Sometimes you have to have snot run down your nose to be successful

I live outside of New York City and we had a snow storm yesterday, probably about a foot of snow. We’re used to this kind of thing, but most of us (me) don’t like it. I hate to shovel. Sure, it’s good exercise, and I’m kind of achy today, but still, no thanks.

My neighborhood and my block have a lot of kids, of all ages. Sledding, snowman building and snowball fights are a common occurrence after a snowfall like this. But you know what’s not? Kids getting their shovels out and going door to door. I can’t say I did this a lot as a kid myself, but we did do it and lots of other kids did too. It was a way to make some money and buy the latest video game we wanted.

This is not a rant on how kids today aren’t as good as kids in my generation. Every generation thinks they had it better, or they had it worse, or they had it “fill in the blank.” But it is helpful to note that a real change is occurring. A server mentality is quickly disappearing from our culture. I should not serve, but rather, I should be the one being served. In a service based economy this is troubling.

Even in the world of startups and technology, where I’ve spent most of my career, I can see it plainly enough. People love to code. They love to build funnels. They love to write an amazing business plan. And when they are done, they wait, and wait and wait. Then they get scared, angry and wonder, “what the fuck?” Why isn’t anyone coming to my app, website, business. Well, probably because your idea sucked, but that’s another blog for another day. (By the way, I’ve had lots of sucky ideas. There’s no shame in it. You’re among people that love you)

No, the reason here may be because you didn’t want to go shovel your neighbors’ walks. You preferred to sit at home, sipping hot cocoa and binge watching Netflix (I recommend The Expanse), rather than get cold, have snot run down your face and lose all feeling in your fingers. Who could blame you? But that is what it takes to be successful.

You can’t sit in your office and wait, and code, and build. You need to get up and get out. And you need to meet people. Yeah it sucks. I’d rather be in the office too, drinking coffee and have millions of people see the genius of my marketing campaign, and beat a path to my website, but it rarely happens. People will tell you to leave. People will hang up on you. I know because it happened to me repeatedly and it does suck. (But it’s all a game, play your role, and don’t take it personally)

You’ll also get the people who enjoy meeting you and speaking with you, and that’s an amazing feeling. That’s what it takes to start a business. Is that what you want? Do you have enough faith in yourself? Do you have enough belief in your business, in your solution, to go cold calling, in person and on the phone and risk embarrassment and frustration. Until you do, don’t. (Please don’t.) After all, Netflix has a ton of new shows launching this year.

Thanks for taking this journey with me. It wouldn’t be the same without you.

Best!

Dean

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