Do you know how a duck moves forward? It may look like it’s just gliding along the water effortlessly and peacefully. If you were to look under water, you’d find that a duck is paddling is furiously to get ahead. In this way, entrepreneurs are no different from ducks.
Forget overnight success
I talk to a lot of people who are just starting out. They’re all looking for their big breakout moment, their game-changing innovation. Many of them want success yesterday and they get frustrated when they’re latest greatest product or service is not an overnight sensation. We have become a nation obsessed with insta-everything. All of the successful people I know worked very hard for a long time to get where they are. Their success required hard work, determination, and unrelenting passion for the work, not prestige.
How to make the leap
Taking my leap into a freelance life took a lot of careful, deliberate planning. I put myself through school twice while living on very little money. I took lots of jobs that were difficult and didn’t pay well because they were phenomenal learning opportunities. I took jobs that I hated, working for people who were grossly incompetent and flat-out mean, because I needed the cash. I did a lot of work for free because I believed in its value for the world. I read incessantly, network constantly, pitch myself every single day, and help other people take their leaps because I believe in their potential and because I know that a rising tide lifts all boats. I take lots of risks, and many of them do not carry tangible rewards but they’ve all been valuable experiences.
We all need to get a little lucky
And even with all that work, I still needed luck on my side to get to a point where I cover all my expenses on my freelance work and am now poised to begin to save again, too. I still needed a few lovely angels who came in the form of bosses, mentors, friends, teachers, and even some complete strangers. I’m always prepared to be lucky, and every once in a great while that preparation pays off.
Everyone has ideas. Everyone is creative. Everyone wants to evolve and grow and blossom into the very best people they can be. My advice? Be a duck. Keep a calm and centered exterior. Trust that if you are willing to pedal madly that progress will indeed be made.