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October 31, 2019

Why doing the boring stuff works

by Paden Hughes

I’m addicted to podcasts. I never thought they were cool until people I admire couldn’t stop talking about them. So I decided to hop on the podcast train and now I’m also addicted…To the point where I’d rather listen to a podcast than watch a show. 

One of the best podcasts is called How I Built This. It’s a show entirely dedicated to how entrepreneurs built their HUGE successful businesses. I devour that one. 

Have you ever listened to anyone super successful share how they got there? Most of the time it wasn’t by chance, landing a random opportunity they weren’t prepared for and somehow delivered a world class result. It’s almost never that they found the magic pill to blow past everyone else. No one just shows up and becomes an overnight success. 

At first this annoyed me, because it’s easier to look for the magic pill or the secret formula to follow, to repeat someone else’s success in your business. After all, we hear again and again that success leaves bread crumbs. Well, it does and the breadcrumbs I keep picking up are:

  • showing up when it’s not fun
  • doing the hard things when everyone else wants to give up
  • being consistent
  • doing the small things well, again and again

BORING things, you may be thinking. But deep down, it resonates. 

How did Michael Phelps CRUSH the competition, time and time again? Yes, he probably has natural athleticism and the build for it, but I bet 9 out of 10 times he’s asked, he talks about showing up to swim hundreds of laps, every single day for decades. 

How many times did Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods practice? You honestly couldn’t keep track into their adulthood. It was THAT MANY. 

It gives me hope, because when I think about the work that gets stacked on my desk, it’s not all glittery and fun. Certainly, some of it is; like when I got invited to moderate a discussion of entrepreneurs at the Insight Studio event, the Chamber threw last week. But most of the time, it’s research. It’s diving into reports and interpreting trends in the business. It’s running payroll. It’s writing a million content pieces. It’s sharing on social. It’s typing up agendas. It’s keeping everyone moving ahead with their roles.

Honestly, it’s not the life I thought it would be, but these podcast stories give me hope that the true success stories didn’t get a break. They practiced and practiced, and it paid off. 

So here I am, practicing each and every day. I’m getting better at the small things, staying focused on the long list, and making it happen behind the scenes. For those of you who are like me… for the dreamers who write lists, for the entrepreneurs who make hundreds of decisions a day, and for the creatives who also are the only ones around to implement…. cheers to you. Cheers to us all. May we all remember no matter if we’re building careers or businesses, that the details matter. That just dreaming doesn’t pay the bills. The boring things pay the bills. The implementing of tasks without knowing if you will achieve your goals is hard. The showing up for practice alone, with no one cheering you on, pays off in the end. And most of all, that consistency and dedication write the checks. 

Don’t forget that the magic is in the seemingly boring things we do over and over again, and that the boring things pave the way to being on a podcast, talking about your success. 

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