An Hour a Day Keeps Mediocrity Away
I often get asked how I manage to do so much. How did I work full time and build and run successful businesses at the same time? Can I tell you a secret?
Sometimes, I wake up uninspired. More often than not, I’m really really tired. Sometimes, I’m anxious and stressed out. Other times, I just can’t be bothered.
It’s easy to think that if only I had more hours in the day, more energy and more resources, maybe I’d be further ahead. But the crazy thing is, even with limited time, I have always found a way to push forward every day.
There is one very simple secret to building a business.
No, I’m not going to tell you to manifest the business in your mind, and it will show up on your doorstep tomorrow morning, dropped off by the stork of entrepreneurship.
Life doesn’t work like that.
The one secret that will move you forward in building your dream, every single time, is this: spend one hour each day, every single day building your ideas. You need to show up every single day, and spend time doing something that will set your dream into motion. That is the secret to building a business and staying focused, while juggling your day to day life.
Every single day, spend 4 percent of your day on your dream. It’s worth at least that, right?
When I first started out, and granted it took me ten years before things started to pay off, I’d spend at least one hour each day doing something that would take me closer to my goal.
After reading a perfect blend of research papers, reports and books, and countless conversations with an array of industry experts, I was convinced I needed to spend a portion of every day — writing. Writing down ideas, thoughts, strategies, plans, processes – whatever – I just needed to write.
My devotion to getting up an hour earlier every morning and writing has been a game-changer and a ritual of mine for the past 12 years. Every morning I wake up, and write. How productive this actually is and the quality of what I write varies day to day, but one thing stays consistent: I show up.
A common myth about inspiration.
When I discovered this one-hour a day secret, I excitedly told a friend about it. She was struggling to grow her business, and I wanted to see her succeed.
But she told me, “I’m a creative. Creatives work on ideas when we’re inspired.” This is a common myth about entrepreneurs of any sort.
It’s a myth because it’s simply not true. The great entrepreneurs, athletes, artists of the world built habits around their craft. They showed up and did the work every single day. They did not wait for inspiration to strike.
The people who really succeed in their lives don’t wake up inspired or motivated every day. These people got to their level because every single day, they worked on their ideas or their craft.
Waiting for motivation to strike will keep you firmly rooted in mediocrity.
Sure, sometimes what I write during my morning writing habit is not fit for human consumption. Most mornings, it would be easier to sleep for that extra hour. Sometimes what I write is just straight out over the top and outlandish. Sometimes, it takes me three mornings to write a couple of paragraphs. Often, I’m not able to finish before my hour is up. But at the end of the week, every week, I not only have dozens of ideas in my arsenal, but my understanding and focus has also improved.
So, think about it: What is one thing you can devote an hour a day to?
An hour a day keeps mediocrity away.