Featured Image – “To Achieve Success…” by Celestine Chua is licensed by CC 2.0
Before I began CarCrazyDan, I went on a bit of a Kindle shopping spree and tore through many of the best-selling titles available in the ‘Business & Finance’ category of the Amazon bookstore. It is within these books that I discovered the key to success in life.
To save you about 1,500 pages worth of reading, I can condense the message of all the books I read into two words: Hard work.
What? That’s it? That’s the secret? Unfortunately, yes.
My blog is still yet but a small booger on the windshield of the automotive world, but that booger grows a little bit bigger everyday, fueled by every keystroke I put in at my modest desk.
I’d always dreamed of blogging, and actually had started and given up a few times already. The catalyst for my big push to make it as an automotive journalist came via a bitter disappointment just earlier this year.
I was very close to securing a job with a major automotive website, right next to the beach in a posh area of West Los Angeles. It was at the time, literally, my dream job. It was the ‘one shot’ that Eminem talked about in Eight Mile. I spent hours prepping for the interview and when the fateful day came and went, I skipped out of the office, assured that of the two new hires, I would be one.
A week passed and I heard nothing. My confidence gradually grew into self-doubt, and by the end of the week I knew something was wrong. A call to the HR department confirmed my suspicions. I was out.
I went straight to Total Wine, picked up a handle of 12-year old Scotch and drowned my sorrows. I’m not sure if I could ever recall another time in my life where I had been so disappointed. Actually, getting rejected by my high school crush was pretty bad, too.
Eventually, the shock and trauma (and scotch) wore off and I decided to use what at first seemed like a big step backward to pursue that which I really loved: cars and writing. At first I’d spend 3-4 hours a day working on the site, which eventually grew to 5-6 and now I rarely let myself turn in for the day until I’ve been clocked in for at least a solid 8.
It used to be very difficult to even finish a single post a day. But with practice and discipline, I can turn out 2 to 3 decent articles in the same timeframe.
Getting back to the original message of hard work, it’s simple really. All these self-help books and gurus are all just telling you the same thing in a roundabout way.
If you just do what is hard every single day, you will be successful.
I used to work at a sushi restaurant, and the oldest chef there once said something that I’ll never forget. In his thick accent he told me: “In life, there are only two ways to make money. You either have to be the brain, or the brawn.”
Most of us are not going to make a living using our ‘brawn.’ But in the same way, as someone who subjects him or herself to strenuous physical training regularly, getting that much stronger everyday, we too must also subject our brains to continued levels of stress, so that our mental capacity will grow just like an athlete’s conditioning.
Unless you’ve been born into a family of wealth, there’s no easy way to be rich and successful. Anyone who tells you otherwise is just trying to get rich off your insolence.
Bowflex, Jenny Craig, get rich quick scams, they all succeed because they appeal to the part of our human nature that makes us want to take the easy way out – the elevator, not the stairs. There is no easy way to lose weight quickly. There is no easy way to double your investment.
Do whatever you need to get fired up. Listen to upbeat music, watch motivational videos, think about those useless pricks who doubted you. Attack life with a voracious hunger and keep beating on your craft everyday and I guarantee you will be rich and successful.
“Hard work, dedication.” -Floyd Mayweather, Jr.