Its too hard, Kent! Its too hard! I hear this refrain far too often. Part of the problem here, I think, is that people insist on acting as if we live in a fantasy world, rather than the real world of hard work and hard knocks. They want something for nothing, and refuse to believe that Christmas comes just once a yearand then only for little children.
Lets get something straight here: if you expect to succeed at anything, you need to be willing to pay the price for it. Theres no way around that fact, and usually, paying the price involves time and a steep learning curve. Whether its learning to tie your shoes or use a computer, or figuring out exactly how youre going to make the kind of money that would make you a success in your own eyes, its going to take you a significant amount of time to learn how to do it. You have to accept that. While some of us do learn things quickly, and its true that there are people who are naturals at some things, I believe that the idea of talent can be overrated. Most of us can learn to become competent at just about anything, as long as we keep plugging away at it.
So if you tell me that the road to success is just too hard, then I have to reply that you dont want success enough. Its obviously not impossible to become successful and wealthy, because people accomplish it every single day. A good number of those people started from very little. So if something seems too hard, then flex your problem-solving muscles. Look for a way to make it easier. If nothing else, break your tough tasks down into smaller chunks that you can handle, and work on one chunk at a time. Do something every day to advance your enterprise before your head hits the pillow at night, just one thing to push your enterprise forward.
Its too hard! What specifically does that mean? Heres what I think: beyond their refusal to live in the real world, most of the time people want an excuse to stay stuck. This may sound counterintuitive, but you see, its because theres a secondary payoff involved. Like all excuses, saying Its too hard lets them off the hook for not succeeding. Remember, excuses are comforting lies that you tell yourself so that you can feel better about not succeeding. If you convince yourself of the comfortable lie that the path to success is so full of potholes and pitfalls that you cant negotiate it, then you let yourself off the hook. You can blame the product, you can blame the business opportunity, you can blame the marketing plan, you can blame the company.
Its just too hard!
Yeah, I would love to make money, but its too hard. And since its too hard, its not my fault, so hey, Im going to go watch TV. And besides, American Idol is on tonight! Dancing with the Stars is on tonightand look, if I hurry, I can catch that new episode of House, M.D. Thats my favorite show!
There you have it: the secondary payoff. The primary payoff of trying to succeed is success, obviously. But if you tell yourself this excuse, you get a gain anyway: you dont have to succeed. Succeeding requires work, and it can be a real pain in the tuchus. Instead you can watch TV, which is more fun than working, because why keep banging your head against the wall when its all too hard to handle? Well, that makes me wonder: how can it be that you belong to the same species that built the Great Wall of China, and colonized most of the world in flimsy boats? The same people who built the Space Shuttle and put humans on the Moon? Wow, how was it possible for anyone to do all that, when youre so easily defeated that you give up on a business opportunity just so you can go watch TV?
Let me tell you this: someone certainly looked at all those monumental human accomplishments when they were still dreams and said, Nope, never happen. Well, they were wrong, werent they? Instead of giving in to a comfortable excuse, the people who moved those things forward broke them down into smaller tasks that they could accomplish, one at a time. Kind of makes you wonder what kinds of magnificent things we might have accomplished that will never happen, just because someone gave up and said, Too hard for me. Im gonna go have a beer and watch the ballgame.
Humans are problem-solving animals. Were endlessly inventive, and thats our biggest strength as a species. In fact, it may be our only strength. So dont squander your strength by making excuses for why you cant do something. Every great idea, every wonderful invention, requires some work for it to really succeed. Oh, sure, youll get something from making an excuse that lets you off the hook. It wont be money, but there will be a payoff in some sense. Itll probably be some kind of short-term comfort, and no more, but surewe all get gains from telling ourselves these lies, these excuses.
If you read a manual and say, Its too hard! then the payoff of that comforting lie is that you dont have to do it. Fine, but dont be annoyed if you dont get the money and success you were (supposedly) after in the first place. You can say, It was a bad product, and it was too hard, so Im just going to go watch reruns of American Idol and Dancing with the Stars, and thats fine, too. You can just waste all your time on the boob tube, and it will just suck your mind dry, and you wont advance your enterprise. But thats okay. You can make money, or you can make excuses. You cant make both.
Thats a recurring theme in this series of articles, and by now youre probably tired of hearing it; but that doesnt make it any less true. And get this through your head, too: as the great Stephen Crane once put it in a neat little poem, your existence hasnt created in the universe a sense of obligation. The universe doesnt care if you live or die. All the entitlement programs in the world aside, the universe doesnt owe you a thingso what you get from the universe is what you manage to scrabble out. If you keep making those comforting excuses, then how are you ever going to be able to afford anything but the most basic lifestyle? Why arent you willing to work hard for what you desire? Theres got to be some reason there. Maybe its not that youre lazy, because when I look at poor people who havent succeeded the way they want to, I often see people whove worked damned hard all their lives. Maybe theyre just unwilling to accept the responsibility it takes to be a true success, which often means being audacious, being bold, becoming a leader. Maybe theyre just too impatient to wait for success.
Think about that for a moment. Every excuse youve ever told yourself for anything, every story youve ever had thats held you back in any waytheres been some reason for it. You may not have realized that reason immediately; it might not have been obvious at all, and maybe it still isnt, but the reason is there. To get beyond your lack of success, you have to figure out the reasons behind your excuses. What do you get from telling yourself these stories? Do you think youre keeping yourself safe? Do you get to stay in your comfort zone, where its all warm and fuzzy and known? Whats the deal? Because there is some reason.
Thats why I have to reject the too hard excuse. Theres no such thing. Even if you cant do it all yourself, usually you can find someone to ease the burden. I know that because thats what I do. With every product and service I offer, Ive got a great team backing me. You can always call us if youve got an honest question, and were happy to help you. If you have something that you think is an obstacle related to one of our products or services, were happy to help you bust through that. Were all in this together: you and me and my team.
You are not alone, so it shouldnt be too hard. You dont have to feel like its one person against the world, against all odds, some kind of heroic story where you have to overcome all the obstacles on your ownunless you want to see it that way. If you do, if you blind yourself to all the potential angles so that everythings just too hard, well, thats your doing, your excuse. Were here to help, so it should never be too hard. Thats just an excuse, and it keeps people stuckso they can just go watch American Idol and Dancing with the Stars.
Again, a lot of this too hard nonsense comes from false expectations. This is a world of instant gratification: we all want it right now. We dont like to wait even for a few minutes. Were used to that from the Internet and from McDonalds and other fast-response businesses and services, and certainly, that attitude has its place in some situationsbut its not reality for most of us, and shouldnt be seen as such. Modern people are just plain impatient! They tell me, essentially, This is too hard! It takes too long, Kent! I want money to fall out of the sky tomorrowand I dont want just a little money, I want a lot! Does that sound familiar? Have you found yourself thinking that way? Ill bet you have, because Ive thought that way, too.
But having weathered my own marketplace storms and come out ahead, I know what the real world is like. Here is my response to you, the traditional business opportunity seeker: its not going to happen unless a) You win the lottery, or b) a rich relative dies and leaves you everything. I guarantee you that either is much less likely to happen than you building your own success. If you would just clear away that magical thinking, apply yourself to reality, and wait to reap the rewards that will come with the fullness of time, youll get themassuming youre willing to be patient.
You have to think like an experienced gardener here. To grow anything, you need to go to the nursery and buy some cuttings or some seeds. Lets say you want to grow some oak trees, because they represent a real success in your eyes. Mature oak trees are tall and wide, and are very successful trees: sturdy, strong, and almost impossible to kill. Well, if a gardener were to respond like a standard biz opp seeker, theyd plant the acorns one week, go out and water them every day, and search in vain for signs of growth. After about a week of nothing, they might start cursing their lack of progress, and eventually say to themselves, I wonder if these are defective acorns?
After another week or so, theyd probably dig those acorns up and say, HmmmI just dont know. And maybe they would plant them again, and water them like crazy, and check them every dayand if they had a high threshold of patience, this might go on for as much as a month. Then they would grumble, Shoot! A whole month, and Ive got nothing! All I see is this little tiny brown thing, and I want a big oak tree! What is the problem here?
You know what comes next. They dig those acorns upand maybe they find that a few have sprouted. These little acorns are in the process of becoming baby trees, really tiny micro-trees, so something is happeningbut its not enough! Theyre furious! They yank the acorns out of the ground and take them back to the nursery, where they throw them in the face of the nurseryman and shout, Doggone it, you sold me some scam acorns! This is unbelievable! I want my oak trees to grow 90 feet high and eight feet wide, and I want it to happen quickly! These are, like, the slow ones! What is the deal here? I wanted the good acorns. Can you sell me the good ones or not? Because these are a scam! Im tired of waiting around for stuff to happenI want it now! I want it to work like magic, to happen overnight, so what is the deal?
The deal, sadly, is that the gardener who wants instant results from their acorns is an idiot. If someone responded this way to planting an acorn, it would be clear that they had lost sight of reality, and had somehow fallen for the idea that magic really does exist in the worldand worse, that they can buy it for a few bucks. Think about that; its unreasonable, isnt it? By now, the nurseryman is looking at our would-be gardener with a shocked, disbelieving expression on his face. The best you can do with the impatient gardener is to calmly explain that such things take time.
Everything of significance, everything that needs to be profitable and permanent, takes time to grow. Rome wasnt built in a day, and neither is a successful business. In order to succeed, youve got to plant those seeds, which admittedly may not cost you that much; but this isnt a Jack and the Beanstalk fable. Theyll grow, if you nurture and baby them, but itll be a long time before you get the massive oak tree to shelter and protect you. Youve got to nurture your enterprise and treat it like a real business. You cant allow the specter of impatience to ruin your efforts.
Most people dont want to hear that. They want money to fall out of the sky, and sure, thats fun to dream about. We all want to win the Lottobut we cant bring that Lotto mentality into the business opportunity and expect to succeed. People do it anyhow. I cant count how many times Ive seen people just bounce from opportunity to opportunity to opportunity like a ping-pong ball, jumping around the entire industry in the time that sober investors would spend on one or maybe two opportunities. There are junkies who just like whats new, whats hot, whats nextand they never stay in an opportunity long enough for it to gain traction and to grow and pay for itself, much less become profitable. Theyre incurring huge startup costs to get involved, and then they scream about how nothing works.
Folks, its not always the opportunity that doesnt work. You can make money with most opportunities, if youve got your BS detector on full so that you avoid the obvious and inevitable scams. Its not the biz opps that are broken here: its the people involved in them, the ones who are screaming loudest that its all a scam and they just cant make it work. They fail because instead of getting serious, instead of working a business opportunity and being patient, they let their impatience overwhelm them, and go and dig up their acorns before the oak seedlings even sprout.
People like this just spin their wheels, and they never get it that its all their fault. Let me state this baldly here: being a program hopper does not work. It never has worked, and it never will work. Its really too bad that people do this, but again, its a nice, comforting excuse to explain why they cant succeed.
I want you to imagine your baby crawling up to you and saying, I want to become an Olympic sprinter! Well, what do you do? Do you say, Okay, great! Next week were going to move to Colorado so you can be close to an Olympic training facility, and Im going to hire a top-flight Olympic coach. Youll be sprinting in no time! If the babys still crawling, does this make any sense? Its nice that the baby wants to do this and all, but he hasnt even learned to walk yet, much less run. So if the baby tells you, I want to run fast! I want to break world records in the hundred-meter dash! thats nicebut it doesnt make any sense to expect them to do it right now, or even any time in the next decade.
What you should do is tell that ambitious baby, Thats great! Buy hey, youre still crawling right now. You need to learn how to walk, and I can help you with that. Itll take some work, but I know you can do it. Once you learn how to walk, and you get good at it, well try you on jogging. Once you can run, well get you to sprinting; and then you can learn to sprint well. At that point, maybe you can compete against all the other sprinters out there. So that baby has 16-18 years of world-class, hard-core, put-your-hours-in get-dedicated training to be successful. And to get there, they really have to want it.
Its not impossible, but its going to take endless practices before they even have a shot at the Olympicsand even when they do go to the Olympics, theres no guarantee theyre going to smash the world record or get the gold, or any medal at all. Maybe theyll flunk out in the Olympic trials, and wont even have a shot after all that training. So realistically, theyve got to have patience. They know what they want to do, but their parents cant just uproot the family and move to Colorado and get them started on wind sprints, when they cant even walk yet. Thats ridiculous.
So why would you expect to succeed in no time at all in a business, especially when, from a marketplace perspective, youre still crawling?
There are a lot of reasons for this type of impatience, which is ultimately just a cry that its too hard. Ive covered the desperation aspect of it in another article, but I feel I need to touch on it here, too. All the time, people say to me, Kent, Im down on my luck. I have no money. I just lost my job, and Im about to file for bankruptcy. I want to make millions of dollars, and I would like to do it within, I dont know, the next 18-24 months. Wow! Thats such a major disconnect with reality that I hardly know how to respond. Youve got to got crawl before you can walk, youve got to walk before you can jog, and youve got to jog before you can run. You have to run before you can sprint; and if you want to become an Olympic sprinter, you have to get good at it. Theres no shortcut here, no way around it. There are ways to make the process faster and easier, sure; and thats what I specialize in providing. But to really make them work as they should, youve got to become a master marketer. Theres no way around that. Youve got become a master salesperson in the first place.
So Im sorry. The Im too impatient flavor of the Its too hard mentality is simply another way of limiting yourself. Its much easier for you to get into one business opportunity, get committed, do everything you can with it, and start making money over the course of a year than it is to bounce around among five or six biz opps that dont make money because you cant or wont focus on them. At the end of the year, what have you got? A lot of annoying paperwork, and youve spent 5 or 6 times the money because youve gotten into 5 or 6 times the opportunities, none of which have traction. All theyre doing is sitting up on your shelves, gathering dust.
Meanwhile, if you had just gotten into one opportunity and worked it hard, you could be making some decent money by the end of the yearand probably much sooner than that. Therefore, Im too impatient is worse than the other