- TheTick Times Friday Aug 12, 2016
That’s Sir Richard Branson sitting atop his waterfront mansion on his very own private island in the British Virgin Islands. The view is breathtaking and Sir Richard looks pretty darn happy. If you have a heartbeat, you’ll probably process two immediate thoughts after viewing the photo. One, you’re super jealous…and two, you want the same lifestyle very badly. Just admit it. You want Sir Richard’s lifestyle and you want it right now. And that’s exactly why you started a business.
I started a business more than thirteen years ago with limited capital, no practical experience and very little chance of success. I had no clue what my future life would look like but I knew one thing very clearly. I wanted to live high — just like all of those other entrepreneurial celebrities on TV. I wanted to fish for blue marlin in the Gulf of Mexico. I wanted to fly on a private jet for a quick lunch in New Orleans. And yeah, I wanted to vacation on my very own private island somewhere in the Caribbean.
Here’s what happened. I ended up working 70 hours a week for the first two years. I pushed brooms, vacuums and floor buffers every night during those first two years. And I didn’t collect my first paycheck until my two year anniversary. It was a grind and there were so many easy ways to just walk away and quit. I thought about quitting all the time; everyday in fact. Honestly, my life was pretty painful back then. And guess what, your life will be painful too because building a business takes blood, sweat, tears and a ton of time. I mean — a ton of time.
Let’s get one thing straight. A rock star and a business owner live two very different lives. An entrepreneur’s life is frantic. It’s chaotic. It’s painful. It’s thankless. It’s stressful. And yet, it’s so much fun once you understand where you’re going. Having a vision for your success does not guarantee success. But one thing is guaranteed, you are destined for failure if you don’t know where you’re going. That simple thought changed my life. Once I created a real vision for my success and escaped the fantasy of living like Richard Branson, my whole worldview changed. Sure, I worked harder than I ever imagined and performed tasks that I once thought were below me. But I did it and I’ve been doing it for the last thirteen years. Here’s what Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayar recently said about her experience while building Google from its garage days.
“The other piece that gets overlooked in the Google story is the value of hard work. When reporters write about Google, they write about it as if it was inevitable. The actual experience was more like, ‘Could you work 130 hours in a week?’
The answer is yes, if you’re strategic about when you sleep, when you shower, and how often you go to the bathroom. The nap rooms at Google were there because it was safer to stay in the office than walk to your car at 3 a.m. For my first five years, I did at least one all-nighter a week, except when I was on vacation — and the vacations were few and far between.”
Here’s what I wish every aspiring entrepreneur would hear before starting their business.
My guess is you’re a little scared. Maybe a lot scared if you’re considering starting your own business. You’re life is about to change. You’re about to sacrifice almost everything in order to build that business. And when I mean sacrifice, I’m dead serious. You’ll work harder than ever before. You’ll lose so many battles. You’ll get hit in the face all the time. And more than likely, you’ll quit one day because it’s just too hard.
But for those of you with a real vision for your success, for those of you willing to sacrifice almost everything in order to realize your vision, you guys will build something amazing. It’ll take forever but you will live like a rock star one day because you’ll have everything you ever wanted in life. And it’ll be glorious. But first, you’ve gotta get your hands dirty everyday for a very, very long time. It’s not going to happen right away but it can happen. I’m proof of it.
I’m no longer pushing brooms or vacuums. In fact, I’m typing this atop my own penthouse downtown office suite. My story has been celebrated in national publications and I’ve done almost everything that I once thought impossible. I’ve taken my private plane for a quick lunch in New Orleans. I’ve fished for blue marlin in the Gulf of Mexico. And in two weeks, I’ll be back in my vacation home down in the Caribbean. It’s a rock star’s life that all started with 70 hour work weeks thirteen years ago. You can live like Richard Branson. Seriously, you can. But it’s not going to be easy and you’re going to be forced to sacrifice so much during the journey. Right now is the expectation for so many people today. Stop expecting anything right now and start expecting to work your tail off for a very long time.
About the author
Ron Holt CEO & Founder of Two Maids & A Mop; the nations’s the fastest growing cleaning company. Revolutionizing…..