One of my favorite business/life mentors, Susan Hyatt, posted on Facebook to talk about doing the work. She said, “Spending money is NOT the same as doing the work. Going into debt is NOT the same as doing the work… Paying money alone is not enough. That’s your admission fee. Once you’ve paid the fee, then you have to do the WORK.”
And this got me thinking about how many times I’ve done this and how many times I’ve seen clients and colleagues resist doing the work. And let’s be honest, this kind of thing happens in life and in business all the time.
Let’s focus, though, on how this plays out in business today.
I often see business owners wanting to make huge strides in their business, but they aren’t sure what to do or where to go next. They start looking for answers in courses, programs, coaches, or fancy new tools. Many times, the expensive price tag looks like it will provide the answer, so they go full speed ahead.
They hire three people to help. They schedule yet another rebrand of the website and a fancy social strategy. But after months of expenses, they have little to show for it except invoices paid.
Because a fancy website, another rebrand, or posting 7x per day to social isn’t going to accomplish anything if your core offer doesn’t make sense. These tactics and strategies cannot turn into sales if your messaging is confusing, and you don’t understand your potential buyers.
This can be scary to dig into, so you resist the need to do the work. It’s scary to build an offer that actually solves a problem for your potential customers. It’s even more terrifying to build the supporting platform to attract, convert, and serve them.
I’ve worked with a variety of entrepreneurs over the last seven years in the online space, and I’ve come to realize that patience and perseverance are often the primary differentiators between success and failure.
I’ve turned away so many potential clients who only wanted the bells and whistles but not the substance. I’ve worked with several entrepreneurs who ultimately weren’t a good fit because they expected everyone around them to do the work for them (and I mean all the work) and magically create a business with no input or effort from them.
Success Requires a CEO Willing to Do the Work
Here’s the thing: Your team is not a replacement for a CEO. Your team is not a replacement for the clarity required to build a business that actually transforms people’s lives.
Yes, a team will help a lot; you get things done quicker and more efficiently with a team. But you as the business owner have to do the work before any team can help you be successful.
Deciding two weeks before a launch that you want to add an affiliate program — but not answering your team’s questions on how it actually needs to work — is not doing the work.
Hiring a Facebook ads consultant to build you a $100K per month funnel — but not listening to their advice about building the necessary pieces required to actually get the funnel working — is not how you do the work.
Hiring a web designer and developer to build you a shiny new website — but not providing any of the content to actually get it done — is not a successful way to do the work.
Rebranding for the fourth time in less than a year without any clear actionable offers you can sell is not doing the work.
I could probably go on ad nauseam with examples because, frankly, I’ve seen hundreds of them.
And I’m not immune. I currently have two projects — one personal and one business — that are stalled because I’m not doing my part to get them done.
But I own that.
I fully accept that they won’t move forward until I do the work. I don’t point fingers at my team or refuse to pay someone’s invoice because I don’t see the results I want.
Whether it’s overwhelm, fear, or burnout to blame, it’s so easy to dive into a big project and get stalled. It’s so easy to spend the money to “solve” the problem but not do the actual work to make progress. Obviously, I get it.
But each day, we get a new chance to do things a little different. We get the chance to make progress towards that next step, that next milestone.
If we do the work.