Issue #40: There's always a journey





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James Costa

January 9 · Issue #40 · View online

A batch of thoughts, resources, and motivation from a friendly digital agency owner delivered every Monday at 6am ET.

Welcome back. How’s it feel to be back in the middle of madness? I’m glad to have you back, and hope you had a well-rested and enjoyable holiday season. Let’s get 2017 (or, as astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson stated, “A day that’s not astronomically significant…in any way…at all…whatsoever.”) started!
Recently on Facebook, I watched a video that talked about millennials in the workforce. In it, Simon Sinek very eloquently breaks down the reason why millennials are struggling to find meaningful employment. While I’ll leave it to Simon to talk you through it, he made an interesting point that stuck with me about the perception of impact:
“It’s as if they’re standing at the foot of a mountain, and they have this abstract concept of something called impact that they want to have in the world which is the summit. What they don’t see is the rest of the mountain.
Starting a business is easy these days. Not long ago, starting a business meant having capital saved up for an office, tools, and more. Now, you can create a store in minutes and start selling those bobbleheads you make in your spare time and have a global audience to boot. The Internet has changed business: and yet, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2012), about 50% of all new businesses survive 5 years or more, and about one-third survive 10-years or more. (There are some even more impressive statistics on how since 2008 more businesses in the U.S. have closed than started every year.)
With headlines touting multi-million dollar acquisitions and funding rounds it’s no surprise that people are flocking to get their businesses started. We think each business has been an “overnight success”, but we lack to see the path before that point. By glorifying the successes of others and not talking about our stories, we lack context to how things come to be.
We think things are easier than they are, and when they’re not as easy we tend to give up. We get caught up because we don’t know why we’re not getting asked to be in newspapers, aren’t being offered large sums of money, or aren’t known in the community despite all the time we’ve put.
Part of this comes down to people looking out and seeing how others achieved what they have. Listen to them speak in interviews and catch what they talk about. Stewart Butterfield (Slack) talked with First Round about how their launch strategy wasn’t overnight, and I think that’s a good start, but his story is one in many. If we lack the will to learn, we lack the ability to do more than just “start” things.
There will always be someone who’s a step ahead and that’s a good thing. Watch them. Learn from them. Let’s start using that as motivation. Get focused, and go.
PS: If you enjoyed this week’s issue, I’d really appreciate your support sharing it. Whether it’s a forward, a Twitter post, or doing a Facebook Live reading of this week’s issue for your friends, it would mean the world to me.

Why So Many Smart People Aren’t Happy
From entrepreneur to a Big Co PM
Getting less done
The Buffett Formula: How to Get Smarter
Forget About Setting Goals. Focus on This Instead.
“I don’t care if you go up the mountain quickly or slowly, but there’s still a mountain… Anything that really matters takes time. Sometimes you can expedite pieces of it, but the journey is arduous and long and difficult and if you don’t ask for help… you will fall off the mountain.”
- Simon Sinek
This week I head to Atlanta for a sales presentation and to visit some friends and clients I haven’t seen in a while. I’m particularly excited to binge on Chick-Fil-A and Jimmy John’s. With all this excitement about the winter storm that’s supposed to have hit them this weekend, I’m looking forward to giving them my thoughts on it as a Canadian.
As always, if you have any questions or I can help you in any way, all you have to do is respond to this email!
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