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Many successful entrepreneurs get asked, “What was their defining moment?” or some similar question. Several have never even thought about it, nor can they easily identify that special moment. Those that do, will admit that they didn’t recognize it at the time as a defining moment, because no trumpets blared or some similar event. It was only through hindsight that it became evident.
Defining moments just happen
The point is, nobody sets out to create defining moments. They aren’t goals in and of themselves, they just happen. What these individuals do though, is they get up every day and work hard to realize their goals and have been doing so long before they became entrepreneurs. What I’ve come to realize is that successful people work hard at everything they do, it’s just part of their DNA.
Working hard doesn’t just mean physically working hard, although that may be part of it. No, they just spend most waking moments thinking about the work they do and how to do it better. Hands on experiences, studying the best practices of not only their industry but even unrelated industries. It’s all fair game. And they do so on their own time and on their own dime.
Polish the stone
Entrepreneurial or not, most successful people didn’t wait for someone to enroll them in a skill improving courses or to pick up a book, no they just did it on their own. They were driven to be better or to “polish the stone” as I like to say. I have found that once this quest for knowledge is acquired, it just becomes second nature.
Throughout their careers, they have strived to be the best at every job they had. They took the time to understand what was expected of them and endeavoured to excel. Is that because of the competitive nature evident in so many successful entrepreneurs? Is it pride that drives them? Or is it just their need to be better? I posit that it’s a combination of these factors. But regardless of their motivation, they are constantly trying to improve their companies and not accept the status quo.
Successful people fail
There are millions of successful people that you’ll never hear about but successful they are. They figured out what they wanted and applied tremendous focus to achieving it. Ask successful people how they did it and I guarantee that most will tell you they never stopped learning, even when they failed, they just kept trying to gain more knowledge. It was their hedge against failing the next time, because most successful people have failed more than once.
Regardless of all the noise about successful people that bombards us every day, very few did so without tremendous effort. We never hear how hard they toiled. We only see the final result. They don’t work hard because they’re successful, they’re successful because they worked hard.
Don’t go looking for defining moments but define your own moments everyday by the choices you make.
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I’m Greg Weatherdon and this has been your Small Business Minute.