Long ago, right before I started this blog and began the full-time quest to “go everywhere,” I went through a six-month period of thinking about it. When I say I was thinking about it, I mean it occupied my mental world approximately 80% of the time. I was still working and going to grad school during the day, but my attention lay elsewhere.
Then, at night, I’d go to bed with a notebook on my nightstand. I kept it there because almost every night, I’d wake up feeling excited. I’d have another idea or something new to add to the outline.
I loved this story of Benny Hsu making $100,000 from his t-shirt designs—a huge entrepreneurial success on his own, no doubt. But I also related to how the project took over his life and became all he thought about.
It’s hard to force this on yourself. When you find it, you instantly relate.
Here’s how Benny, a former iPhone game designer, tells the tale:
“I think about t-shirts from the time I wake up till I go to bed.
I completely stopped making new iPhone games because every time I got on my computer, I was doing something related to selling shirts. Things like researching ideas, reading conversations in Facebook groups to learn, asking questions, designing shirts, setting up Facebook ads, monitoring currents ads, tweaking ads, and the list goes on.
I even began dreaming about it.
I didn’t just put a little bit of time into this. I would stay up late after my wife went to bed. I’d wake up early and start doing work. During the day, my mind was always thinking of new shirt ideas.
Anything that I’ve done since 2011, I would say I’ve been obsessed with it….I believe whatever you want to achieve, you have to be obsessed with it. I didn’t just kinda start a blog. I immersed myself in blogging. I didn’t just kinda do an app. I learned as much as I could. I didn’t just kinda reskin iPhone games last year. I spent the majority of my free time on it.
So whatever you choose to do, go all in on it if you truly want to see results. Don’t just go halfway. The work you put in will determine the results you get out of it. If you just kinda sorta do it, you’ll just kinda sorta get results.”
Chris Guillebeau is the New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness of Pursuit, The $100 Startup, and other books. During a lifetime of self-employment, he visited every country in the world (193 in total) before his 35th birthday. Every summer in Portland, Oregon he hosts the World Domination Summit, a gathering of creative, remarkable people. His new book, Born for This, will help you find the work you were meant to do. Connect with Chris on Twitter, on his blog, or at your choice of worldwide airline lounge.
Image courtesy of Green Chameleon.