No More Shortcuts. Put In the Work

No More Shortcuts. Put In the Work

I wasn't going to write about this, but I saw another post on Facebook, and I couldn't let it go.

Want to listen? There's an audio version below

lazy put in the work

One of my friends has been doing pushups and sit-ups daily for over a year. Each day, he posts a video of him doing his “workouts” to raise awareness for a cause.

Honestly, I think it's a good idea. Movements change the world and can bring attention to things we should shed light on, and at least he's getting some exercise.

But this is not about that. This is not about awareness; this post is about the lack of real work my friend is doing, and maybe you're (not) doing it too.

After seeing yet one more post of sit-ups pop up on Facebook, I looked at my wife and asked,

“Have you seen these videos of Pete (alias) doing sit-ups?”

“Yes,” she said.

“He's been doing this for over a year, and he's barely getting his head two inches off the ground,” I replied.

What if, instead of just LOOKING like he was doing sit-ups, he ACTUALLY did the sit-ups? What if he put in the work instead of taking a shortcut?

People everywhere are going through the motions. They think they know what their boss wants, so they give it to them. They think they know what their spouse wants, so they do it.

Success only comes when you break the mold of expectations. You can only win when you do what other people aren't doing.

People who color completely within the lines never change the world.

Most people are unhappy. Most people trade five for two and work for the weekend. There's more to life than faking your way through. There's something better out there than keeping your head down and not making waves.

Jerry Seinfeld on Entrepreneurship

My wife, Ashley, and I have started watching Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee on Netflix. It's awesome.

In case you're unfamiliar with the show, here's a synopsis. Jerry Seinfeld drives a classic car to the home of one of his comedian friends. They ride around, talk about life, and end up at a coffee shop to drink coffee. The simplicity of the show is its power.

But Comedians in Cars is also a great lesson in entrepreneurship. I love hearing the stories the comedians tell about how they got started. Kevin Hart struggled as a nobody for 13 years before making it big. Mel Brooks, an icon in the industry, struggled to make Blazing Saddles because nobody thought his idea was worth a gamble.

And, get this…

Jerry Seinfeld, worth over $900,000,000, still questions if he's funny or not.

Performing to No one

One now legendary comedian talked about doing shows at midnight, 2 am, and 5 am to gamblers in Las Vegas. He told us about how the 5 am crowd was more concerned with their breakfasts than they were with his performance.

Another comic told Jerry about the time he went on stage to a crowd of seven people for a 90-minute show. Thirty minutes into his set – everyone had left.

To achieve things almost no one does, you have to do things almost no one is willing to do. Call it hustle. Call it grinding. Call it whatever, but you can't call it a shortcut.

You will not achieve your dreams or build the life you want by cutting corners. Stop taking shortcuts and put in the work.

One last thing…

As the saying goes, “it's not crowded on the extra mile.” It's so true.

I remember going to a conference in Las Vegas. While everyone slept in, I went downstairs and worked (it helped that I was used to it being 2 hours ahead). It was quiet (for a casino floor), and I could focus on writing.

Sharing on Facebook isn't putting in the work.

Talking about what you're doing isn't putting in the work.

Taking gym selfies and posting them on Instagram isn't putting in the work.

If you've been phoning it in, just think about what you could've achieved by now if you'd actually focused, studied, laid out a plan, and put in the work.

In the end, after 400+ days of crunches, my friend is no better off than when he started. His shortcuts might have felt good, but they didn't do any real good. He'd already set the time aside each day, he'd already put on the gear, and he'd already gotten into the mindset. He was SO CLOSE! But he didn't do the actual work.


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  • jon says:

    Great reminders, Ellory. We have to put the work in – every day.

    I’m wondering if you talked to your friend about it before you posted? I’d be interested to know his response or about the conversation in general.

    My reason for asking is simple, we all need accountability. Accountability happens when someone takes the time to speak truth into someone else’s life. Accountability also happens when someone takes time to understand someone’s goals/talents/aspirations and pushes them to greater levels.

    (That’s what I love about our mastermind group!)

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