Daniel Ndukwu

@daniel_ndukwu

They Lied — It’s Not a Sprint

The difference between what you think and what’s real.

The reality is you’ll be running as hard and as fast as you can. You can’t keep that pace up indefinitely.

Are you ready to try?

I could use the tortoise and the hare as an example. I won’t. You’re not in third grade.

I’m going to use a business example.

Have you heard of Cargill? It’s a company based in Minnesota that sells food, insures crops, and manages distribution lines. They’re quite literally the reason your daily bread makes it to your doorstep.

They have yearly revenues in excess of $100 billion and are still privately owned. Get this, it was started over 100 years ago. 1865 to be exact.

They didn’t participate in a mad dash to the top, they didn’t benefit from a seed round, and they’re not looking to go public for a long time — make that ever.

The point is, they’re not chasing growth at all costs.

They’re not hunting media and publicity.

Hell, they’re not even blogging.

Instead, they put their heads down and worked on their business day in and day out for 150 years. They’ve become so successful that they’re running from the public eye. You’ll be hard pressed to find any of the fourteen billionaires in the family on a red carpet or a talk show.

It’s the sprinters that chase attention. Without it, they shrivel and die because their success isn’t built on the fundamentals gained through training day in and day out.

It’s the people who’ve bought the dream sold by the valley. The ones who chase diminishing returns in the name of growth. Is growth at all costs worth the cost?

That dream doesn’t build companies which last one hundred years.

Sprinting doesn’t build a sustainable business your kids get to inherit. It doesn’t allow you to turn four generations of your family into billionaires.

So what am I telling you? Should you give up dreams of breakout success in your lifetime?

Not at all. I’m telling you to pace yourself. I never said go slow.

Look at how marathon runners train.

Before you can train for a 26 mile marathon, you should have been running a 20 miles a week ery day for at least a year. After that you should start training for the marathon AT LEAST four months out.

The more time you have — the better.

While training, you vary the workouts between long distance runs and speed work. This gives you more stamina and endurance. Resting just as important as training.

What does that mean and how does it apply to your success?

A single launch event doesn’t define the trajectory of your business — or life. Maybe your launch was a flop. Who gives a damn? Even though you failed on a public stage, nobody really knows.

They don’t know your numbers.

They don’t know your expenses.

In fact, they only know what you tell them.

If your launch fails, suck it up and keep going without missing a beat. That’s what a marathon is. You can’t hack the process.

In fact, growth hacking is a process. Sean said so.

Pebbled, after raising over $20,000,000 from Kickstarter, had its assets sold off to Fitbit and its employees cherry picked. They launched fast and well. They weren’t ready for the marathon. They had no process.

Microsoft created what was arguably the worst UI to ever grace computing. Windows 8 still haunts me in my sleep. They took the failure on the chin and kept going. They were ready for the marathon. They’re built on process.

Fast is sexy.

Funding is sexy.

Being featured on Forbes is sexy.

Consistent is boring.

Bootstrapping is lame.

Less than a million in annual revenue after a year is pathetic.

Sleeping with peace of mind — priceless.

Making decisions in line with your inner compass — priceless.

Building success that last — priceless.

So what are you doing? Are you aiming for sexy or priceless?

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