05. Hustle

Life as an entrepreneur isn’t prosperous in the beginning.

And when I say “in the beginning,” the common misconception is most often that that means “in the first year or two.” Even if you’re like me and you’ve listened to talk after speech after lecture and podcast and heard all the great names in entrepreneurship say you have to work your tail off for five, six, even seven years before you start “getting it,” you still scoff and think to yourself, “it surely won’t take me that long, right?”

It’s another late night here at EntreJourney headquarters, AKA my living room, and my wife is upstairs with our fourteen-month-old boy, who refuses to go to sleep after moaning and groaning all day alone with Daddy.

We’re all exhausted.

I am three years into my journey and I’ve had a couple of instances where opportunity came out of nowhere, momentum began to build and we thought we were going to turn a big corner. Then it turns out to be a client that has a low budget and a lot of projects. One of those clients, and again, if I were to be really transparent with you (which is my goal), they’re my only real IT Support client, which happens to be a nonprofit global missions organization that partners with our church to host mission trips to Kenya, Uganda, and Haiti. I have been on four trips so far myself and will be returning to Kenya this July with a team of a few old friends and many new faces.

My biggest client is all Mac users except two, soon to be three. Migrations are fun. @_entrejourney
Two MacBooks that are getting retired and another I’m using to import settings for a Windows migration.

This is where my personal struggle comes into play because of who this client is and how important their work is. Just last year, in August of 2016, while trying to generate leads for my business and figure out what my next steps were in that regard, I made a random phone call to the offices of this particular organization. (I will omit their name for privacy purposes). At this point, despite having taken trips on behalf of this nonprofit, I had not met anyone that worked there. The reason for my call was to try and take a leap of faith in hopes that maybe, just maybe, they had an opening for anything. I have the biggest passion for the people of Kenya and having the opportunity to travel there once or twice a year has been one of the greatest blessings of my life. My logic was set on the fact that, even while I’m pursuing my dream of being an entrepreneur, it would be great to have the opportunity to simultaneously work to support the mission of an organization that is doing such great work in the world.

A young woman picked up the phone and I asked to speak to whoever was in charge of hiring. That particular person wasn’t available but she so kindly inquired as to what my call was in reference to. I began to share my background In missions with the organization and what my current goals were. I explained that I was fully available and would love the opportunity to work there in any capacity. She then asked what my background was, for which I told her computer systems and IT. In what sounded like surprise, she exclaimed that they were currently in between part-time contractors in the IT area and had a lot of pressing issues with their computers. It was then that she asked if I could send her a resume and she would forward it on to the Chief Operations Officer. After a week or so, I had gotten busy with other things and had all but forgotten that I should hope to hear back from the COO.

It was a few days later that I received a call from him and I got the invitation to come in and meet him in person, and also go through the office and meet with the staff to discuss their issues and present a formal assessment and plan of action. I say all that to say that I’m realizing that, even if the financial side of life is okay, it’s always good to have something you’re doing to make a little extra cash, as long as it’s in line with your journey. There’s nothing more important than focus, in my opinion. If you’re focused continually on your goals and you work your butt of to achieve them, while focusing hard on serving others, life will reward you with the fruits of your labor!

When was a time you worked so hard towards a big goal and it came to pass?

Talk to you soon!

“Without hustle, talent will only carry you so far.” ~Gary Vaynerchuk

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