Unless It Means Effort

True competitive advantage for a startup against other startups and certainly the incumbents is velocity and very little else.

A startup’s ability to move quickly with very little friction in any and all directions is something that the larger companies can never do.

But the only way velocity works is through intense focus and a ton of hard work, over a long period of time. Anything (and anyone) that gets in the way of those two things must be removed from the system.

This isn’t personal, it’s just the facts.

You see, there just aren’t very many good reasons to reduce speed in the context of a startup, especially since the goal is to build as much as you possibly can in the beginning so that you can break through the inevitable barriers that are to come.

And in and through this mix you align your skills, your talents, and your beliefs with value-creation. Through this you have the opportunity to live a very full and exciting life.

I’m reminded strongly of Theodore Roosevelt when he said:

Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.

We all want to live full lives, the fullest we can possibly have. But many of us will sacrifice that when we encounter difficulty and pain and things that require much more effort than we would like.

I want to learn to encounter the difficult challenges of life and embrace them, knowing that they will lead to a life well led. And I don’t want to be envied for it either, I want to motivate and encourage others to do the same.

You and I know if what we’re doing right now is requiring the very best of us. If it is then we’re on the right track and we’re moving our projects, our businesses, and our lives forward with velocity.

If it’s not then we must do something about it, especially before it is done for us. Effort gives us meaning, purpose, and joy. Let’s align those things more closely this day.

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