Here’s the secret of landing the dream job, making the team, turning your dream into reality, etc…you have to put in the hard work. We tend to want things immediately or believe we deserve them perfectly packaged and pretty left at our doorstep, but I will tell you that nothing in this life handed to you that easily is great. Hard work is rewarding, but hard work that gets you to your dreams is the most rewarding thing in life. We live in a time where hard work REALLY can make a difference too, which is even better news. The internet is a beautiful thing.
We get a lot of very well intended emails asking how we grew a blog and business that allows us to work on our hours, and travel the world. The honest answer is to work as hard as you possibly can, for less than you think you should, for longer than you think you need to. The first year Mike and I got married, and started the blog, we lived in a tiny little 600 sq ft house (with a roommate), ate out of our garden, and lived on $16,000 that first year. It was the recession, and we were fresh out of school. We didn’t have any job opportunities, so we had to make our own way and live on very little. In that little home and in that year a business bloomed out of our tiny living room. We didn’t have money to go out to eat so we spent many nights walking the banks of Lake Michigan dreaming of the years ahead. We tried a lot of things. We failed a lot. We took odd jobs to keep the rent paid, and grew a garden to eat the organic foods we couldn’t buy. We learned skills at those jobs that grew us and showed us what we loved even if they weren’t the dream. We learned what we were passionate about and what we needed to live well while still chasing our dreams.
The secret to our blog, design business, and life hasn’t changed. Hard work made the difference then, and it makes the difference now. Hard work looks different at every stage of growing a business, and there is very little coasting that is possible, but when you know what you are willing to sacrifice and give up to have what you want and dream about then that hard work doesn’t look so dirty or hard. There is nothing wrong with getting dirty, rolling up your sleeves, and cracking a cold beer to get through the tough stuff to get to the good stuff, but if what you get out of it on the other side isn’t what you are dreaming of it can make those days very hard.
This week, decide what you are willing to sacrifice so you know that the hard work you put in this week is truly rewarding to you. Whether that hard work comes during the week or on the weekends or late at night. Hard work is the difference between where you are and where you want to be. The good news is that we live in a time where hard work really does make all the difference in the world.