Do Exceptional Things

“Only through focus can you do world-class things, no matter how capable you are.” – Bill Gates

Everyone that is not successful believes that those who are successful have reached great heights because they had God given talent, or because they had some special advantage (family name, where they went to school, some innate privilege).

Those of us who have achieved business success know that it is most often sacrificing a good situation for a potentially better one, taking a huge risk, grinding out all the unsexy work, sleeping in the office at least once a week, and missing every Happy Hour and many enjoyable events to drive forward and build something.  People want what I have achieved but are unwilling to work 70-80 hours a week for decades as I have to create it.

A white belt wants to do what a black belt can.  Then they learn that it is going to be thousands of hours of hard work, of pain, of pushing past their limits.  That’s why traditionally only 1-2% of those who start in martial arts reach black belt, and a similar percentage of black belts become Masters.  Because being exceptional means you nee to be the exception to the usual, the average that can’t commit and go deep to the exclusion of “normal” things like sleeping in and watching tv.

To be world class in one area, you must be willing to not even be aware of hundreds of others.  This is the tradeoff exceptional people are willing to make.