The Worst Advice I’ve Ever Been Given.
This is the worst advice I’ve ever been given as an entrepreneur. The last two years of my life have been nothing but hard work. Physical, emotional, and mental hard work. I thought I must be doing something wrong. The words of my restaurant boss in college kept coming to me in my sleep, “Work Smarter, Not Harder.”
What does this even mean? To work smart, you must first work hard, bottom line. You must first go through trial and error and a little pain before you realize what the “smart” way even is.
The Best Advice I’ve Ever Been Given
“Inspiration is for amateurs – the rest of us just show up and get to work.” - Chuck Close, American Painter and Photographer
For the last month, I’ve been waiting, dreaming, and listening for anything that could maybe give me some inspiration to write my first Startup Soiree blog post.
A topic that would be so interesting and inspirational to all of you potential soiree-ees out there who may or may not read my blog. A topic that would define my credibility as a founder of StartUp Soiree.
I was looking for a way to “Work Smarter, Not Harder”, by reading endless blogs, by listening to podcasts and You-Tubing commencement speeches given by the great Jim Carrey, Steve Jobs, and Charlie Day.
I thought to myself, “Ugh, this blog writing thing is HARD.” And then it hit me, I was working hard to work smart. Stop searching for inspiration and get to work. Pick up a pen and paper (because I’m old school like that) and just get to work on this blog. And that’s when the inspiration “came to me”.
Lessons in Hard Work
Luckily for me, I learned the art of hard work at a young age from my Dad.
My Dad is no entrepreneur. He is a 30-year Electrician, Union Member, Blue-Collar, Trade-School Graduate, Home-Owner, Happily Married for 30 Years, and an Inspiration of Hard Work to three awesome Gignac kids.
As the oldest child, I was bossy, impatient, and a know-it-all. I remember becoming so frustrated by my Dad in so many ways growing up. For example,
Thanksgiving Morning Breakfast:
Every year as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade would start at 9:00 a.m., my Dad would ask, “Who wants breakfast?” It was immediately met with Yes! From everyone – family, friends, boyfriends - but me. Why you might wonder? Because it was never breakfast, it was ALWAYS a way too big and ridiculous Thanksgiving Lunch. But, my Dad would go for it because he LOVED doing it, he LOVED the joy is brought everyone around him, and he LOVED the outcome of his hard work.
DIY Home Projects:
My Dad was the biggest early adopter of the DIY craze. I don’t remember a single month in my childhood that our home was not under some construction or project. Drywall, Wall Paper, Fancy Lighting, Sound Systems, Retaining Walls, Sheds, you name it. My Dad did them all, he did them himself, and at the young age of 16, I finally had my own room!
It was frustrating and tough and annoying, but you know what, all of my friends and family still RAVE about my Dad’s Thanksgiving Day Breakfast/Lunch and our family home is now valued at three times the amount they paid.
In my eyes, my Dad’s hard work paid off. He used to always tell me – when I was complaining – “If you’re not going to do it the right way and with pride and enjoyment, then what’s the point?”
So with everything I have accomplished in my adult life, I credit it to hard work and these lessons from my Dad. I have been so inspired by my Dad’s ability to work hard everything he did and continues to do, even if it’s in the most simplest of tasks.
My Advice to You: Just Work Hard.
If there is one piece of advice I can offer any of you after my two years in business, it is this.
Just Work Hard. Starting your own company is hard work. Just when you think you’ve accomplished something difficult like finding investors or landing your first huge client, something else that’s hard comes along – like blog writing.
But you can’t avoid it, you can’t wait for inspiration, and as a startup you can’t always outsource it right away. You have to get to work and work hard.
To this day every BIG moment that has happened to Intrinsic Events and every great opportunity has come out of our hard work itself.
Success and inspiration do not magically appear. They come to us from a story of a time when someone else worked hard and it paid off. And it will continue to be just that until we are able to get out there, do the hard work, and become an inspiration for ourselves, instead of waiting for someone else to do it for us.
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