We are generally conditioned to go through life doing as much as we “have to” do. We learn, from an early age, to invest effort “as needed.” Is it any surprise, then, that we are meeting our financial “needs?” Sure, we have a roof over our heads, food on the table, our bills are paid and maybe we have a bit of money left to invest in what is important to us – our personal growth, and perhaps our business. But there may not be much left over after these “needs” are met.
And for some people, that’s totally fine. Some people just want to make “a living” and be comfortable, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. If we want to be comfortable, investing a comfortable amount of effort is the way to go!
But what if we want truly extraordinary financial results? What if we want the kind of income that far exceeds any concept of “need,” the kind of income that leaves us with tens of thousands of dollars at the end of each month, to spend, to invest, to grow wealth?
Extraordinary results require the investment of extraordinary effort.
As entrepreneurs, we do what most people don’t – we spend Saturday night writing copy instead of enjoying a night out with our friends, or we slug through hours of boring technical tutorials instead of watching television, or we spend late nights making sure our workshop hand-outs are perfect.
Before you roll up your sleeves and buckle down to get some work done … here’s how “extraordinary effort” can actually go sideways and end up creating LESS than what we want.
You see, a lot of entrepreneurs ARE willing to invest extraordinary effort.
They DO put in a lot of long hours into their business.
And they create very little money.
So obviously, extraordinary amounts of effort is not a GUARANTEE of extraordinary results!
Here’s the secret:
Most entrepreneurs want the RESULT of a financially abundant business. They want the money, the lifestyle, the flexibility, the freedom. Who doesn’t, right?
And so, we find within ourselves the willingness to do the work. We find within ourselves the willingness to put in the time, to learn and practice new skills, even the willingness to fail.
And in spite of all that, we still don’t make the money we want.
Guess what? WILLINGNESS is not ENOUGH.
If any part of you would rather be out on a Saturday night than writing copy … sure, you may be willing to stay home and write copy. But what you really are willing to do is SACRIFICE.
You may be willing to slug through hours of boring technical tutorials, but you don’t actually want to learn what you’re learning. But you’re willing to SACRIFICE your time to learn what you think you “have to” learn. So here you are, studying out of sacrifice with a hefty side of OBLIGATION.
If you’re willing to sacrifice your time, if you’re willing to suck it up and do what you “have to do” to build your business … don’t pat yourself on the back.
Because choices made from the energies of sacrifice and obligation just don’t create abundance.
Your willingness to do the work is not going to create abundance for you.
Want to know what DOES create abundance? Passionate desire.
If you’re writing copy on a Saturday night because there’s NOTHING ELSE you’d rather do … you’re acting out of passionate desire.
If you’re spending your weekend learning a new technical skills set because you’re passionately obsessed with the possibilities these new skills hold for getting your work into the world … you’re acting out of passionate desire.
If you’re spending your day calling one organization after another, looking to get booked to speak because you really, really can’t wait to connect with these organizers … you’re acting out of passionate desire.
The problem with passionate desire is … you can’t talk yourself into it.
You can’t inspire or motivate or discipline yourself into it, either.
If underneath all the positive and motivational self-talk, your honest, authentic Truth is that you’d rather be playing video games or throwing a pool party or going for a hike … then you are still doing sacrifice and obligation.
Passionate desire isn’t about really wanting an outcome. A lot of people have a passionate desire for a life of financial freedom.
They just don’t have a passionate desire for the effort it will take to get there.
Extraordinary effort isn’t about the willingness to work hard in order to get to a result later. That’s an error in thinking that keeps most hard-working people broke.
What makes effort truly extraordinary is that you have a passionate desire for engaging in that effort, right NOW. What makes effort truly extraordinary is that there’s nothing else you’d rather be doing.
Most people will think you’re insane for WANTING to spend your Saturday night writing copy. They’ll think you’re nuts that it’s all you truly, passionately WANT to do.
That’s why it’s extraordinary effort.
There’s no sacrifice or obligation in it.
If you can’t find passionate desire for the effort required to create the income you want, I have two pieces of advice for you:
First of all, ask yourself what ways of doing marketing and sales, what business structures would truly excite you. Because you may just be doing business the way you think you “should” vs. how you actually want.
Pay attention if the HONEST answer from deep within your heart is something that doesn’t involve any effort on your part. “Clients would just SOMEHOW find me via referral” or “I would have automated income streams and money would be coming in while I sit on a beach somewhere.”
If honestly, authentically, there is no DOING of creating income that excites you … then stop torturing yourself. Consider that you’ve bought into the sales pitch of “You, too, can make buckets of money in three easy steps while having a luxury lifestyle working only fifteen hours a week.” Consider that you’re invested in the vision of a result, but that the human experience is all about … well, the journey. And that you don’t actually WANT the journey required to get to extraordinary financial abundance.
And that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with making a living. There’s nothing wrong with getting a job, either.
The truth is that making buckets of money in only fifteen hours a week takes YEARS of sixty or eighty hour weeks of extraordinary effort.
That’s not a really sexy sales pitch, though.
Of course, if you’re truly engaged in effort driven by passionate desire, those sixty or eighty hour weeks will feel like you’re having fun. And that’s the real secret to extraordinary financial abundance. There’s got to be nothing else you’d rather do than what looks like “work” to most people around you.
That’s why the effort is extraordinary. Because ordinary would be WILLING. But extraordinary is UNwilling to do anything else, or anything less.
To your abundance,
Andrrea, I absolutely love this writing. Last night I was working late and after it was all done I asked myself if I had been working out of desperation (yet another negative energy) or inspiration. For the first time in a long time I knew it was because I am really fascinated with the e-marketing world. I had no idea that this was out there. I resisted it because it was and still is difficult for me, so much to learn. I worked hard initially to peel through the layers of resistance out of desperation. But the energy has changed. I actually don’t care anymore about where I live or with whom, as long as I can keep at it on my computer. Big change.
Love, love this post.
I prefer staying at home doing my work than going out 9 days out of 10… Following the inspiration is where it’s at!
Thank you for the perspective Andrea. It is a little like being an “actor”. There is no shortage of “actors” who love the attention of being on stage or on screen; who love the accolades, the red carpet lifestyle, rubbing shoulders with famous people etc, but really hate the effort that it takes to get there–the auditions, the rehearsals, the 5am makeup calls, the 15 hour days. There is a huge difference between an artist who is all about the work and one who is all about the glory. One is heart driven, the other is about ego.
Why then, do so many talented and dedicated artists wind up so poor?
Kelley – because being a talented and dedicated artist (whether your “art” is actual art, or teaching, or coaching, or healing, etc.) is not enough. We do have to effectively put our work out into the world. We do have to market ourselves. The world is not going to magically find us on its own. And that’s not about the glory … it’s about the work, and realizing that it is our job to share our gifts with the world actively. 🙂
This article REALLY spoke to me. Thank you for pointing out that there’s a difference between “hard work” and “extraordinary effort,” and for describing what that difference is: passionate desire.
I suspect I’m not alone when I say that I’m capable of doing very hard work – AND have done it many times to so-so results. Because the truth is, my passionate desire is in travel, learning, and receiving information. But because making gobs of money simply by reading books on a beach somewhere is unrealistic (I’m pretty sure!), I’ve spent years applying tremendous energy in other, less satisfying (and not very successful) avenues, all in an effort to enable time and money for my real desire.
In other words, I made “doing my Truth” be my goal instead of my path. Your article finally brought it home that that thinking will never work.
While I’m not sure exactly how to apply this knowledge, a vital piece of the puzzle clicked in place today when reading your article – and I’m breathing a huge sigh of relief just finally understanding how to recognize the activities that WON’T work. Thanks so much for taking some pressure off!!!
I am 53 and am STILL trying to find donething I’m passionate about.
mary, I am not sure how this works, but I think that you can mentally choose something, learn everything you need to know about it, see what you can add to it to make it your own and than change direction if you need to. You need to give passion a chance, nobody is born with it.
So awesome and so true!!!! I love it.
Thank you Andrrea I resonate so so much!
Wonderful!! A brilliant articulation which I wish I’d known five years ago. And wouldn’t have been able to comprehend LOL.
Wish I’d known it 15 years ago – though I might not have comprehended it either, lol.
After 20 years as a medical doctor I finally started doing what I am truly passionate about: equine assisted experiential learning – which means I help people live more abundant lives with the help of my horses. I earn less now than I did before, but more than enough to meet all my and my horses needs – the difference is because I am now passionate about what I do, everything seems effortless. Wish I had seen this post 20 years ago though…