Tag Archives: do the work

Words Of Advice From an “Overnight Success.”

My startup songwriter-in-residence, Todd Snider, has a line that I find myself quoting a lot. It’s from a brilliant little song, titled “Easy Money.” He sings:

Everyone wants the most they can possibly get
For the least they can possibly do

And he couldn’t be more spot on. I meet a lot of people who want to be an overnight success. Problem is, for most of us in the creative/entreprenurial spheres, there’s no such thing.

Don’t believe me? Listen to the Twitter guys.

And here’s more proof. Meet Dave McClure. Out there in Silicon Valley, he’s what Ron Burgundy would call kind of a big deal. He’s worked with startups, invested in startups, immersed himself in startups. His latest extravaganza is called 500 Startups, and they’re a startup accelerator. They bring in a ton of startups — this year, they’ve worked with north of 50 startups. They mentor them, they groom them, they fund them — and then they send them out into the world.

Naturally, people thought this was crazy.

But then I saw this Twitter exchange tonight between McClure and Jason Cohen, an entrepreneur and investor who runs a popular startup blog:

Amen, guys. They speak to a simple truth: Want to make change? It can happen — one day at a time, one relationship at a time.

Things happen slowly. Success has to be earned. Trust has to be earned.

It happens: One day at a time. One relationship at a time.

Start there.

Life Lessons Learned From Three Chicks in an RV.

Every once in a while, I get to meet someone who just knocks me over. Someone doing something inspiring and risky and ambitious and epic. Someone who’s doing something incredible.

And last night, I met three ladies who are traveling America in an RV, doing good deeds and inspiring others to chase big dreams. I couldn’t help but be bowled over by the Girls Gone Moto. They started talking about their stories — how they embraced the fear, how they found a dream to chase — and I started thinking of my own story.

See, I remember when I was leaving San Antonio and headed to Biloxi to start Stry. I remember how terrified I was. I remember thinking that there were a million steps ahead of me. I remember thinking, What if it all works? What if it succeeds? What if it turns into a real business? What if I hire employees? What if people start depending on me? What then?

I’d never done any of that, and it all seemed overwhelming. The thought of success seemed overwhelming. So I let the fear in a little bit, and then the questions started changing. I stopped thinking about all the baby steps ahead of me, and started thinking, Well, what if I can’t do this? What if I shouldn’t?

But I know now: There’s a part of the brain that loves to sabotage dreams. It’s the naysayer within your subconscious. And I know now: Sometimes, you have to embrace that fear and blow right past it.

I did, and I can’t begin to describe the sensation of knocking fear back on its ass. It’s an amazing feeling.

And no, the fear doesn’t ever just go away. But once you’ve conquered it once, you’ll always know that you can conquer it again.