Episode 15 – Be Willing To Put In The Work
Behind every great achievement is a story of perseverance, courage, hard work, education, discipline, practice, and sacrifice. You have to be willing to put in the work and be willing pay the price. This might be focussing on one thing or one project until completion while putting everything else in your life on hold. Maybe it’s saving every dollar you have and not spending a cent until you have reached your savings goal or working towards your goal of leaving your full-time job, by working on your own business from 6 til 12 at night until you are earning enough money to leave that job. While many things are required to reach a successful outcome, the WILLINGNESS to do what is required adds that little extra dimension to the mix that assists you to persevere in the face of overwhelming challenges and setbacks that will appear.
Michaelangelo, the renaissance sculptor, and painter who spent 4 years lying on his back painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, once said:
“If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it wouldn’t seem wonderful at all.” That just shows how he loved his work, he wanted to create something wonderful that people could get so much pleasure in viewing.
There’s nothing like PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! Olympic Gold Medallist once said “When I played with Michael Jordan on the Olympic Team, there was a huge gap between his ability and the ability of the other great players on that team.
But what impressed me was that he was always the first one on the floor and the last one to leave.”
Now that shows the dedication and not resting on your laurels and getting complacent about your ability. Even though he was a successful athlete and had a higher level of ability above the other players, he didn’t walk in late and leave early then go and rest, he was committed to his skills and just kept on.
PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE!
In a 1992 US article by John Troup, he said that “The average Olympian trains four hours a day at least 310 days a year for six years before succeeding. Getting better begins with working out every day. By 7am most athletes have done more than many of us have done all day!
So it just shows that you can become world-class in whatever you do by putting in the disciplined effort to excel at your chosen trade, craft or profession. If you want to win at whatever you decide to focus on, you need to be willing to pay the price. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters not the will to win. Be willing to do whatever it takes.
Legendary violinist Isaac Stern was once confronted by a middle-aged woman after a concert.
She gushed, “Oh, I’d give my life to play like you!” “Lady, said Stern acidly, “that I did!”
While deliberate practice is rarely pleasurable, usually difficult, and quite often boring, an elite performer’s willingness to practice in this goal-oriented way is what actually sets them apart from the people that are merely good at something.
They don’t just practice for fun, they do things consistently over a long period of time.
You need to be willing to do whatever it takes.
I want to tell you a great story about Gordon Weiske, from Toronto Canada. He was six years old when his parents took him to see his first movie, Close Encounters of The Third Kind. Two hours later he knew that what he wanted to do when he grew up, was make movies. In High School he made short films with outdated equipment, but he still managed to create a demo reel which got him accepted into a top film program at a Canadian university.
He did well there until his third year when he made a decision that would take him in a different direction. In the university, there were only 3 editing suites to use for 150 students to edit their films which made if difficult to book an edit suite when he wanted it. So one night he decided to take matters into his own hands and stole a security pass card from his professors so he could get in and edit from midnight to 5 am to complete his film.
For the first week, it all went well, the second week he invited two of his friends to come in and edit their films as well in the neighbouring suites. Having finished their film edits in the third week, they decided to celebrate with their girlfriends and drink a little. At the height of the party, the campus police bust in on them, and Gordon was expelled from the university.
So he found himself with no degree and pending trespassing charges coming his way. But he still wanted to get into the business so he gathered what little confidence he had left, and went door to door to all the studios asking for a job, even offering to work for free. He was met with the old cliche, “don’t call us kid, we’ll call you.”
A few weeks went by and his phone didn’t ring once. Then it hit him “if I’m going to make it in this business, I’m going to have to stand out from all the rest and never take no for an answer.”
Now at that time, Toronto hadn’t hit major studio status and most of the production offices were dirty old steel mills converted into sound stages. It sounds strange to even visualise it today, but back then they had to stop production if it rained, because of the sound of raindrops pelting down on the tin-plated rooftops.
Anyway, because he knew of the grimy conditions of the studios, he visited a second time, only this time he was armed with a bottle of Windex and a roll of paper towels and asked permission to clean their toilets.
Of course some of them laughed because they weren’t sure if he was joking, while others glad said yes – but with the disclaimer, “But kid…. I’m still not going to hire you!”
Now he did this every day for a week, cleaning the dirtiest of dirty production office toilets that had once been used by steel-workers. He worked hard to remove dirt over dirt over dirt until that porcelain shined. The one thing he did that changed everything was put his name and phone number on the back of toilet doors in every stall. He attached a sign to his resume that said:
WASHROOM CLEANED BY GORDON
LOOKING TO GET MY FOOT IN THE WORLD OF FILM.
WILL WORK FOR FOOD!
His film resume and experience on paper was quite slim, but he made sure his work spoke for itself with the cleanest toilets in town.
Now just think about it, what a perfect place to hang your resume and get someone’s undivided attention – while they’re sitting on the toilet with nothing else to do but read what’s hanging in front of them!
So, unknown to Gordon, at that time, there was a team of Los Angeles producers scouting Toronto to see if it was suitable for an upcoming film they were making, it needed to be a suitable match for Boston. It turns out that every production office they visited, they saw his Resume inside each toilet stall. And it actually became a game of theirs to see if Gordon’s Resume was attached to each door of each production office they visited.
Then guess what, one night the phone rang and he was hired by these producers for two weeks. He was hired to do errands for them for food and gas money. He was happy with that. After the two weeks were up, they called up into their hotel room with some more good news.
The movie they were working on had just been given the green light and was going to be called Good Will Hunting. Not only that, they made Gordon the personal assistant to Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, two relatively unknown actors who were about to become superstars.
Because of that willingness to pay the price, and do whatever it took, within a month of being expelled from the university, having his dreams crushed, he ended up working on an Academy Award-winning film that totally changed his life!
Following the success of Good Will Hunting, Gordon went on to work on a long list of blockbuster films working alongside some of the biggest names in the business including Steve Martin, John Travolta and Morgan Freeman.
Then in 2011, Gordon was asked to join the DreamWorks development team working alongside his personal hero, Steven Spielberg – the director of Close Encounters of The Third Kind, the movie that had originally inspired his dream to work in the film industry. Life came full circle.
Today Gordon is the president of CanWood Entertainment, a global entertainment company whose headquarters are in Toronto, Canada.
And that’s not even the sweetest part of the story, not only was Gordon invited to speak many times to the graduating class of the university that expelled him, they dismissed all his trespassing charges!
Oprah Winfrey once said: “The big secret in life is that there is no secret. Whatever is your goal, you can get there, if you are willing to work.”
It’s putting in the time, the willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done, no matter what it takes, no matter how long it takes, no matter what gets in the way. It’s a done deal and you are the only one who is responsible for the results. No excuses.
Ernest Hemingway rewrote “A Farewell to Arms”…. 39 times. This dedication to excellence would later make him the recipient of a Nobel and Pulitzer Prize for literature.
Michael Crichton created the Emmy Award-winning series ER. His books have sold over 200million copies in 30 languages, and 14 have been made into films, 7 of these he directed.
His books and films include Jurassic Park, The Andromeda Strain, Congo, Twister, and Westworld.
And get this, he is the only person to have had, at the same time, the number one book, the number one movie, and the number one television show in the United States. Michael once said, “Books aren’t written – they’re rewritten….It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn’t quite done it.”
In any business or profession, once you have paid the price to establish yourself as an expert in your field, a person of high integrity who produces quality results consistently, you get to live the rest of your life knowing that you worked hard for what you have achieved and you are now being rewarded.
Creating momentum is an important part of the creative process. I think successful people know that if you are willing to pay the price in the beginning, you will reap the rewards for the rest of your life.
Now, in the beginning, you may not know what the price is that you have to pay. You may have to do some investigating into that depending on what field you want to get into. You will have to research the steps that will be required to achieve your desired goal.
You may discover that some costs are more than you are willing to pay. You may not want to risk certain areas of your life, your relationships, your health, your life savings. You will have to weigh up all the factors, only you can do it. Only you can decide what is right for you and what price YOU are willing to pay.
You may find that what you want doesn’t serve you in the long run. But if it does, find out what you need to do, and then go out there and just do it!
I hope that’s helped you be willing to pay the price and get out there and now know the steps to get out there and get what you want. If you haven’t already I hope you subscribe to this podcast and please share it as I want to get this information into as many ears as I can to people who would benefit from these principles.
For more information, you can go to yourroadtosuccesspodcast.com.au where you can download free resources including a chapter from my book “The Road to Success” which I co-authored with Jack Canfield, creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series, as well as any upcoming events.
That’s it from me and I’ll leave you with a quote from Best- Selling Author, Stephen King who has over 50 books in print, many of which have been made into movies, such as Carrie, Cujo, and The Green Mile who once said:
“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one, is a lot of hard work.”
Thanks for listening, now get out there and have a successful week!