Does Success Have To Be Hard?
For most of my life I thought to be successful you had to…
…put really long hours in.
…just keep going, not let up and power through no matter what.
…use techniques & strategies to keep yourself to going.
…put yourself under pressure and really really want it.
And so that’s what I set out to do.
I did the long hours, pushed through (even when my body was saying rest), put on my hard worker hat and willed my willpower to keep going.
Plus a whole lot more.
And you know what, it kinda worked.
I got 2 x degrees, worked for a start-up then set up my own business soon after.
Once working for myself I doubled down on the work hard mentality, as surely that would bring more success.
And for 7 years that’s what I did.
And once again it worked. I was making great money, buying a house, getting married, seemingly living the life I always wanted.
Working hard was working.
Until one day, when it didn’t.
Much like a volcano suddenly exploding, so did my life.
Divorced. In debt. Mental health deteriorating. Depressed. Couch surfing.
It was like over a decades worth of pressure building up and being released in a very short space of time.
And there I was needing to rebuild my life, but what to do?
Well, I didn’t know any other way so I just went back to all I knew… the work hard approach.
I did try some different things hoping they’d be the thing that made the difference, they didn’t.
5AM Club, 90 Day Planners, Money Mindset, Time Blocking, Accountability Buddy, Just Think Positive I tried it all with only some short term benefit.
So, I just kept with my ‘just worker harder’ approach. I was that guy trying to get myself out of a hole digging faster and longer.
I did that for another 18 months, until one day I just said…
I’d had enough. I just decided I’m not doing that ‘just work harder’ thing anymore.
I didn’t care what that meant, what people thoughts, I just knew I had to stop it.
I stopped all this efforting to be successful and instead just simplified everything to the basics of what I needed to do.
When this happened I actually had time to reflect on my life up to that point and I realised some really important things…
- I was rarely happy or enjoyed the journey because I was always trying to get to some future moment that I thought would make me happy
- A lot of the hard work and time I put in was wasted, I might have been at my desk but I wasn’t always being productive
- I was putting myself under so much pressure it took all the fun out of it
- The ‘success’ I was constantly chasing was not the life or version of success that I truly wanted
(I’ve endless journal entries with many many more insights that I had, but the above were definitely some of the big ones)
One of the things I simplied was my business. It was nearing the end of 2019 and I decided I’d just go work behind the scenes as the marketing/tech guy for a couple of clients..
One of those clients was a transformational coach.
I would spend the next couple of years learning from this coach simply by doing tech stuff behind the scenes for him.
To my surprise what he helped people with and the approach he used (no techniques or strategies) completely changed my life.
I started to enjoy life again.
I started to be able to get through challenging moments.
I felt hopeful that things really could change.
Day by day my life slowly went from this stressful pressure cooker that was only getting worse to one that was exciting, full of possibilities and just easier in so many ways.
What I learned also started impacting how I showed up in my business.
I was actually enjoying my work.
I was finding new levels of creativity and productivity.
I found myself showing up with a new level of confidence.
I redefined what success was (on my terms).
And this year it culminated in me deciding to step out of the shadows, stop playing small and build the business of my dreams.
I wanted to create content and run programmes.
I wanted to teach and build a community.
And that’s what I’m doing.
Nowadays I wake up excited to see what I get to do that day.
I am able to enjoy the steps of the journey rather than be obsessed about achieving a goal.
When things don’t go how I hoped, I am much more graceful and able to manage these situations.
I am no longer hiding, afraid to take risks or crippled by fear of something going wrong.
It really is a completely different experience of life.
And in The Effortless Entrepreneur Project I will be collaborating with a transformational coach to explore the aspects that helped me so much.
I will also be sharing my own expertise and knowledge around marketing & tech that can also help you realise a more effortless experience of running an online business.
And of course I will continue to share my own effortless entrepreneur journey (the highs, the lows, what works, what doesn’t) with you.
(when searching for an image, I found plenty like the one below and very very few for effortless, can’t say I was surprised)