This is one of those questions I find myself constantly asking myself. Consistently wondering about in my mild swing lows of the mind.
What does it really take?
I by no means am successful by societal norms, but what I can tell you, I am well on my way through my 10,000 hours. The constant late nights (lol tonight is one of them), the anxiety, never really feeling like you truly fit in. Watching those around you that took the easy route - Get a degree, and get a job (To be fair that is no easy feat, but in emotional comparison, lol risking it all for a dream only you can see - is much harder), suceed; while attempt after attempt you just can't seem to get it right, and maybe just maybe if you gave in and just got a job it would all work out - one day?
Does that sound familiar to you? I mean, to be fair there are various types of entrepreneurs; but the one I am talking to right now is the one that has no real tertiary education, but is educated from the school of hard knocks. The one who has nothing to fall back on, that their dream is bigger than any part time work they are doing.
You my friend, are not alone. It might seem as though things are an uphill battle, hell I might even be writing this post for myself - but I feel if you are reading this, then you are like me, we are no different. Things do get better, before they get harder - and do you know what happens?
You get better.
You have to be willing to commit yourself to getting better and better at what it is you are doing. Finessing your skill. Understanding the in's and outs of your industry, Striving to be a thought leader in your field. The only way to be the best, is BE THE M.Fin' BEST (I am not all too sure about the language policy, but I will just assume the best haha.)
It takes more than just doing enough. It takes you doing a bunch of work for free until you can get paid for your work. When you get to the next stage, it is not going to be as easy as setting the highest figure out there or finding the median. It is about understanding your customer, especially when starting out. Be willing to discount, because I promise you - your best form of marketing is word of mouth. People trust people (in theory haha). When someone recommends a person, best believe the likelyhood of them continually recommending you or returning as a customer is always high - that is as long as you do a stellar job.
If the power is in building a network of word of mouth recommendations - trust me, the best sell I have ever given my clients, let alone learnt from indians (granted my first set of clients knew me personally), is 'for you $100'. They feel rather special... Make your customer feel special - ALWAYS.
But I am digressing. Giving you more than I should be on this first post... But I hope you get my point.
You need to work harder than anyone you know, you need to go the extra-mile for your customer, and you need to produce the highest possible quality or provide the highest possible quality of service. This will take a lot out of you, disappointments, lack of payments. No clients for a while. But this is the commitment to the dream right? I am sure most of you have heard the term Married to the Game? Yeah, literally that. You are married to your vision. The moment you stop paying attention, the love fades and it dies.
Fall in love with your vision everyday, and it will guide you.
Last few things. Always be adaptable and a student - have a willingness to learn. You will never know everything...
This is my very first post here, please do excuse any grammtical errors or spelling errors - it is in the wee hours, so my mind is a little tired. I would love to hear your feedback. Any questions or critique. Let it be constructive. Please and thank you. I want to know if this kind of topic is something you would like to hear more on.
The Ambitious African