Last week I talked about the fun and exciting process of tapping trends to grow your business. Well put on your grown up pants, folks, and forget about fun. Because this week’s article is all about WORK . Work is integral to growth and achieving your goals. Period. And having a robust work ethic is the best way to keep your focus on moving forward and staying positive in an ever-more competitive field.
It Takes Work to Make Work Work**
I’ve always told my son and my students, you don’t need to be the smartest person in the room, but you do need to work the hardest. That, my friends, is the key to success. Success in school, success on the job, success in life. Easy, right? Not always. Some days you’ll get discouraged and just want to plop on the couch and binge Netflix forever. I have those days too. The secret sauce is figuring out a way to make sure there are less binge days than days where you’re making progress. It’s that whole, “two steps forward, one step back” thing. So if today isn’t the day, then guess what? You get to try again tomorrow.
A Peek Behind the Fishbowl
I’m not just saying this stuff, guys. I actually believe it. And I even try to live it most days. My mornings start early, like pre-crack-of-dawn early. I’m a teacher, so I have to be in school, bright eyed and bushy tailed (or something akin to it… thank you, coffee!) by 7:00 AM. Time to teach the children! Then, after a long day of educating, comforting, arbitrating, and nurturing, I take off the teacher hat and switch it for the artist/businesswoman hat.
It would be SO easy to just come home and do nothing, but I don’t think I have it in me. I’m an apple that fell close to the tree. My parents, like so many others, came to this country with nothing but a desire to work hard and give their children all this country had to offer. My father was a civil engineer, my mother was an English teacher. From them I inherited discipline and a love of learning. It’s why I’m a lifelong educator and student. I like learning. I like getting better at doing things, whatever those things may be at the moment. Including my shirt business.
From Minnow to Fishbiscuit5 Through the Power of Work
What started as a whim, has turned into a source of pride and accomplishments. Also, income. But it wasn’t always this way. Have you seen my first derby entry? Ask @Narfcake. I’m sure he would be more than happy to share it with you. Don’t laugh! Ok, you can laugh. I’m not embarrassed. We all have to start somewhere. I started as close to the bottom as you can get. I was not an artist. I was not a graphic designer. I couldn’t draw to save my life. And I certainly had no clue how to use Photoshop.
But I learned. I scoured the Internet for tutorials and examples of good, solid design work. Then I practiced. I put in the hours. Every single day without fail. I started talking to other artists and we shared our knowledge and experiences. We worked together and learned from each other and we became fast friends. Pro Tip: Sharing the journey with like-minded people makes the experience more enjoyable.
Learn To WORK It
Set goals. Start with baby steps. Then practice and learn as much as you can. You have to be disciplined and committed to making progress. Your goals may be different than mine. That’s great! Whatever your goals – big or small, short term or long term—discipline and work ethic still apply. The point is to know what you want, and then work hard to get it. And also to listen to Beyoncé. She knows her stuff.
When you work hard, the end of the day feels really good. Good because you’re dog-tired, but also because you are one step closer to achieving your goals and aspirations. It sounds cheesy, but it’s true. Do it for you. Do it for the intrinsic value in getting better at something. Set some goals. Find your groove. And most importantly remember to enjoy yourself along the way!
It’s the journey, right?
-Grow Your Biz w/ @fishbiscuit5 (Also, Beyoncé.)