Please enjoy this transcript of Brice & Mike’s discussion about developing your stick-with-it-ness. That phrase is something they came up with to explain the perseverance that’s required to run a successful company.
These transcripts may contain a few typos. With some episodes lasting more than 60 minutes, it can be difficult to catch all small errors.
Brice: Hello everybody, welcome to the Building An Online Podcast, a podcast all about the successes, failures and learnings from growing businesses online. Hello everybody, today we’re going to be talking about developing your stick-with-it-ness. If you are building a business online, building anything, building any kind of business or doing anything in life, it’s very important to have your stick-with-it-ness because also known as grit. Also, some people have called it grit stick-with-it-ness, whatever you would like to call it. Well, we’re gonna call it stick-with-it-ness. But it’s super important. Anytime you’re building a business, building something online, chasing course frequently is something that a lot of people do shiny object system, shiny object syndrome is real. And it will destroy what your momentum what you’re trying to do, so we change course, all the time, it causes a lot of instability and confusion, you can’t just restart every day, so you need to be able to stick with one thing. And so today, we’re going to talk about why you need to do that and how you can do that in your business.
Mike: Brice, I think this topic is one of my favorites to talk about, because I’ve been in so many startups in the past that didn’t do this, that it was glaringly obvious to people that were in the business that had to change course, every single day, but blinding for some of the leaders of the business that basically exactly what you said, saw shiny object went left, then got two feet down that path and then went right changed all the time.
Brice: Yeah, I think in today’s, I think you’ve had some, like experience in companies, I have done all of the, you know, my business experience, working behind a computer and trying to figure stuff out as I go. And if you go online, there’s a million people telling you that this is the way to do things. And if you’re not doing it this way, you will fail. And, you know, they’re like, no, this business model is the ultimate business model. No, this business model is the ultimate business model. And everybody has their own opinion. And, so when you’re trying to figure stuff out, it’s easy to get distracted going down these different routes. And that will really cripple you, what’s way more important is to choose what you’re going to do. And stick with that thing long enough until you get traction to make it work. And that long enough is a lot longer than most people’s patience is because, you know, you need to stick with something for years to really see it through and get to a point where you have traction. And like the fun part about having businesses and the easy part is coming up with ideas and like getting, you know, like buying a domain, I have lots of domains, because that’s easy. But the hard part is actually building a business when it’s boring. And when it’s not exciting. And when you actually have to do a lot of the hard work, so we’re going to talk about some examples.
Mike: Yep, I’ve got a really good example of someone who didn’t do that, that it was very difficult to be there during the times that they were deciding who they want it to be. But it was a startup in Silicon Valley, which in my opinion is one of the places that you’ll see people change course the most, they hear the word pivot, and they think that pivot needs to happen every other day, every third day. And they take a team of anywhere from two to 20 people and redirect them on a continual basis, so that you get 10% of everything done and 100% of nothing done. And this one in particular, I won’t name by name, but they did indoor mapping of retail stores, and drew two dimensional maps so that you could find out where all of the products were on an iPhone, and they were going out for investment, they had a really good idea. They had really good engineers, and they had a really great product, but they’re going out for investment. And what would happen is all these investors who are not necessarily professionals in their space, but they’re professional investors, and they’re just looking for good ideas, the investors would have ideas as they were being pitched the product. And then at the end of the pitch, they would tell these ideas to the CEO of the company. And one of the investors, for example, heard about the indoor mapping solution. They heard that we had these radar systems that could go in and map things. And they knew from their previous experience that forklifts had or forklift collisions were one of the biggest causes of lost money in warehouse space, so they put that idea and then indoor mapping solution together and suggested that they restructure the entire company from doing indoor mapping solutions to doing forklift collision avoidance since it was the same sensor that was used, so we worked for months on this indoor mapping solution. And then the CEO came back from an investment meeting and sat down and said, Hey, we’re now in the forklift collision avoidance space. And then about three weeks after that the forklift collision avoidance space was a great space to be in, but there was a larger a larger space which was the automobile collision avoidance space. So then we turned into an automobile collision avoidance sensor instead of an indoor mapping retail solution. And what happens is, as you see these as you make these changes, and as the senior leadership team of the company is directing you to change course, all of the marketing and all of the PowerPoints and all of the pitch decks and all of the resources that have gone in, as well as the coding and all the technical aspects have to be changed, so you essentially start from ground one every year to square one every single time that you go through these changes. And for the founder, or the CEO of the company, it might not be that different, because it’s just conversations that they’re having a little bit differently during their pitches and, during their strategic meetings. But for everybody below them, it’s debilitating. I mean, it’s absolutely just crushing to hear that everything that you’ve done is now null and void. And you have to restart.
Mike: What about you? Have you heard similar instances?
Brice: Yeah, I think, you know, from my perspective, in the online space, you know, you see so many different, you know, a lot of people start with the same goal of like, I just want to make usually starts with, I just want to make X amount of dollars per month, you know, it’s like, I just want to make three grand per month, or I just want to make five grand per month, or I just want to make $10,000 per month, but working from home, you know, doing the internet thing. And so you go online, you start looking and it’s like, well, you know, someone’s like now the agencies, agency worlds are the way to do this, and someone else, no e-commerce, e-commerce is the way to do this, and someone else how about supplements business, supplement business is a way to do this. And, so what a lot of people that I have seen do in this space is they get started, they find a little success. And then when it gets hard, or when it gets boring, they go, you know what, this isn’t the one that’s going to work out what I need to do is have a different business. And, so they stop what they’re doing, and they try to go start another business, when in reality, all of these businesses will work, you can make money with all of them. There’s so many different ways to find success. But you do have to stick with it long enough to find your success by, you know, finding the right, you know, at your place in the market and getting enough experience and results and cash flow coming in that you can grow a really good business. And, so what I think that a lot of people do is they, they bounced from idea to idea from business model to business model. And they’re it’s almost, you know, on a subconscious level, I don’t know if it’s subconscious or what, but I feel like a lot of people are trying to avoid doing the hard work and think that there’s like some business model that’s just magically easier than a lot.
Mike: Yeah, I think it’s a big psychological thing too. Like, there’s kind of like you said, when they get when it gets hard, or when they get bored, you know, there’s an excitement, having a new idea, and then telling it to somebody and having them be excited about that idea. And then the potential right of what could be, and you don’t really look at what it’s going to take to actually get there all the content, all the grit, all the, you know, conversations and, the first negative feedback that you get, and so on and so forth, like it goes on and on. But I also I mean, we had a podcast interview yesterday with PI yoga pants, and one of the things that she had said was, she put 100% of herself into that project, and no matter what it was going to work. And I think when you have that dedication, and when you know that there’s going to be times that you have to develop your stick-with-it-ness, as you’re saying, then it makes it a lot easier to get through that.
Brice: Yeah, there’s a really good article online that I have read that was talking about how to avoid shiny object syndrome. And really what the whole point of the argument, like the argument that the author made was, basically if you want to start something and you want to be successful at it, you should come with your idea, and then buckle down and spend the next two years working on it. And you don’t get to call it quits or say it’s not going to work, or pull the plug until after you’ve worked on it for two years. And after two years, you can make a decision on whether or not you want to keep moving forward. Because before that you can’t really say that you’ve tried.
Mike: So I think that’s really smart. And I we did that with this podcast, right? Where we were like we’re gonna sit down for this many episodes this much time and record every single week. And we’re going to continue at it because we know that there’s going to be times where it’s hard or busy. And it’s so easy to fall into that trap. But one of the things that I think goes hand in hand with that is the amount of research that you put into something, you know, it like the article said, if you’re willing to sit down and commit two years of your life to a project, then you’re not going to do that just based on a whim or a hunch that, you know, it’s a good idea. You’re gonna do that after you’ve had conversations. You’re going to do that after you’ve done research and I truly believe and I’ve done this in the businesses that I’ve been working with that the more you research, the more confidence you get. And the more you talk to people, the more competence you gain. And that cycle builds on itself. And it gives you the strength, the confidence and the momentum, to commit two years of your life to something or X amount of time, it doesn’t have to be two years in every instance. But I do believe that the, you know, going, having the idea, then doing the research, and just building up the initial, you know, know how that what you have is a good idea if there is a product market fit for it, and all that instead of, you know, just having an idea, buying a domain, and then floating around for two years, hoping that there’s someone that will buy it.
Brice: Yeah, and I think too, one of the things that’s challenging, but it’s really important is really figuring out what the real logistics of success look like for your business model that you’re trying to run. Because if you’re trying to start an agency, or a physical product brand, or you know, digital product, sort of business, it’s really easy to go online and see a lot of like hype around like how quickly you can make insane amounts of money. But this is really to come at it. Like if you look at, you know, even looking at like how people start traditional businesses, and with the kind of investment people assume that they’re going to put in the amount of time they’re going to get before they get money back. If you start to, like if you can get past a lot of the hype that’s out there and look at what the real, like day to day, infrastructure of a business model like that is and what it takes for you to start to make money with that you realize, like a lot of these businesses aren’t making money for the first 6, 9, 12 months, we did an interview with the Zen dudes or with the jump rope dudes a couple weeks ago and you know, they talked about how they were working on a YouTube channel, and a podcast and a YouTube channel for almost a year before they really started making money. Now that’s a really successful, like profitable business, but they had to put in a lot of work to do that. And so if you really start to look at your business model, and what other people who have had success in this market are doing at a reasonable rate, you can start to get a better idea of what it’s actually like to run that kind of business and what you can, how long you could expect that you should be running it before you see results.
Mike: I agree, completely.
Brice: Yeah, I have another friend who’s a blogger, and like he will tell people, you know, if you want to start a blog, you should be willing to write for a year without making any money. And like, that’s reasonable. And then after a year, if you haven’t figured out, if you haven’t gotten any traction, like you’re probably doing something, you’re probably missing the mark somewhere, if you haven’t gotten any traction after a year, but after, within a year, though, you’re just writing and putting stuff out there and not getting a lot of visibility.
Mike: Think about what you learned during that year. Like I know, for me, when I started outside ROI, like the first year looking back, I thought I was doing like in that year, I thought I was doing really phenomenal things. Looking back, it’s like almost a joke, you know, it’s like was taking contracts at nothing, I was working my butt off. But I learned so much. And I learned what I was doing. You know, now it’s like you harness that and you learn from it, you don’t necessarily pivot but you’d like definitely grow and learn how to do things and get processes in place and everything else and you just get that feedback that you need, that I think every single person has to go through and not just once but in each of the businesses that they want to run. So me doing digital advertising, you know, I’ve got the confidence that I need in that space. If I were going to go do you know, build rockets or whatever like that, there’s no way that I could walk into that space with the confidence that I have in the digital advertising space. And I would have to do the same thing. And say this is you know, what it’s going to take for me to learn it’s what it’s going to the time it’s going to take for me to get the feedback from everybody that I’m working with and build the confidence, everything else. So I think your your stick with fitness is one of the truest tests of you know, who’s gonna make it and who’s not. There are people in the world that say, no matter what happens, this is like at the end of this, I will be successful. And I truly believe that that mindset is something that that is true. Like you make Yeah, what is what is the saying? Your thoughts become your realities. And if you’re, if you’re willing to sit down and say like, no matter what, you know, today’s October 2nd, 2019 by October 2nd, 2020, like, I will be better at this, like I will have a successful x, you know, and you’re willing to go through whatever that takes then I think you’re 90% there.
Brice: Yeah, I think I you know, I am kind of obsessed with like when I find people who are really successful in business, I really like to dig into their back story and figure out where they came from. That’s one of the reasons you know, that’s we talked about that when we started this podcast is like getting to talk to people about their stories and hear about that because every time I find people who are really successful, I think when you really dig into their stories, there’s a long path of learning for most people. And it’s really easy to get sucked into kind of the anomalies, because there’s so many examples of people who have found really fast success, you know, the millionaire, 23 year old. But there’s far more examples of the guy who spent seven years working, making $35,000 a year, until he, you know, finally had the right skills, and he knew the right people. And he, you know, took the actions to then launch a million dollar business. And yeah, there’s so many examples of, there’s way more examples of that.
Mike: So guys, I think the big take-aways from this podcast are, do your research. You know, don’t just come up with an idea and commit two years of your life to something blindly do research talk to people, there’s no harm in telling people about your idea that chances are, they’re not going to do anything about it, there’s there was a statistic I saw that was like a 96% chance that everybody thinks that if you tell someone your idea, they’re gonna steal it, and they’re gonna run out and be, you know, billionaires before you can even write down the name of your company. And that’s not true, I think it’s a 96% chance that the people you tell your ideas to will either not care or not do anything, even if they do care. So talk to people, figure out, you know, if it’s a good idea, and then set a timeline, and develop your stick-with-it-ness, and make sure that you’re gonna do whatever it takes to get through all that.
Brice: Yeah, I think the best thing you can do is, you know, do some research, come up with your decision. And then you know, plan to roll up your sleeves and get to work every single day for however long you decide it is, we have so much more control over our inputs, and the work that we do each day, then we do our outputs, and what kind of results we get for that. So you can control waking up every morning getting, you know, sitting down at the computer, or you know, sitting down at the phone and like getting to work and making that happen every day, then you can what the outcome of your business are going to be. And that’s what’s really going to help you develop that stick-with-it-ness is developing the habit of doing the work.
Mike: Great. And I think the first place that you guys should research is in all of our previous podcast episodes, which are now on iTunes, and Spotify. And then you should review them, because we need reviews.
Brice: Yes, we have a really good interview that we did with the jump rope dudes and how they started their business. And Sophia Barrows interview that’s coming out next week is about how she started a virtual financial planning company, which is really awesome. She’s got an incredible story, so check those out. If you really like them, leave us a review on iTunes. We’d really appreciate it. Other than that, you can find us on the social media – Building An Online Podcast, on the Facebook’s and Instagrams.
Mike: Sweet! Thanks guys!
Brice: Yeah, have a good one and tune in next week for the next one.