Over the years, I have learned the true meaning of sacrifice in order to achieve unbelievable wins for the growth of my company: You must be willing to be uncomfortable today in order to live a life of comfort tomorrow.
However, we live in a time where patience is rare, and sacrifice is no longer celebrated. I recently taught a seven-day crash course for executive writers, and immediately came under scrutiny as soon as the first article the participants published didn't immediately "go viral" or get picked up by a major news network.
Here's what they didn't understand: I wrote over 900 articles before top-tier global organizations and news media began to consider my work for expert interviews and credible citing. I was willing to sacrifice early for huge long-term wins.
The average entrepreneur is willing to throw in the towel after the first try--but building a company requires an immense level of sacrifice and patience. The journeys of exceptional people like Jeff Bezos appear relatively simple, until you realize his journey to become the world's richest person has been over 20 years in the making.
Here are the top three sacrifices that will take you and the growth of your business to the next level:
1. Stop striving for perfection.
Successful leaders focus on the small victories, which add up to big wins with time. Grant Cardone referenced in the below speech how his first book became a bestseller although it contained misspellings and grammatical errors:
Cardone focused on progress, rather than perfection, which has clearly paid off. The false reality of the need to be perfect is a myth.
All great leaders begin where they are and reinvest into the growth of the company to achieve perfection. That's what you need to do, too.
2. Get rid of your distractions .
The guilty pleasure of binge watching your favorite show on Netflix, spending time with friends, taking a week long vacation in the Caribbean for the week, or accepting time-wasting meetings without a clear agenda must come to an end.
In the early stages of building my company, I hadn't taken a vacation in six years. It was an early sacrifice for the benefit of a long-term goal of a shorter work week, which paid off significantly. Steve Jobs once said it well:
"People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. But that's not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully."
Focus on the long-term goal of investing your time with productive activities, such as creating valuable visibility for your company, pitching your idea to investors, building a sustainable revenue model, reading great books, developing focus groups, building your advisory team, or your exit strategy. Measure your time wisely and focus on productivity.
3. Leave your unrealistic expectations at the door.
It may take numerous attempts to succeed at your goal. The idea of expecting immediate results on your first try at anything is extremely unrealistic. I learned from the students of my seven-day writing crash course that consistency continues to be underrated and underestimated.
James Dyson, founder of The Dyson Company--better known for his Dual Cyclone vacuum cleaner--wrote for Wired in 2011 that he spent 15 years creating 5,127 versions of his vacuum that failed before inventing the one that worked. Today, Dyson has a recorded net worth of $5.7 billion, thanks to his consistency and learning how to dominate his own market share.
There are several other new competitors in the market, who are now attempting to compete with The Dyson Company. Many have since failed, due to unrealistic expectations.
It takes time to dominate a significant market share of an industry. If you're consistent, you will celebrate huge wins.