When my business first started to grow, I decided to enroll in a program run by the Entrepreneur’s Organization to learn how to run and build a business. At one of the first workshops I attended, the speaker informed the crowd that there was a dollar taped to the underside of one chair.
Everyone got up to find it, looking underneath their chairs, until one person exultantly cried out, “I got it.” After everyone sat back down, the speaker said, “I just taught you the most important lesson of entrepreneurship—you got get off of your ass to make a dollar.” We all laughed, but I never forgot that.
The key to success is really hard work. Unfortunately it’s hard to see that, especially in today’s day and age. In the era of reality TV stars and “overnight” success, we don’t see how hard someone worked to get to the level of success where they are widely recognized. But anyone who has ever achieved any level of success knows that hard work is key. Thomas Jefferson once said, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”
When Taylor Swift released her album reputation, she shared videos of her songwriting process. It’s fascinating to watch how hard she works; how she spends hours on certain phrasings, and picking exactly the right words to fit in with the music. This is what people who work hard know—it takes time, energy and getting off your ass to create success.
Model this level of hard work for both your children and your staff. Talk about and stress the importance of hard work. Very often people don’t realize how long it takes to get good. But when you model your own hard work and you show people how other successful people worked hard, broke things down, took them step by step, you give your children and your staff more of an opportunity to understand how to maximize their own potential.
Recently, one of my children was lamenting that she wasn’t do as well academically as she’d like. I asked her how much time a night she spent reviewing her classes from that day. She immediately got it and started reviewing her flashcards the next day. If you aren’t willing to put in the effort, you’re not going to see the result. It’s just that simple.
If you aren’t willing to put in the effort, you’re not going to see the result. It’s just that simple.
I also remember I once had an employee who asked for a raise after a year, and also wanted a promotion. While she had done a good job, she hadn’t distinguished herself in any outstanding way. In fact, one of her arguments was that she had solved a situation she herself had created. I still shake my head when I think about it. Doing your job doesn’t deserve an exceptional reward. Being exceptional at your job is where you’ll find the promotion and the raise.
Doing your job doesn’t deserve an exceptional reward. Being exceptional at your job is where you’ll find the promotion and the raise.
So help your children and your employees understand that growth comes from putting your head down and getting the work DONE. Nothing impresses the people around you more than knowing you can make it happen.Suggest to your children and staff to read autobiographies of successful people, watch YouTube videos where people break down their creative process, and talk to other successful people they admire. Share your own experiences: They demonstrate how hard work, time, effort and commitment pay off.