Do the work

This is the unavoidable fact that accompanies any endeavour, new business, project or whatever it is. You are going to have to work.

A lot.

This frightens some people. So much so, that they don’t even begin, or they quit at the first sign of resistance.

So if you are not afraid of work, then you are off to a good start, because it is the essential ingredient needed to shift the odds of succeeding in your favour.

Consider the author Stephen King, who in early 1973, aged 26, was living in a trailer with his wife and two children (that’s a caravan for us aussies), earning $6,000 a year as a full-time teacher, with no phone because he couldn’t afford the monthly rental.

He had just drafted the first 3 pages of Carrie, hated what he had written, and threw it in the wastepaper basket. That same night his wife Tabitha plucked those pages out and encouraged him to keep writing. To keep doing the work.

Stephen finished the manuscript for Carrie in a few months and DoubleDay subsequently accepted it with a $2500 advance, more than he had ever received for a book before.

Just a few months later, Signet books bought the paperback rights to Carrie, for which Stephen received US$200,000.

Was he just lucky? Sure, he had a little bit of luck when his wife pulled those three pages out of the wastepaper basket, but he also put in a lot of work.

Stephen began his writing career writing career twenty years before Carrie made him into a household name. He started as a 6-year old, copying Combat Casey comic books, word for word, and later writing mostly short stories to make ends meet. It’s hard to estimate the volume of work he did over the next two decades, but his word count must have been in the millions. I’ve been writing this blog for 2 months and I’m up to about 15,000 words.

A lot of emphasis is placed on planning, setting milestones, or making business roadmaps. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a plan, but they don’t matter anywhere near as much as putting in the work.

As Arnie says, work your ass off.

If you liked this article, then check out The myth of a balanced life, and also Are you the tortoise or the hare?