Don't Just Have An Idea, Make Efforts

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It is not that those making the type of impact we want to make have more ideas than us. It is not that they know something we don't know. It is not that they are more qualified or better than us. In most cases, the only difference is that they made efforts and put actions behind their ideas.

There is this story being spread on LinkedIn about Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba and the richest man in China. I got a more valid looking copy of the story on Investopedia:

"I failed a key primary school test 2 times, I failed the middle school test 3 times, I failed the college entrance exam 2 times and when I graduated, I was rejected for most jobs I applied for out of college. (Ma was the only one out of 5 applicants to the police force to be rejected and the only one of 24 applicants to be a KFC (YUM) manager to be rejected. "I applied for Harvard ten times, got rejected ten times and I told myself that ‘Someday I should go teach there.’"

He made it clear than as far as luck was concerned he has been unlucky so many times that if not for great efforts he wouldn't be where he is today, as the 18th richest man in the world.

A lot of us find stories like this very inspiring and make us proud of the great ideas we carry about. However, very few people see the where the real inspiration lie. It is not in having great ideas nor knowing how to run a business or country better than the guy in charge nor seeing someone rise without family connection and inherited wealth. The real inspiration should be that when you put in efforts into what you believe and turn your ideas to action backed goals, you will achieve results. However, if you leave it all as an idea, even as a well commented or written about idea, it won't lead to anything useful for you. 

Don't just have an idea. Have an active project. Make efforts in the direction you are always thinking and talking about. 

Yesterday, I resumed one of my C# classes. It was like punishment. I was beginning to question if it was worth it. I am abandoning the chance to put in my 100% at the business I have just recently managed to turn into a profitable one and now learning web development. Many jobs pending, many prospective clients not gotten back to, many things I could be doing to generate immediate income with the knowledge I have. And I don't even have a clue how long it would take me to become good at web development; I only hope it won't be like my French learning experience (6 years and counting with little result). So on top of sacrificing income generating activities, I am also having to constantly motivate myself to continue.

As long as that idea of building enterprise applications, web apps and phone apps as products is in my head, I will keep making the hard sacrifice rather than just talking or thinking about them. I like the way Dwayne Johnson puts it: "To be successful at anything, all you need are lots of efforts and focus. Both of which are within your control."


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