep going.
That stop sign photo at top comes via Flickr’s Lion Towers.
Before you start the work, you’ve got to ask yourself:
Are you willing to struggle? Because you’re going to struggle with this. The work is going to kick your ass, and just when you think you’ve made a breakthrough, it’s going to kick your ass again. You are going to ride that struggle bus for a long, long time.
Are you willing to feel stupid? Because you’re not going to know everything — not by a long shot. You’ve got so much to learn, and it’s going to get to a point where you feel like you don’t know ANYTHING. It’s actually a good thing. It means you’re growing your skill set and pushing yourself into brand new areas. But it’s also really, really hard to cope with the fact that at times, you feel pretty dumb.
Are you willing to find the best people? Because you’re not going to get anywhere without the best people. You’re going to have to find people you love to collaborate with, and people who will push your work into brand new areas, and also people you wouldn’t mind getting stuck with in a room at 2 a.m. (Because, btw, you probably will be stuck in a room with them at 2 a.m. at some point. It happens.)
Are you willing to keep going? Because after all this, you have to be willing to push on and keep doing the work. You have to be willing to launch stuff that isn’t quite perfect, and then go back and make that work better. Above all else, you have to be willing to keep stepping out there and pushing your work into the world, because it’s the only way to do it.
So are you willing to do all that? Because if you’re not, you’re not quite ready to start.
That photo of a state fair comes via Flickr’s Omar Bárcena.