I am still pondering on the article I read yesterday “Your parents taught you leadership skills and you didn’t even notice”, by Peter McKenzie. Apart from the good things we have learnt from our parents and with all good intentions while most were good, some were wrong, it was only their experience and equally what they had been told.
One of those things is that YOU HAVE TO WORK HARD in order to be successful. I want to tell you a story and I add that it is a “story” that a friend of mine used to tell me. If anyone is familiar with Spanish history and money you will remember that in the old days they called five pesetas one duro and twenty five pesetas was also commonly known as cinco duros. My friend used to tell me that the workers for hard days work used to get paid five pesetas per day or 25 pesetas for a week’s work so the cinco duros. Because that’s what it took, a hard day’s work (duro) to earn five pesetas. (I have tried to find and see if there is any truth behind this but the best I have found is a reference to why the money was called duro.) If it is fully true, it is a nice story and a story that fits the reality of those days. Most of the work those days was hard labour, long hours, and very little protection or security for the workers.
In the case of my father, he was a self-made man. He had a vision and he put all the effort that was required towards his objective. When I listen to his story, I hear some parts which I can relate to hardship but the rest of it was effort and time that he was enjoying. Of course, there were lots of ups and downs in his career and throughout his journey, bad luck, unexpected circumstances, etc, and so on. However, most of his stories in particular at the beginning are 90% full of joy in working his way up the ladder, promotions, investment, independence, international travels, and so on. What is even more clear is THE EFFORT he put into the work in order to achieve his objectives.
I am not sure whether he did actually tell us that we HAVE TO WORK HARD to be sucessful or not, but whether it was him or not, the phrase resonates with me and one that at times I repeated to my son Emilio.
Fast forward from my childhood to when I started work. I really never WORKED HARD. First of all I did not have to dig or do anything physical. The hardest physical activity during a working day would be to walk from the car to the office. However, I was dedicated and I enjoyed my work. I would wake up at 4am to attend 5am breakfast meetings, I would stay up late to write my books. I would put whatever EFFORT was required in order to achieve my objectives.
WORK only became HARD when I fell out of love with it. When I stopped enjoying part of the things I was doing on a routine basis, WORK was HARD. I stopped enjoying and I only did it for money. This was from 2011 to 2014. When I hit rock bottom through the recession years in Spain. I struggled through those years. The only thing that kept me going was my objective and vision but the rest came at a cost. Until I decided to change my attitude towards work. I once again decided that no matter what, whatever I do, I must ENJOY it and within months my business started flourishing and I was back on track of ENJOYING LIFE and putting in THE EFFORT to achieve my objectives.
Finally this brings me to my final point. At the beginning of the month, Gordon Tregold who is a member of our group Public Speakers Association of Spain gave us a workshop on how to get speaking gigs, improve our social media ranking and in general become well known in our areas of expertise. In order to do this he set us a challenge. Write 20 blogs in 1 month. That’s 5 posts a week. That’s all. For some of us who had been writing only a few blogs per month, the challenge was rather a hard one. I for one could not think how I am going to get 20 blogs out in 1 months. I wrote about 3 to 5 blogs at max and each blog took me 2 to 3 hours. I thought about the challenge and realigned my objectives. I love reading and I love sharing my knowledge. Voila, The hard work of churning out 20 blogs in months suddenly turned out to be an enjoyable task which has become part of my daily routine. Day 13 Blog Number 10.
This goes along with my message and keynote speech for entrepreneurs, accelerators, incubators, schools, and all entrepreneurs. If you are passionate about your project; the hours, the days, the weeks, and the years will all be mostly full of joy. All you need is to put in a bit of effort to achieve your objectives. Passion & Vision: The Ingredients of a successful startup.