Recently I came across many people telling me what they want to achieve. A colleague tells me he wants to be the next famous movie director and make movies that break all box office records. A childhood friend tells me he wants to expand his tuition business to become a world class franchise. And one of the sales exec in the company rejoices because he just scored an appointment with a top tech company to sell our video making services. He proudly proclaimed that he is going to charge this potential client 50k for making a corporate film.
I smiled and told him matter of factly. Don’t think about how much you want to charge the client. Think about how much value you can bring to the client. If you want to charge the client 50k, then you got to make sure we deliver a value that is at least worth 100k.
You see too many of us think only about what we want. We want fast cars, beautiful houses, lots of passive income, and clients giving us top dollar. But we spend too little time thinking about what we can offer and bring value to the world. Because only when you can provide value to a lot of people consistently, then you have a real shot of being a success. So rule number one. Don’t think about what you want. Think about what value you can bring to the table.
2. Find your passion
A few days ago, a junior editor asked to speak to me. He was telling me that he wanted to take unpaid leave for a month to travel to Europe. I was really excited for him and told him immediately he should go do it because he is young and he really should see the world. Then I casually asked him what he sees himself doing in three years time and he immediately says that it’s probably not going to be in the media business.
So I asked him what was his passion? He mumbled a little and spoke about wanting to open an eatery, but I could sense there was no enthusiasm in what he was saying. Then I asked him “Do you know the meaning of passion?”. He nodded his head and wanted to give me a definition of the word passion. I smiled and stopped him. “No. We all know the definition. That’s not what I mean. What I mean is. Imagine if you were to wake up and for the next ten years do this one thing. Even if you were not paid. For the next ten years. What is it going to be? That. I would define as passion.”
He paused for a moment. Then his eyes lit up. I think I would love to dj even if I’m not paid. “Fantastic.” Then you should start a side hustle and get yourself there. I could tell that he was shocked that his boss was encouraging him to do a side hustle. I told him straight “I genuinely want the best for you and I want to help you to be successful in your passion. And the skills you are going to pick up in this company will lead you there.” This leads me again to the first point. Bring value to everyone around you. Even if you might not get anything back. Give. And you give. And then you give some more. Because the way the cosmic world works, or maybe some call it karma. Somehow good things will happen to you.
But I digress. The point I am trying to make. You need to find your passion and then go all out to make your passion become the work that you do every day. Because being successful is VERY tough. And only if you are doing something that you truly love, then you will be willing to work your fucking socks off. And only then, will you stand a chance of being truly successful. Passion and you work HARD.
Yes. It’s just a two letter word. But it has so much meaning in it. Too many people around me spend their time talking about what they want to do and never get around to do it. There’s a guy who told me he wanted to write a kickass screenplay, but it’s been three years and last week when I checked, that screenplay is still in his mind in the development stage.
Let me tell you a short story to illustrate this point. The year was 1998. I was a broadcast media student in a university. And at that time email was still very new and it was a time when we actually loved receiving email. Video was shot on SVHS cameras (big ass but low quality cameras) and editing could only be done in a actual tape format. I remembered vividly one day during a lecture when a professor was explaining a concept of sharing files with each other using FTP. My immediate thoughts were “Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a way for all of us to showcase the videos we have made and share it with everyone?” I turned to best buddy who was seated beside me in the lecture. I told him my idea and he immediately laughed and said “Why would anyone want to watch videos?”. Well, I guess we all know what happened.
My point, other than the fact that I could have been the one who started youtube, is this – DO. If at that time I had a determination to find out how to actually start a platform to allow the sharing of videos, I could in theory be the founder of youtube. The fact that I didn’t do anything and was so easily persuaded by my buddy’s taunt. Add to the fact that I was pretty much a slacker during my uni days. I just talked about an idea. Debated about it. And ultimately the big difference is – I simple Didn’t DO.
I have gone to respect those people that do and keep failing much more than those who are smart, who talks a lot but never does anything. They spend so much time thinking about an idea or a concept or the most perfect way that they just end up missing out. Ideas are shit. Execution’s the game. I believe my idol Gary Vaynerchuk said that.
Don’t spend so much time talking or thinking. You need to start doing. Even if by doing, you end up failing most of the time. I guarantee you will learn more than someone who spends time talking and thinking and not even executing.