So – here I am – at 3 in the blessed AM – somewhere in my second month of pinteresting, blogging, tweeting, networking, building social connection points – being social – talking business – setting up deals – designing, designing, designing – and, in general, moving toward my goal of launching Epic in October. All this – and I’m deep in debt from the costs of starting Epic, with the world pressing down on me, plagued by self doubt, and worried about product quality, reputation, production, functionality, translation, needs, wants, desires, etc. Why am I doing this?
I sit here and think about how much my family and I have changed. We’ve stopped going out. No movies. No restaurants. No ordering in. My kids aren’t getting the toys they want, or the clothes they want, or to do the fun things they want to do, because we’re sacrificing everything to make this company come to life. This is my life – and it looks like it will be for at least the next two years. Wow – years. My poor kids. And my poor wife.
I hope people remember this. I hope if I do make it to the big show, that people look at me and say “He earned that! He worked 20 hour days for 2 years, risked everything he had, and gambled it all on an 8% chance of success!” I must be insane. To put myself and my family through this. You know, I’d kill to have a night off – to have all that money back – to not have all this doubt and fear and worry – and to just come home from my day job and just worry about that job. Then – on the news – I still see people angry about the “unfairness” of business owners having so much more than other people.
Where did this belief come from that business owners don’t deserve the wealth they have? People win millions and millions in lotteries, yet they’re treated better than the guy or gal that went out and EARNED their fortune. Why is that?
It’s incredibly difficult to start and grow a company to a size where the owners are tripping over cash. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. I hope you’re beginning to see how much effort it takes. I hope you understand just how much you have to sacrifice to get there. And I hope you understand just how much sleep business owners lose every night, worrying about global markets and competitors nipping at your heels day in and day out – wondering if or when a competitor will swoop in and deliver your death blow – where you would lose everything. And I do mean everything – House – Car – Jewelry – Furniture – EVERYTHING. Usually – it’s all pledged to the bank as collateral against business loans. It’s sickening what you have to pay – what you have to sacrifice – and what people never see.
Look at Mark Zuckerberg. Not the best example, I know, but look at what it cost him to make it to the top. He worked his butt off to get into Harvard. Did you work that hard in school? He studied his brains out, got the best grades, learned the internet and computing like the back of his hand, and drove himself all the way to the top. He’s a clear expert in his field. He worked so hard on facebook, that he sacrificed his Harvard education! Think about that – Mark RISKED the LOSS of a HARVARD EDUCATION to pursue his DREAM of facebook! Do you think he didn’t lay awake at night worrying about the choices he was making?! And regardless of where the idea for facebook came from, Mark set himself up to be in a position to take advantage of opportunity. So – when did Mark earn his wealth? His whole life. He sacrifice his free time to earn his way into Harvard. He sacrificed his dream of being a Harvard grad. And he sacrificed his own blood, sweat, and tears in the daily grind to build facebook up to where it is today.
So – next time you’re feeling envious of what a business owner has, and that anger starts creeping into your heart, remember this message I’m sharing with you now. Remember the sacrifice it takes to get to where these people are. And, most importantly, remember that you have just as much right, opportunity, and ability to work and sacrifice your way to the top.
So – why is there such a gap in wealth between the rich and poor? The answer is: Very few people are willing to pay the REAL price of what it takes to reach the top.