This week I received an email from my Dad…
“Dear son: After many trials, I was finally able to get into linkedin and saw you resume and all the endorsements you have, VERY impressive. I am very proud of you, keep it up.“
Now, to be clear – it's not the first time my dad has said he's proud of me. But most of the time it comes because of a specific act (a soccer game in high school, an acceptance to college, etc), or the general thing he says on Father's day because he's proud of the family I'm building (which is -let's be real – mostly Melissa's hard work).
But this email came out of the blue. No specific act. No special event. This email was the result of him looking at my work history, references and endorsements on LinkedIn.
(side note, maybe you need to get a linkedin account too, so you can hear your dad say he's proud of you)
That's when it hit me. What he was most proud of wasn't a single deliverable. It wasn't something I could go out and do right now. It wasn't something I could work on this week. He was proud of my “brand” or “reputation” – he was proud of two decades of consistent work.
And you can't get here via a shortcut.
There are No Shortcuts…
This is a personal post, but I'll bring it around to how it applies to your business if it hasn't hit you already.
I sat down with my wife last night and noticed that this past year is when things all started coming together (beyond my day job, which is always good). This past year I wrote two books. In some ways they took a couple of weeks to write. In other ways they took 20 years to write. I've been speaking in public for over a decade, but only in the last year and a half have I've spoken at several WordCamps about WordPress.
I couldn't have gotten here via a shortcut.
I can offer Advice…but no Shortcuts
I regularly meet with small businesses and start-ups and I often hear the same question posed, in one format or another. “What's the trick to…?” And what they're really asking for is a shortcut. And you know what I'm going to say. There are no shortcuts for hard work. That doesn't mean there aren't strategies that help you reduce wasted time. That doesn't mean you can't use some best practices that will help you avoid spinning in circles. But real success comes from diligent hard work (and some smart risk-taking).
So if you're a startup wondering:
- How to get to the first page of Google: Write content that helps people. All the time. Look at my friends Sucuri and how they do it.
- How to hire the right people: Stop asking for resumes. Ask them to use your service – like Unbounce.
- How to bootstrap without raising money: There are seven steps. I didn't author them, Cory Miller (CEO of iThemes) did – but I helped make them look good.