Many people have the fantasy that business and work should be exciting. “Do what you love” they say. “If you’re not happy, quit”. Actually, this is at best one sided advice & at worst career ruining advice. The reality is that in everything you love, there will be some things you hate, or is beneath you, or boring, & in order to achieve vast and lasting success, these areas you want to disown must be mastered in order to achieve success.
We are lead to believe that we can have excitement all the time. That we can have freedom & do what we want, when we want, but the actual reality is that most days are at best normal. Every single day there are average, mundane things that you don’t want to do, but need to be done. It could be getting the kids out of the house in the morning in a mad rush, or admin, or travelling in a traffic jam, or whatever.
Many people think they can just quit all this and travel, teach, inspire and pick and choose what they do and don’t do. Whilst there are some ways to outsource or leverage these, deluding yourself that these things will just go away when you get successful is naive; it is in fact embracing and mastering the mundane that leads you to success, and then the ability to do more of what you love.
Most days are very average. Imagine you wanted to buy 3 investment properties in a given year. That would mean 3 days out of 365 to celebrate the completion of these deals, & 362 normal, average days where viewings, negotiations back and forth (& slow), lots or legal paperwork & applications all have to be done. To most, these functions are admin, boring and mundane, but they don’t do themselves. So success is in fact not about disowning the tasks or expecting every day to be exciting, but managing and mastering the mundane tasks, accepting that most days are at best average, and the making the very best of the normal days & activities.
The start is the EXCITING bit, because it is all new and shiny. But also because you have NO CLUE of the reality! You are blissfully naive of the problems, & perhaps you assume this time this new thing will have all the upsides & none of the downsides of the last thing. Ha! You will soon learn! Everything has upsides & downsides, just different ones.
Embrace the fact that you have a few great days a year where everything goes your way. Soak them up and bask in them, and then accept that plenty of days don’t go your way. With the days you perceive don’t go your way, reframe the meaning of them in your mind, that you are very grateful, you have first world problems, and you get to learn on the days that challenge you. This is the (only) want to make the days go your way, by changing your expectation and then perception of them.
In fact, many of these ‘bad’ days are nowhere near as bad as you perceive, it is just that you have an unrealistic expectation of how they should be. The bigger they gap between your expectation of success & the reality of success, the worse you will feel. Temper your expectation, increase your gratitude & you will increase your perception of your day and thus self-fulfil more success.
Get good at the boring to be the best.
Get good at the things that need to be done but aren’t exciting (which is MOST of it)
Get good at doing the same thing well over & over
Get good at making tiny iterative improvements on the ‘mundane’ tasks
If you crave excitement in your life then get laid or do a skydive or join a metal band or whatever give you the adrenaline hit. Save it & let it all out in other areas of your life so you don’t ruin and dilute your progress in your main career, venture or area of generating revenue.
Do NOT seek too much variety in your business. If you really need it, make sure:
1. You have systemised what you did before, so when you move on it works without you
2. You have hired/leveraged/outsourced it, so someone else takes it over
3. You do something new that leverages what you have been doing, so you can do both with minimal new effort
The way to grow and to maintain freshness & variety is to get good at leveraging out the boring, rather than avoid the boring. It is in:
Sitting on your hands and mostly waiting or doing nothing new or rash
Staying cool when things aren’t going your way, and therefore, mostly…
Not doing anything
Or at least simply evaluating, researching and testing, and…
Not making EMOTIONAL or RASH decisions (important)
Warren Buffett only makes around 2 investments a year. He has over 80 companies. You may perceive he’d be investing everyday. No. He reads everyday, for 6 hours, but in terms of investing actions, like buying 3 properties a year gives 3 exciting days, Warren reverses the thought process & masters the mundane (which he in fact loves, & you can too), & goes through a process of waiting, researching, saying no frequently, and making the two big decisions by slowly picking off all the other distractions one by one.
Boredom is very dangerous if not embraced & mastered. Boredom is essential for ideas, creativity, but for many entrepreneurs & success chasers it is a curse. Because we want rod of boredom so quickly, & the new world we live in ever shortens our attention spans, we seem like we must do something; anything, other than be bored, even for a few seconds. but…
BORED = you meddle & mess things up that were working, just to relieve the boredom
BORED = Impatient, which means you make bad decisions just to feel like you are doing something; anything
Successful people embrace the boring. They master the mundane. They leverage the lowly. The repeat over & over what works until it becomes boring, which is a sign of success, then they keep going. They seek constant, never ending and iterative improvements to the habits and rituals, to stay excited through the basic functions that others have long moved on from through boredom.
Master the mundane to master your life. Then get your excitement in other areas.