It Must Be A Mistake
“Out grind them” I thought to myself while the defensive coach looked at me as I stood in line with all of the other new players attending the first practice of the new college football season.
“Where did you come from?” he asked. I explained who I was and his only response was: “It must be a mistake. I don’t need a short, underweight defensive lineman.”
What the coach didn’t know is that all summer I followed a routine that I had been doing since I was a freshmen in high school- up at 5am, run 5 miles followed by 2 hours in the weight room. After dinner it was running stairs at the local junior college.
Two weeks later, I recorded 2 sacks and a blocked a field goal in my first game.
The coach never apologized for his comments that first day, but he never questioned my ability again.
Do You Think Our Competitor Is Doing This?
My friend and co-worker looked across the dark campus. “I think this is the only room with a light on,” he commented. It was 2am and we were in the final stages of preparing for a major contract bid.
Everyone told us that we’d never win the account. “The competition has had this customer forever,” we were told. “There’s no way you’ll get it”.
As my friend looked out over the dark campus at 2am he asked “Do you think the competition has a team in a room in the middle of the night working on their strategy?” “NO!” I said emphatically. “And that’s why we’re going to win.”
Two months later, we put our signature on the contract, and did what everyone said couldn’t be done.
The Most Important Thing I Got
My father was a construction worker with little more than a high school and trade education. As a result, we never had much, but what I did get was invaluable.
My dad once sat me down and said: “In your whole life you’re going to come up against people that have more talent, better experience, more money, and a lot of other things. But if you out work them, you’ll always come out on top.”
The Church Of Grind
I have applied my father’s advice to all areas of my life. And whether it was earning a starting position on my college football team, or becoming a vice president for the best known brand in the world, my success has come from my ability to outwork my competition.
A Controversial Position
I realize that in today’s world which is filled with books on 4 hour work weeks and “experts” espousing the merits of “work/life” balance, my position on success is HIGHLY controversial. However, please understand that I’m not some workaholic with misaligned priorities.
Over the years, I have interacted with CEOs, professional athletes, actors, members of the US Special Forces, senior politicians and even a US President. I can tell you that the one thing that binds them all together is their intense work ethic.
It Doesn’t Come Easy
No matter what you’re doing in life, if you want to be the best, you need to work harder and longer than anyone else. Trust me, Mark Zuckerberg did not create Facebook working 4 hours per week.
Want to be the top sales person? Then you need to put in 120% when everyone else is putting in 100%.
Want that business to succeed? Then it’s no days off.
During the contract bid I mentioned above, I remember walking through an airport at 5am after a Sunday overnight flight. My coworker and I were exhausted. I looked over at him and simply said, “This is what winning looks like.”
It’s About Doing The Right Things
Now, here’s the important detail in all of this: It’s not about working long hours on “stuff”, it’s about grinding on what matters.
If you’re an online marketer or in sales, it’s about building your customer list/book. If you’re an athlete, it’s about working to become stronger, faster and more skilled than you opponents.
Prioritize all the things that need to get done in order for you to be successful and focus 120% of your energy on the top 1 or 2 things that are going to make a difference.
Don’t Buy Into The Hype
The hype about working less and simply waiting for life to drop riches and success in your lap may sell books and video training programs, but it will not help you reach your goals. The only path to success is the time tested formula of hard work.
Do be like everyone else buying into the hype. Be the one that stands above them, looking down, living your dreams.
Now go grind.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net