Lightning Real Talk #6: The Alchemy of Hard Work

Lightning Real Talk: Truth delivered from my heart to yours. 

My new mantra lately has been, “If one human can do it, any human can do it.” When I am faced with my greatest challenges and obstacles, I sometimes forget how powerful I can be. And, when I say power, I don’t mean brute force or even magic. I am talking about the alchemy of good planning, hard work, and being willing to ask for help.

Photo by:  Karen Santos , Hair and Makeup by:  Lindsay Dabalos

Photo by: Karen Santos, Hair and Makeup by: Lindsay Dabalos

The greatest painters, authors, thinkers, and “doers” of the past did not have everything figured out. They worked 9-5 jobs. They experienced great tragedies and hardships. And spent most of their lives wondering, “am I enough?” Imagine how they would have felt if they had social media to worry about?! 

While it is an amazing tool, Social Media causes us to compare our journey to the journey of others. What the Instagram feeds and Facebook statuses fail to show us, is the behind-the-scenes view. We are not getting the 100% true and vulnerable versions of our friends, celebrities, and idols. We don’t see the planning that goes into a good post. We don’t see the moments of anger or frustration. We don’t see the moments of epic failure. And we certainly don’t see the deep dark sadness and depression that goes along with being an artist or HUMAN of any kind. 

Social Media is a distraction from the possibilities that are so readily available to us at all times. Our goals and desires can’t go anywhere without us. And, one brick at a time, anyone can build a successful business, relationship, and life. 

Disclaimer: Success does not mean perfection. There will be ups and downs. Times when you want to give up, or are simply bored and want to change gears. Experimentation and the willingness to explore multiple avenues is highly encouraged and often rewarding. Diversification and fresh ideas are always helpful, and necessary. 

So, what stops us from starting? Here are the excuses I’ve used to delay action.

  1. I'm waiting for the perfect weather, a certain amount of money, and the most ideal circumstances. 
  2. I want someone to discover me…even though I haven’t put myself out there.
  3. I don’t want to do it alone.
  4. I don’t have the knowledge or training needed to be the best right away.
  5. I’m worried that my friends or family will think I'm crazy/stupid. 

These are some pretty powerful thoughts, right? In the moment, it feels much easier to do nothing. To stew in negative thoughts and feelings…and stay on the couch until the end of time. I encourage you to get familiar with the thoughts. Sit with them.

Allow the thoughts and emotions to exist, and then, read these truth bombs:

  1. Perfect circumstances are a MYTH. You have to start somewhere, even if that means you’re researching on your computer late into the night. Or, waking up early before work to start a project. Find your magical time of day, and use that time to focus on your dream. (My magical time tends to be between 10pm-1am) 
  2. If you want to be “discovered” you actually have to be out there doing your thing! Sharing your work with others. Connecting with your community. Making sure people know what you are about and what you’re doing! People want to know. But, don’t wait for someone else to tell you that what you’re doing is important and valuable. Success means so much more when you value your work, and invest in it. Sidenote: plagiarizing is not advised…capitalizing on another artist’s work will not lead to the success you desire. Be inspired by others, YES. Stealing, NO. 
  3. You don’t have to do it alone. Team up with a good friend, or simply ask them to hold you accountable to certain deadlines. We get by with a lot of help from our friends. 
  4. You can’t just wake up and be the best at your craft. It takes time and effort to be good at something. Practice makes perfect. And, also, I’m a big fan of finding mentors. Reach out to a fellow business owner or creator to get coffee. Ask them about their journey. TAKE NOTES! 
  5. You can’t please everyone. And that includes your friends and family. Be true to yourself. It’s your life. Don’t miss out on it waiting for approval. 

If you are willing to do the work, you can reach the heights. There are so many inspiring stories out there, and one of them is yours. Start building now, and eventually, you will start to see magical things happen. Your dreams do not live on the couch. 

Need a little extra help getting started? Download my Foundation Worksheet! It will help you create manageable goals and brainstorm about the path ahead.