The Easy Thing About Hard Things

I’ve achieved very little during my increasing number of years on this planet so this isn’t some startup ode reflecting back and prescribing the survivorship bias that allowed me to become a world-leading entrepreneur. That is where I hope my direction of travel is headed and I thought that pausing at the point where that rests in the balance — will the startup I have built continue to rise or will it crash and burn — was as good a point as any to provide an overview of what let me get here in the first place.

Every single thing I have done in my life is infinitely repeatable. Every single good thing that’s happened has come as a direct consequence of doing stuff almost no one else would do. By that I don’t mean things that they couldn’t do, I literally mean things other people won’t spend the time or make the effort with. Anyone could do what I’ve done and those are the things I’ll share.

I am no genius, I was endowed with no physical or cognitive gifts that would enable me to progress efficiently within whatever field I’d chosen. That isn’t false modesty either, there is no prestigious academic history within my CV, I’ve worked for none of the largest companies in the world which has become an expected rite of passage, and I’ve done nothing that would make it into any list crowning those 30 under the ’30s changing the world.

At this point, I expect the pertinent question on your mind is ‘why the fuck would I listen to you? You’ve just confessed to not being especially successful, talented, and from what we can infer so far you seem somewhat incapable’ and that would be a fair question which requires some form o. As of writing, these are some things I have succeeded at:

  1. Angel investment from the founder of a British Unicorn
  2. Won a competition to be the CEO at another
  3. Interviewed at the worlds top startups
  4. Considered the most prestigious business schools in the US
  5. Explored positions at global VC’s
  6. Featured in national publications
  7. Described as the {Famous Entrepreneur} of the Financial industry
  8. Met with some of the world’s most powerful investors
  9. Talked to every streaming co and national broadcaster about a TV show
  10. Commended by some of the sharpest business minds in the world
  11. World-class people want to change the world with me

So, in short, this is a process anyone can follow to achieve some manner of personally defined success. It’s a methodology I’ve employed over a period of time that let me do, achieve, entertain the above possibilities. It guarantees nothing, but it is the easiest thing about achieving some of the hardest things in the world. The axiom that going from Zero to One is the hardest thing in the world is painfully true and I can’t help you with doing that. What I do hope to assist with is helping you think about taking the first step. You may not go from zero to one deploying this methodology in your life, but it could help you spin the wheels on committing to it. This isn’t a 4 hour work week type book, it’s a 2-year marathon to improve a tiny bit every single day.

If you are looking for a get rich quick scheme I’ll blunt your enthusiasm by sharing the fact I moved back in with my parents to found my Startup and was/am still there 18 months living on no salary. This isn’t it. If you possess the infinite capacity to intellectually run rings around your peers, colleagues, and contacts I’ll be mightily surprised if this helps you learn anything you don’t think you already know.

But, if you like me, you a normal person, who is toiling through a 9–5 jobs with ambitions of creating something that could change the world, I may just help you find some answers inside yourself as you progress through this journey. There won’t be anything earth-shatteringly brilliant that forces you to change your life’s trajectory but, I think, you’ll find commonality in both my personal, psychological struggles and search for the purpose at a time where we lead an increasingly vapid existence.

The easy thing about hard things has been a thought in my mind for around 5 years. I was scared to begin putting pen to paper because I didn’t really like the person who would be portrayed behind the words and stories that would emerge. Now I’m in a place where I know who I am, what I stand for and where I’m seeking to be I believe I can paint a more coherent and convincing narrative around why starting with easy things is the path to changing both your life and the world. The hard things will come, but on a base level, they can be attacked through an approach anyone can adopt.

There is no agenda hidden within this. You won’t find any product, program or service I’m trying to sell. Everything contained within this is me and how I remember the situations and stories that occurred. I’ve made innumerable mistakes in my life but I like to think that they have all taught me something which I endeavored to never repeat again. That is the key.

So this is my prelude — the first easy thing is to simply turn up, most other people won’t. Being consistent in putting in the time is the thing that makes you stand out. Most people can talk a good game, they can bullshit their way for a while but eventually who we say we are and who we actually are don’t match. You are what you do consistently and relentlessly. Most people struggle to comprehend that their ego isn’t on their side. We obfuscate the fact we aren’t achieving anything because we hate to face the reality of our situation. Due to the fragility of it, we cower away from our inadequacies instead of accepting them as an opportunity to understand our failings and improve. If you can’t embrace that challenge your swimming against the tide.

If you’ve ever asked the question of yourself whether you will fulfill your full potential I will endeavor to help you find an answer. None of these stories in this are to be taken as advice because they either worked or enabled progress at a very specific time due to a very specific set of circumstances.

But they did work at the time, and the process to go about putting myself in those specific situations can be replicated by anyone. It’s no silver bullet, it’s not quick or easy, but things that are most worthwhile never are. This is about tedious consistency in the face of a world dominated by a lust for instantaneous gratification.

Suppress that and you open the door to a new world of opportunities.

The Easy Thing About Hard Things was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Publication date: 
05/21/2019 - 08:35

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