You may have heard this clever little line before. Or maybe you haven’t. In any case, the line goes that the only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. Get it? Yeah, I know, it’s corny, but it does carry a wholesome and important lesson, just like learning that there’s no “I” in “team” (but there is in “victory” and “first place,” but I digress).
Many people get interested in the whole “make money online” industry because they view it as a potential “get rich quick” scheme. They think that they can sign up for some magic formula and they’ll become millionaires overnight. Even if they don’t state this outright, it’s a belief that they hold implicitly.
But the only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. Well, nepotism and privilege too, I suppose, but that’s a whole other discussion for another day. After all, our very own John Chow grew up as an immigrant in the one of Vancouver’s poorest neighborhoods and, well, look at him now.
I Think I Can
There was a TED talk I watched several months back where the speaker made a rather compelling case for turning a common line of thinking completely on its head. Many of us assume that first we need to be successful, and then we can be happy. We’ll be happy once we achieve this or once we accomplish that. Except the truth is actually the total opposite. You start from a place of happiness (and you can still be very ambitious and motivated), and that will lead you down a path to even greater success.
There’s some truth in that, especially when you consider that most of us probably won’t do all that great when we first start out. We’ll come up short and fall flat on our faces, but we have to convince ourselves to keep going. Because we believe we can do it.
If you don’t think that you’ll ever get there, wherever “there” may be, then you’ll never put in the necessary work to achieve that level of success. Conversely, if you are utterly convinced that you will make it, then you will have the drive and determination to learn from your failures and to keep moving forward.
You need to be like the little engine that could. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can… because then you will. You just might not know how high is the hill you need to climb to get there.
Just One More Strike
Here’s another useful analogy for you to consider as you continue on this journey of making money online. “Many of life’s failures,” Thomas Edison once said, “are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
Buried deep in the ground, there may have a tremendous treasure trove of diamonds and precious jewels. You hear the story, you buy a pickaxe, and you start swinging away. For days, weeks, months or even years you toil away, with nothing to show for it but dirt on your face and blisters on your fingers.
If you’re like the guy at the bottom, you give up because all your labor hasn’t resulted in any rewards. But if you’re like the guy at the top, you keep going, because you’re absolutely convinced there’s something there for you. And if you keep swinging away, you’ll get there. Other people will say you’re an overnight success, but you’ll know better. You’ll know about all the thankless blood, sweat and tears you poured into that project.
Of course, you could make more money selling pickaxes to everyone, but that’s another discussion for another day.
Put in the Work
There’s no such thing as an overnight success. You don’t just wake up one day, after having done nothing at all, with a miraculous million dollars in your bank account. It just doesn’t happen. If you want to be successful, you need to put in the work. And once you achieve that success, you can learn how to scale it back or eliminate the connection between hours worked and dollars earned. It requires a change in mindset.
Think about the time and effort that you pour into your online business as an investment. You may not realize any returns for quite some time, even if you keep toiling away. Success is not spontaneous. It takes time and effort. And work.
But the rewards are limitless. You just have to be willing to take one more swing of that pickaxe.