This is a guest post by Jeremiah Boehner. Jeremiah is the Senior Director of Sales at Mylikes Inc. a content marketing company valued at 50MM. He is a serial entrepreneur and is the current owner of Stiles Media. He is passionate about Crossfit, life hacking & entreprenuership. You can find more of his work at www.jeremiahboehner.com and www.youtube.com/jeremiahboehner.
Success – is it random, or is it something you achieve after a long, hard road? First—we must define success. I define success as achieving something I’ve worked hard for that is built up of smaller successes. Success is something you choose to do daily. You choose to either be successful, average, or a less-than-average each day. By waking up and deciding to go back to bed instead of heading to the gym, you’re choosing to fail at your fitness goals. When you just put in the normal 9-5 at your job and call it a day as soon as you are off the clock instead of trying to deliver something great, you’re choosing mediocrity. Success is something you must choose to do and be daily.
I have often tended to choose mediocrity and failure over success in the past. Almost three years ago I was underemployed, overweight, and my girlfriend had just broken up with me. It was at that moment of anger and pain that I decided to be better. I decided I was going to get back on that horse called ‘success’ and make something great out of myself. I said ‘screw you’ to all the haters, the people who said I couldn’t, and kissed my own self-doubt goodbye.
In Marianne Williamson’s A Return to Love she writes, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine.”
For years I was afraid of success and my own talent. I was afraid that if I reached great heights people might hate me. Even worse, that I wouldn’t be able to handle the success and that it would all come crashing down around me. I felt that if I took a risk only to have this happen I’d be a bigger disappointment then I already felt I was. But Like Ice-T says– sometimes you have to say “screw it, and do it anyway.”
After that moment when my girlfriend broke up with me, I went to my parents’ house and told myself, “Tomorrow you’re going to wake up no matter what, drive to your Crossfit gym, and crush your workout.” On just 4hrs of sleep I woke up, drove the 45 minutes to San Francisco, and killed my workout. After that I told myself that I would become better at Crossfit then she ever was (she was the one who introduced me to Crossfit, for which I am forever grateful). Then I got to work that day and said to myself, “I’m going to go all-in on this job, and make this one that lasts.”
I had just gotten a job at a small, ad-tech start up in the SOMA district of San Francisco. Originally hired part-time to recruit publishers, they moved me over to sales, as the publisher recruiting wasn’t really working. At first I had said ‘yes’ reluctantly because I didn’t want to get fired – but that day I told myself I was going to make the most sales the company had ever seen. It seemed like a far stretch, but I dug right in. I started sending out e-mails and tweets to anyone who I thought were potential customers. Later that week I brought on a client who spent six figures every month! Shortly after that I got a full-time offer from that company, offering to pay more than I had hoped. Six months after that, I got promoted to Sales Director (basically running the show), something I’ve never done before, and honestly I’m still not sure how to do. Regardless of this, I still chose to be great at that job and I am constantly trying to figure out how.
I still fail and mess things up on a regular basis, and I still have trouble translating this success into other areas of my life where I am failing, however I keep pushing and striving toward my goals, because I know if I keep chipping away at the daily grind, I will get to exactly where I want to be. I still get scared, and sometimes self-doubt shouts in my ear, but I choose the path of greater resistance. What will you choose?