People say it’s lonely at the top. Well, prepare, because it’s lonely getting to the top, or anywhere close. That’s why the masses are in the middle.
A lot of people don’t succeed because they aren’t equipped for a solo mission. People want to be surrounded by their family and friends. They want to share common ground with the neighbors and other parents. They want to look up for their desk, stall, or cash register and get reassurance that others are working like them.
For most people, being alone is scary and painful. But that’s what you have to face if you want to succeed.
When you choose to become an entrepreneur, you choose to walk alone and you choose to plot your own course. Whether or not you consciously make these decisions, that’s the real deal.
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You may be thinking, I know. I know. Writing is a lonely job. I’ve heard that 1000 times. But it’s not just cranking out words onto the page that’s lonely. The entire process of turning your craft into a viable business is lonely. And once that business takes root, keeping it alive and making it grow gets lonelier.
If you aren’t careful, that loneliness can cause you to neglect your business or to quit and head toward the comfort of the crowd. Loneliness can also drive you to make poor decisions, like trying to bring others along with you.
“The awakening artist must be ruthless, not only with herself but with others. Once you make your break, you can’t turn around for your buddy who catches his trouser leg on the barbed wire.”
The rise to the top is not an all-inclusive trip. It’s an exclusive trip, reserved for those who are willing to fight for what they’re after.
If you and your friends or family embark on entrepreneurial missions at the same time, wish the best for everyone but stay focused on what you set out to do. Don’t get distracted, stop or make U-turns when others stall or veer off course.
It’s up to each person to decide how hard they want to work and how far they want to go. There’s no time to keep reaching back pulling people up. And most of us don’t have the resources to help others while we’re trying to make it.
Reach back and lift the worthy once you’re there, if you like. But realize you can’t tow them the whole way.
When you’re focused on higher ground, go toward it knowing that most of the people you started out with won’t be coming with you. And the higher you climb, the fewer familiar faces you’ll see.