A few years ago I am four floors underground walking to catch a train in Seoul I hear a loud “pop”! The 60-pound case I was wheeling around a foreign country decided it was time to break a hinge holding the wheel. The case now felt like dragging a house.
It was a crowded subway. I stopped right in the middle like a rock protruding in a stream. The stream of people kept going around me without any hesitation.
I managed to drag the case out of the way to the side. I notice the train is a few minutes away. After letting out a few expletives I think, “What I am going to do”?
We all have these moments where we are faced with a decision. Seemingly simple but what you choose and why you choose it makes all the difference.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “There are two guarantees in life, death, and taxes”. It makes sense. These are two strong driving forces in our lives. However, for me, something was missing.
I kicked and kicked the wheel hinge until I jammed it back in place. I tried to Macgyver a brace that would hold until my meeting was over. Now all I had to do was survive for a few more days while also dragging the case back to the Bay Area. How did I do on that trip? I did pretty well. I think.
“Seemingly simple but what you choose and why you choose it makes all the difference. ”
What motivated me to man up that day in the train station was bigger than death and taxes.
I believe there is a third guarantee in life. More subtle. Invisible. Nuanced. The third guarantee is “higher expectations”.
There is always more expected.
Ask any salesperson. What have you done for me lately? Every year our quota goes up. Bank on it. Every year more revenue is expected. The cost of living keeps rising. Better products required. More features. Faster. Cheaper. Push the boundaries.
It is human nature to expect more. Venti mocha two-pump triple shot light ice frappuccino with whip, please.
What got me going that day was thinking about my family. They expect more from me. I expect to do more for them. I am constantly pushing myself to keep going.
It started from the bottom…
There is no amount of money or fame to pick you up from the bottom. You have to have to turn to something bigger. For me it was family. For you, it may be someone else or an important cause.
As an entrepreneur, seriously think about your business. Build up a good network of friends, family you can turn to, advisors, and mentors. I truly believe there has to be a human element in what we do to make it more meaningful. Our personal connections are what drives us to do better. You’ll be more successful in every way.
Eating healthy and exercising may help prolong death. Educating yourself on money may lower your taxes. Higher expectations are a guarantee.
Finding something bigger than yourself will help you better handle the higher expectations. You will need it to pull you through the abyss of entrepreneurship and sales.