How I “show up” when I’d rather not

By David Crandall

Hero

Even heroes get weary. (source: Jayel Aheram)

Good question
This question landed in my email inbox:

What do you do on days you feel less than “heroic”?

Everyone falls into a rut on content or vision or plunging on toward the future sometimes. You are an everyday “poster” and so there must be days when you stare at the screen and want to go do something else instead of doing the emotional work of producing. If transparecy is a gold standard currency on blogs, then how do you fight the urge to hang your super suit in the closet and cave in to doubt?

Thought it would make a good post.

Less than heroic
First of all, there are indeed days when I feel less than heroic and want to do something else. It is accurate to describe producing as an “emotional work”. Some days it is super easy; other days, not so much.

My motivation and drive come from looking at my wife and precious daughters and wanting to provide a better life for them than anyone ever imagined. By making my motivation bigger than me, it helps me when the days are rough! Giving up means that I give up on them. I couldn’t live with that, even if it was just a momentary giving up.

You’re motivation needs to be bigger than you if you want to use it to push past the rough points!

A business that is heroic
For me, this is a business. I need it to be to provide the better life that I’m speaking of for my family. I believe that someone can be heroic while also creating a business. I intend to pursue that dream.

As you know, I’m still in the early phases and there’s nothing yet to turn a profit short of donations (ha!). I’m committed to producing daily, but there will indeed come a point where I do not post at this same frequency (often yes, but not every single day).

At that point, I will begin expanding my empire to include other endeavors.

Even then, I intend to produce something daily, though that something may be me pouring in to the more business side of things.

Why the daily posts then?
I have other motivations for posting daily too. While none of them are as big of a reason as my family, these other reasons keep me moving forward.

Here are some of those reasons:

Sharpen my writing skills
It’s been a long time since I was in school (I’m 35) so I haven’t had any reason other than corporate emails and proposals to focus on writing. By writing everyday, Ive been going through a sort of boot camp to sharpen skills that I’ve not needed for a long time.

Create a body of work
There’s something about going to a blog and seeing a small number of posts that causes a loss in credibility. Since I didn’t start this last year when I first thought about it, I have had some catching up to do. Soon I will slow down a bit, but for a little while longer, this is working great to build up a good foundation of work.

Strengthen my resolve
This is a big thing for me and I intend to give 100%. I crossed the 30 day “make it a habit” milestone, so I’m already in a routine of busting ass which is a big personal victory for me. Sometimes I write during the day and sometimes I do two in one day so I can breath the next, but the majority have been almost every night. There’s some sort of strengthening of my resolve knowing how much I’m sacrificing right now for my goal.

Validate my effort
My wife is sacrificing too. She knows that until I begin reaching some pretty big milestones I won’t be going to bed at the same time she does. (Actually, that’s not terribly uncommon for us since I’ve always been a night owl and she’s a morning person.) By giving it my all every day, I feel that it validates the massive effort that I’m putting in to it.

Fight off being comfortable
Some days I do get tired. I love that! I love that I’m having to balance a corporate day job while doing this. I love it because it drives me absolutely crazy during the day!! I was comfortable for way too long and this is a great reminder that I can have control of my life if I fight for it.

Create a schedule and a habit
The goal in leaving the template life is not that I think I’m going to find a get-rich-quick scheme. Rather, I know it will be hard work, harder than what I do in my normal job. The rewards will be greater too though! I’ve been posting daily to get in the habit of working on my dream daily. Once I move to a less than 7 day a week schedule, I will be in the habit of working daily so I can divert that energy to a different area of my business.

Using blogging is a business platform
I know that some purist will see that statement and have a mild stroke. For me though, blogging is a platform for doing business. The problem is that we often associate business of being void of caring relationships with the intent of helping others. That is not the type of business I am referring to! I care deeply about the people that I connect with. I find myself praying at random times for people to whom my only connection is a screen name. I care very much; it’s how I’m built. Any business that I start will have the same DNA as I do!

I think that fully answers the question originally asked. Ha!

I hope that this inspires you to find a motivation that is bigger than yourself. Seek out things that will propel you forward with the intent of changing your destiny.

The goal isn’t to give up; the goal is to be heroic!

The comments are yours. 🙂

  • You mention that there’s nothing yet to turn a profit on other than maybe donations. Honestly, I don’t know if your readers would support this, but I’ve seen it be successful in other places…if it comes to a point where there is something great you would like to do with your blog (produce an ebook, do some sort of training video, whatever else), but you can’t justify the budget, I would wholeheartedly suggest that you ask your readers if they would be willing to chip in. You can use Paypal or Chipin or something like that. Just a thought in case there’s something cool you’d like to do, and you don’t want to wait.

    • Certainly appealing to me! 🙂

      I’m still good at this point since I do have a business plan I’m working on. But, you know, if people want to throw money my way…

      Ha!

  • David, great post, bro. And a very thorough answer to that question. I can relate to the “day job” being in my mid-30’s and having aspired for a long time to do something more for my family. I like the concept of continually making the whole thing bigger than me and not about me. I think I’ve lost sight of that while in the trenches. I took a few major steps last night toward investing in future success. Your encouragement has been a part of my journey. Thanks.

    Keep being heroic (cue the Footloose music “I need a Hero”). Blessings to you and your family…drew 🙂

    • You are going to totally laugh, but “I need a Hero” is one of my favorite songs from the 80s. Not sure what that says about me, but I thought it was funny that you mentioned it.

      The “bigger than me” is my biggest key right now. Especially since I have a massive sunburn all over my back this week and just want to sleep all day. LOL!

      PS – Everyone should go and watch this amazingly high quality video: Here!

  • Forgot to mention that I love that soldier pic on the beginning of your post. Excellent (said in Wayne’s World accent)!

    Also, the Bonnie Tyler, I Need a Hero YouTube link was uber-stellar. I can’t believe I didn’t put Footloose on my top ten movies post last week. Lame sauce.

    Anyway, cool stuff. Keep up the inspiration. It’s contagious. Peace Audi…drew 🙂

  • Brandon

    This is a good lesson for any would-be entrepreneur. You have to show up. Every day. Your business is like a boulder you’re pushing up a hill. You’re not going to stop pushing, or you’ll be flatter than Wile E. Coyote. And so will your business.

    • Man, I love the Wile E. Coyote analogy! It’s so true.

      I totally feel my daily commitment muscles growing through this. As I said, I will eventually reallocate certain days to be strictly business, but for now it is such a great way for me to get in the habit. Thank you for the continued encouragement, friend!

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  • You continue to inspire me. You’ve moved from being just a crazy guy who posts every day to a REAL authority figure on motivation. This may be my favorite post you’ve done! The great thing is, there will probably be one tomorrow or the next day that out-does this one 🙂

    • Hey now! I’m STILL crazy. 🙂

      I can’t tell you how happy I’ve been to today’s post. I didn’t realize how much it would inspire people when I wrote. Sometimes these things take on a little life of their own! Let’s hope tomorrow’s does too. Ha!

  • Linda Hall

    If You Build It…

    How many times have you watched the movie Field of Dreams with Kevin Costner? It’s about a guy who acts in faith to do something that the rest of the world sees as ridiculous. What makes this so compelling? Maybe it’s because he took action in the face of terrible odds. Perhaps it is because he was looking for answers to the questions of his heart. In any case, he was supposed to build something, and if he did “they would come.”

    If you haven’t seen this movie then this will make no sense. Go rent it. If you have seen it, watch it again. The story has within it a parable that is right on the money for your blog today. You are building something, and you need to keep building it so they will come. What you build and who they are is up to you. But you are in a season of building, and my hope is that you hear the voice that says, “go the distance.”

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