“I was an overnight success all right, but 30 years is a long, long night” – Ray Kroc
One of the self-made millionaires in my study owned and operated a number of retail clothing and faux jewelry stores. There were parts of her business she loved, such as creating new product lines or talking to customers. But that only accounted for about 20% of her time. The other 80% was grinding it out stuff – managing retail staff, accounting for income and expenses, or paying bills. She hated the grind part of her business.
In order to get her through her day, she told me that she had a mantra she kept repeating to herself for fifteen years, while she was growing her business. “I’m just one break away.”
She had a dream that one day she would catch a big break which would change her life. What that one big break was, she didn’t know. She said she just had this deep down gut feeling that if she kept working hard and was smart about running her business, one day she would get lucky and catch a big break.
Eventually that big break came along when a large competitor decided to buy her business. It was a life-changing event. Her ship did come in, after being out to sea for fifteen years.
I heard many similar stories from the self-made millionaires I interviewed.
Sixty-one percent were business owners. All grinding it out day after day, year after year. All hoping that one day their hard work, financial investment and persistence would pay off with some big break. They were part of my study because their big break did come along.
They kept grinding it out until they got lucky.
As an author of six books now, I can tell you I know exactly how those self-made millionaires felt.
Eighty percent of the author business is a grind. Every day I have to do certain things I don’t necessarily like, such as pitching the media or editing a book or an article.
I don’t like pitching the media because 99.99999999998% of the time they ignore me. And I hate editing my own writing because, well, it’s grunt work. I have to look for typos, figure out if a comma is needed or analyze my sentence structure so that I don’t come off sounding like Rocky Balboa. I just hate that grind – the 80% of the business.
But, I love that 20% – the writing.
So, like the self-made millionaires in my study, I do the 80% grunt work every day, because it’s attached at the hip to the 20% writing work that I love doing.
And like that retail self-millionaire who got lucky, I keep telling myself every day, “I’m just one break away.”
Tom Corley is an accountant, financial planner and author of “Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to Be Happy and Successful in Life”, Effort-Less Wealth, Change Your Habits Change Your Life, Rich Habits Poor Habits and “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals.”