The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night. ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Successful people are obsessed with what they do, and that makes all the difference.
At first I thought it was weird. Like, come on! You can’t be serious? That’s creepy! Then I started looking around and observing people who were really successful at what they were doing; the ones who were headed for the top. I realised that they all had one thing in common. They were obsessed with their hustle.
From the petty thief and fraudster, to the makeup artistes, real estate agent, and marketer trying to make an honest living, the secret is the same. They sleep, wake and breathe their hustle. They’re always thinking of ways to get new clients and serve their existing clients better. They’re always trying to come up with solutions and new packages that will boost their brand and increase their bottom line. Their conversations online and offline are peppered with mentions of and references to their hustle.
When they’re taking breaks (which they often have to discipline themselves to take), they rest well and play hard. When break time is over, they’re all in; no half measures. They’re not doing the barest minimum, watching the clock or daydreaming; they put in the work wholeheartedly. Every time potential customers are in sight, they are fully switched on. You won’t believe the difference this makes until you’ve actually see, or better still, experienced it.
What’s your routine like? Being obsessed with your hustle is not about becoming a workaholic. It’s about channelling your energies into becoming the absolute best at what you do.
Here are a few tips to get you on your way:
1. Be enthusiastic and passionate about what you’ve chosen to do. The road to “obsessed” is long for someone who is only mildly interested in their chosen hustle. Nothing great was ever accomplished without enthusiasm.
2. Be an early bird. Waking up early can be an advantage instead of an inconvenience if you know how to work it. Find out how best to make the early hours work for you. Even an hour or 45 minutes before the place gets noisy can give you an amazing head start.
3. Never stop learning. Successful professionals know this. Keep studying, brainstorming and discussing new ideas. Know the resources available in your field and use them; books, seminars, motivational audio materials and blogs abound. Even the Twitter timelines of respected professionals in your field are treasure troves. Have you added them to lists yet? You owe it to yourself to constantly upgrade.
4. Showcase what you have. Review past successes with a prospective client. Talk about testimonials and feedback from customers about your products. If you’ve done something right, don’t hide your lamp under a bushel. I remember many years ago when it was in bad taste to post blog links on Twitter. People who were brave enough to do it usually said things like “shamelessly plugging my blog” but today it is completely normal, and even expected, to share one’s helpful and entertaining articles and blog posts. Take advantage of the tools around you that others take for granted.
5. Make a to-do list for each day and work on it like crazy. Prioritise it and complete your most important tasks first. Without discipline, there’s no point to being obsessed. You’ll just frustrate yourself and die with tall dreams. Harry Emerson Fosdick was right: “No horse gets anywhere until he is harnessed. No steam or gas ever drives anything until it is confined. No Niagara is ever turned into light and power until it is tunneled. No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined.”