Branson. Musk. Schwarzenegger. Gary Vee. Tim Ferriss. Les Brown. Will Smith. Eric Thomas. Tai Lopez. Tony Robbins. Marie Forleo.
If you've got big ideas, you've no doubt done some stalking of one of these figures already, which means you've probably also listened to your fair share of motivational talks and you're no stranger to greyscale photos with bold white single buzzwords like 'CONQUER.' I feel there's a danger to this instant dose of motivation. I want to lift a veil on what I think of as Superman medicine.
We all, myself included, know that we've got to learn if we want to make progress, so we look to those who are successful. When we find people who tickle our motivation bone, we go crazy listening to their output and soaking up as much as we can, and I can certainly say I owe many productive days and gym sessions to the names up there (except Tai Lopez. He's just good for laughs. Come on mate.)
However, it's important you don't let your standards slide too far into their defined parameters. It's all well and good being convinced to put your nose to the grindstone but beware - there's an agenda at play.
The theory that's put out by these people is built to last: to stick it on a flow diagram, you'll often start with "Am I working hard?" with the No arrow leading to a firm "Stop being lazy and choosing failure and accepting mediocrity and start working" and the Yes arrow looping right back round to the beginning with a "Keep going" barked at you inbetween. Some of these figures do it more than others, but there's always a level of being ushered to work harder - of course there is! The problem lies with those who don't offer an answer for what happens when you don't work, or even worse, condemn it. If you start to condition yourself to believe that when you don't work, you're failing, you'll see the motivation boost you get from these guys (the very same who told you you're failing in the first place) as the cure. Not only is that added pressure and anxiety on you, it's also another YouTube view, another penny made from their ad revenue, another few hours spent being pushed closer to their book.
They always have a book.
I'm not saying don't shut these people out. They're experienced and knowledgeable (Tai) and will offer you a lot of positive perspectives that will help you in the future. That doesn't mean however that you should start beating yourself up for a low day or thinking you've lost it all when you've allowed yourself some time off from work. Eric Thomas says TGIF - The Grind Includes Friday - and says you have to want to succeed as badly as you want to breathe, but buzzwords like these sell because they get you hyped quick. They don't last! No captioned image or catchy phrase is going to set you straight for the rest of your life - my suggestion is to let it help you get the ball rolling if you're having a rough time getting started, then take the rest with a pinch of salt. There are all sorts of gold nuggets that the voices above will introduce to you, be they books, methods or strategies, but the reality is that all of them have had off-days too. Just because they're skilled at confidently telling you you're not allowed a break doesn't mean that's true.
Super-Gary on a video I watched recently told a woman he was advising that the weekend she confessed to taking off working on her startup was more time spent not working than he'd allowed himself in all ten years of his first startup period. What a load of rubbish. Idols are idols but these guys are just as fallible as you. What matters is that you keep working.
On a lighter note, some are much more amenable and aware that we're not machines. I'd recommend Tim Ferris and Les Brown for inspiration and motivation as they address the hows with a little more understanding, rather than hammering home some near-impossible whats. Starting up a business is hard, but not so hard that you write off everything else.
See you later.
- Feb 5, 2018 Business Philosophy - Work When You Can't Feb 5, 2018
- Feb 2, 2018 Business Philosophy - Zoom Out Feb 2, 2018
- Jan 23, 2018 Business Philosophy - On Superman Medicine Jan 23, 2018
- Jan 19, 2018 Business Philosophy - On Cold Marketing Jan 19, 2018
- Jan 13, 2018 Business Philosophy - Finding your Three Tenets Jan 13, 2018
- Check-Ins from the Gaffer 4