Lately I've been into - if not obsessed - with The Art of War, specifically the newly translated audiobook read by Aiden Gillen of Game of Thrones fame. The book has been on my shelf for years, but, like the inspired The War of Art, its importance has grown exponentially as I have matured.
I implore you to check out this taut, hour-long audiobook, if only to hear one absolutely chilling quote:
Unhappy is the fate of one who tries to win his battles and succeed in his attacks without cultivating the spirit of entrepreneurship, as the result is waste of time and general stagnation.
Going through the motions won't cut it. My own experience launching a simple app, So Quotable, ended up teaching me everything from programming to marketing. Paying attention to the small project gave me the knowledge to co-found Cuddlr, a bigger app acquired a year after we launched.
Here's what you can take from this killer quote:
Take it seriously: Sweat the small stuff. The little idea you have could grow into a mighty acorn - that's why you should plan for success as thoroughly as you plan for failure.
Take your time: The frustration and the elation? Take it all in equal measures. There is something to be learned from every portion - particularly the parts you don't like. I call it dirty work, as I mentioned in a recent Business Rockstars interview, and it is invaluable.
You don't have to share your insights with the world, as I did, but you do have to remember them. Otherwise, as Sun Tzu said, you're just wasting time.