The past 3 months in my life have seen much change. I’ve moved from my hometown to a new town and into a new house, my first house, actually. Which is much more expensive than I could have ever imagined, but also very different.
The responsibility that comes with home ownership coupled with the arrival of a big, wonderful dog and much change and evolution within the business, it’s been an interesting few months.
On the business side we’ve launched a members site (check it out here), we’ve changed how we do our newsletters, giving more content. We’ve launched a podcast (check that out here) and a new youtube series.
Over the past few months I’ve also taken up a much more active lifestyle, getting to the mountains every week. I’ve also read some incredible books that have taught me a lot and helped me thrive in this transformative period. Thus, why not document a few lessons I’ve learned from said business and books and from the move.
1. There is no work/life balance.
A house is something I’ve never had to take care of. A Dogo Argentino, the same. I’ve allowed both to take time away from my mission, my quest, and my purpose. Over the first couple of months at the house I let my routine slide. I lost discipline, and a couple months later it’s beginning to show and I’m having to hustle me arse off to catch up.
There can be no excuses if you’re starting a business. There may not be able to be a work/life balance because for your life to thrive, your work must take precedence.
You don’t have to work all day everyday, but you must give your most effective hours to your work and you must find ways to stay focused while working so as to not let your mind wander to where it need not be.
Much of this has to do with routine, which we’ll talk about in a sec.
2. Work must always come first.
This adds to the first point, but work must come first. Think of it like this…
If your work fails, your family feels it, you become a grump, they don’t eat, you can’t give them the life you want to give them, and so even though your family may be most important to you, without your work succeeding they don’t get the man they deserve nor the life you’d rather them have. (Read This: How to Get Shit Done)
By first I literally mean first.
Go through your primer routine in the morning, then give your best hours in your day to whatever it is that you’re working on. It doesn’t matter if you’re a business owner or a street sweeper, give your best hours to your work because this is what will give you pride and satisfaction and purpose.
Work for the sake of working and work for them.
3. Without faith you will crumble.
One of the books I read was Standing Like a Stone Wall, a biography about Stonewall Jackson, the legendary Confederate General.
There were a few things that popped out at my about Stonewall.
For one, the guy faced hardship after hardship early on in life. His Dad died, he was orphaned and then his Mom died. Finally, he gets married and both his child and his wife die. It continues throughout his life and each death was a valid excuse to quite.
It was his faith, however, that helped him not only push through each tragedy, but understand them.
More and more, with life’s ebbs and flows and inevitable hardships I’m seeing the true value of faith. It isn’t blind, but an understanding that no matter how tragic, there can be purpose behind it and understanding found in it if you so choose.
Faith is a choice, not simply a blind belief.
Without faith in God, in your mission, in your quest, in yourself, you will crumble. Every man needs to have faith in something, and ideally something greater than himself. It’s faith that pushes us through those moments where we’re at our lowest. It’s faith that allows us to work even when we’d rather simply fade away.
Find faith and find out how to become unstoppable.
4. Every dollar must be accounted for.
This is a lesson I need to learn time and time again. I’ll throw money into something in my business without keeping enough in the treasury, leaving me, personally, with nothing when the shit hits the fan.
Every dollar spent, even if it’s invested into the business, needs to be accounted for and understood. Don’t just spend money on your business. Know exactly where it’s going, how much you’ve spent, and what your return on said money is. (Read This: 11 Tips to Budget Your Money Like a Winner)
5. Keep money in the treasury.
Always have a float.
Drug dealers call it a float because it keeps you afloat. Have enough money in the treasury to keep you afloat during the rough patches, but don’t have too much.
If you’re like me – and we’ll cover this in a sec – you work better with your back against the wall. So having too much money floating around can make you feel a tad too comfortable.
I’m actually the kind of guy who thrives, who gains energy when my back’s against the wall, which is interesting. Most people allow the stress to overcome them, but I get energy from it.
So keep yourself afloat, but know your mind and how your psychology works. The most important thing is the hustle. Don’t get too comfortable that you lose the hustle.
6. I perform better with my back against the wall (how to replicate this if you’re the same).
The struggle is figuring out how to replicate this even when things are going great. I have to learn this lesson time and time again, and sometimes make hefty investments to ensure that my back is literally against the wall if I don’t work hard enough or stay hungry enough.
You’re only hungry when you haven’t had enough to eat. You’re also hungrier to hustle when you don’t have a ton of money lying around in your treasury.
So, play tricks with yourself. Having a healthy and productive paranoia that it can all be taken away in an instant is a good and healthy thing to have, because it can, and that paranoia will keep you hustling whether your account’s empty or full.
7. You need 1 day off a week… kinda.
Write every day, if that’s what you do, but have a recovery day. It’s just like training, both your body and your mind and your soul need to recharge, for the greater good. It’s all about the quest, I’ve found that with a day’s rest in the week I perform better in the long run.
So take 1 day off a week, but write every day. Use that day off to do a couple hours of creative work. Leave the emails and the internet completely off.
8. You need to be learning, strategically so…
Learning cannot stop, or your growth stops.
Your business is dependent on your own personal growth as much as it is its own.
Don’t just read books, hire a coach and take courses. There’s so much great info on the internet that you can purchase. I’m always taking courses or hiring coaches, and without them you lose that accountability and strategy that effective learning requires.
Always learn from people smarter than yourself as well, which simply means habitually being the dumbest one in the room.
Aim to rarely be the smartest one. There’s no point in being the smartest in your circle or even at an event, where’s the growth?
9. You need order and structure.
Great leaders are great leaders every day. It doesn’t just happen one day. It’s the daily, repetitive act of living excellence.
Success isn’t dependent on your degree of talent, but on your habits. Your habits are dependent on the structure of your day.
The success and structure of your day depends on you winning your mornings.
Over the past while, since the move and relocation to a new home with much more responsibility – dog included – I’ve learned that without early victories it’s unlikely that I’ll have the later victories.
Win your morning with a good routine, and win your life.
Lessons and Review
I wouldn’t have “learned” these lessons fully had I not written them down in this article. You may not have a web site or a place to display your lessons – actually it’s a weird feeling doing so – but you do have access to a journal.
Constantly be journaling.
Always have your face in a book or a pen in your hand, writing about what you’re grateful for and what you’re learning.
Without reflection and review you’re simply not going to fully grasp the lessons that whiz by you on a daily basis.
About The Author
Chad Howse: Chad’s mission is to get you in the arena, ‘marred by the dust and sweat and blood’, to help you set and achieve audacious goals in the face of fear, and not only build your ideal body, but the life you were meant to live. He’s a former 9-5er turned entrepreneur, a former scrawny amateur boxer turned muscular published fitness author. He’ll give you the kick in the ass needed to help you live a big, ambitious life.