My first mentor, my father, taught me from a young age "Hard work comes before the dream." This has been the foundation of my drive and been a source of encouragement that keeps me aligned with my purpose.
Millennials have been dubbed the microwave generation, we want everything faster and with minimal output. My successes over the past 14 years as an entrepreneur have not been without hard work and discomfort. These are some key lessons I've learned along the way.
1. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
If there is one characteristic that you need to have in order to have a fulfilled life of purpose, impact, and prosperity it's getting comfortable doing the things that scare you the most.
Very early on I learned that you need to take risk to get rewards. One of the hardest talks I've ever had was the day I told my father I was going to drop out of school. He basically told me, you're on your own, and if you fail, you have to take responsibility to figure it out. That uncertainty could have crippled me. However I used it for motivation and learned to thrive in times of uncertainty.
I learned that standing up and pressing on in the midst of uncertainty is the best way to propel you to the next level. Fast forward to when I began starting my own businesses, uncertainty and risk became a simple fact of life. No matter what chapter of your life you are in, you need to accept that the only way to grow is by taking risks and pushing through.
So ask yourself this, what's holding you back? Or better yet ... what do you have to lose?
2. Create a strong network
Your network is your net worth. Author, Porter Gale wrote in her book, "I believe that seeking out and working in collaboration with others who share your interests and values will provide a stronger foundation, enabling you to reach a higher level of success than you would on your own." This is why I created Fownders, a community of like-minded entrepreneurs that can benefit from learning together in support rather than isolation.
3. The "secret sauce" is the grind
You have to grind every day to reach your full potential. It's really that simple. In Season 2 of Leader Create Leaders, I interviewed Gary Vaynerchuk, "I want the sweat and the pain, it's the process. I want the work." You can have the smarts, the network and even the resources at your fingertips but you need to execute. Think about it, you sleep for 6-8 hours, most people work for 8-10 hours, and this leaves you with 6-10 extra hours per day depending on how much sleep you need and work you do. That's a lot of extra time with a lot of potential. The difference between successful entrepreneurs and everyone else, is how they spend that time. You can't escape hard work, late nights and simple sweat equity.