Leading change is difficult.

It is difficult to find, hire, and retain people who are eager and able to change the status quo.

It is difficult to stick with a project that everyone seems to dislike.

It is difficult to motivate a team of people who have been lied to or had their spirits dashed more.

People who can do difficult work will always be in demand.

While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about how difficult it is to run one.

Every time I read a management or self-help book, I find myself saying, “That is fine, but that was not really the hard thing about the situation.”

The hard thing is not setting a big, hairy, audacious goal. The hard thing is laying people off when you miss the big goal.

The hard thing is not hiring great people. The hard thing is when those “great people” develop a sense of entitlement and start demanding unreasonable things.

The hard thing is not setting up an organizational chart. The hard thing is getting people to communicate within the organization that you just designed.

The hard thing is not dreaming big. The hard thing is waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat when the dream turns into a nightmare.

People who are willing to do hard things are scarce, value lies in doing the hard work. Anyone can do the easy work, that’s why there is no value in them.

The reason why not everyone can be an entrepreneur is not because they can’t, it is because not everyone is willing to do the difficult work.

And yet our default is to do the easy work, busywork, work that requires activity, not real effort or guts. That is true of individuals, and it is true of companies. That is because we see our role as churning out average stuff for average people, pushing down price, and, at best, marginally improving value.

That used to be the way to grow a business.

No longer.

The world will belong to those who create something scarce, not something cheap.

The race to the top has just begun.

The strength of your business lies in doing the hard things.


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