They have it so easy – their business was an overnight success.
It’s because of the money they started with that they’re so successful.
His success comes straight from luck.
She knows x, y, z, and that’s why her business is so successful.
It’s easy to say all these things about others, their businesses, and their success.
What we see on social media, what we hear from others, what we make up in our own minds – it’s always going to be a small fraction of the overall story or truth behind how anyone is where they are today.
Expectations and patience
I started Kate’s Copy as a way to get my foot in the door as an actual, legitimate copywriter.
All the bestselling author’s I looked up to, the masterminds behind the flawless website copy I studied, and the geniuses who wrote sales pages as if they’d been born with the knowledge of brain science had me believing that if I started a business around copywriting, that it would only be a matter of time before I might become a bestselling author, someone who could write flawless website copy, or a genius sales page copywriter.
Turns out, it would only be a matter of time… just not the “matter of time” I had in mind.
After six months, I closed the door on Kate’s Copy.
All I gave myself is six months.
I had very little of it.
I had very little patience for things like:
- Not feeling like I was making any progress
- Not being able to cash a check for 6 months
- Not feeling accomplished
And it turns out it was my sole focus on the negative aspects of my business and my experience as a first-time entrepreneur that drove me to quit. I know this because by the time I actually closed that door, I had two paying clients, three freelance jobs, and people were actually referring me to their peers.
Showing up day after day
But it wasn’t enough.
I wasn’t anywhere near becoming an author, a mastermind copywriter, or knowing how to make a sales page come to life.
A big part of it was that I had set unrealistic expectations.
Was I really going to become an author – let alone a bestselling one – in a matter of six months, all while trying to build the foundation for a successful business?
The other part? I had zero patience.
Dr Seuss once received a rejection letter that read:
“Too different from other juveniles on the market to warrant its selling.”
Dr Seuss went on to have 300 million sales and was the 9th bestselling fiction author of all time.
Dr Seuess was not only resilient, something we talked about at length here, but he was also patient.
Grant Cardone writes in his book The 10X Rule:
“Like every other aspect of growing your business, you have to keep showing up over and over and make it obvious that you are not going away.”
Plain and simple: I wasn’t willing to do that.
I wasn’t willing to continue showing up because I didn’t know the benefits of consistency.
I wasn’t even patient enough to take in the invaluable lessons I was learning every single day because I was so focused on my unrealistic expectations.
Grant Cardone also wrote:
Your biggest problem is obscurity – other people don’t know you and aren’t thinking about you.
Well that’s a novel thought.
It’s so easy to focus on the results we desire most without realizing what goes into the actions necessary to generate said results.
There is no finish line in entrepreneurship
Freedom, living the life you want to live, and achieving “success” is not an event. There is no finish line where we get to collect our medal and check our time.
It’s showing up, day after day, and practicing patience.
It’s showing up, day after day, and taking in the incredible experiences and lessons our journey is gifting us so we can use those to help move ourselves forward.
When you become frustrated by a supposed lack of progress, or by the fact that you haven’t accomplished a particular goal, I hope you’ll remember something Jeff Goins wrote in his book The Art of Work:
Nothing is wasted. No job, no task, no obstacle is useless, if we are willing to see how it can fit into our calling. … It [is] all preparation for [what’s] to come. As you explore your own calling, you will be surprised by how your previous experiences are conspiring to lead you in the direction of your life’s work. You just have to listen.
Patience is everything – taking a step back to reflect on your journey and take in the experiences you’re having and the lessons you’re learning every single day – that’s something I wish I would have learned a whole lot sooner.
We have to be willing to put in the time – to do things that don’t scale – to sacrifice in order to continue moving ourselves and our business forward.
Speaking of doing things that don’t scale, Grant Cardone also shared this about Starbucks founder Howard Schultz:
He then did something that most CEOS did not do: he traveled all over the country to meet with Starbucks patrons. Long after the average worker had gone home, billionaire Schultz was visiting his stores and meeting with coffee drinkers to find out how Starbucks could better satisfy customers.
Patience, showing up day after day, consistency, passion, sacrifices, resiliency – they don’t disappear.
Your journey continues… always
Your journey continues long after you’ve built a strong foundation for your business, long after you’ve locked in your first paying client, long after you’ve started generating recurring revenue, and long after you’ve reached the point where you truly feel you’ve attained success and freedom.
Do you see that it all continues – that if you can accept and embrace the path you’re on, take ownership of the decisions you make, and show up every single day and work hard for what it is you believe in – that you can actively be creating and living the life you’ve always wanted?
Mary Shelley wrote one of my favorite books of all time: Frankenstein.
To me, she was born a writer.
For the longest time I couldn’t help but envision what it might have been like to be her – this very romantic version of the life she lived as a woman in the 1800’s trying to sell her book to anyone who would take it.
After being rejected by leading publishers, Mary finally convinced a small publishing company called Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, & Jones, to take a chance on her.
The company accepted, but they didn’t even put her name on the cover.
Can you imagine the commitment?
The company only print 500 copies.
That was in 1818.
Of those 500 copies, booksellers only bought 25.
In 1831 – nearly 14 years later – a 3rd edition was published by Henry Colburn & Richard Bentley.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley then become a bestseller.
Up next in Season 4 on What it means to be an entrepreneur
Up next, we’re going to be talking about the requirement to take action as an entrepreneur
You can visit our home base right here to find all the posts and episodes in Season 4!