Eric Thomas, "The Hip-Hop Preacher" is one of my trusted voices in entrepreneurship. I love what ET teaches about starting your day with intention. "I start my day at 3 am," he explains. "I'm not saying you got to start your day at 3 am. But you've got to find your 3 am and get up at that hour because it's early enough for you to get after what you need to get done. You know you've got to be somewhere at 7 am, 8 am, 9 am, right? But if you get up at those times, you're not going to be able to work on you, because you're gonna be working on someone else's clock."
How does this apply to you? Well, you and I both know most of us are out there grinding out a day job while we're working on our dreams at night and on weekends—in the spare hours we've managed to squeeze in between that job and a family life. So there's that project you wanted to accomplish in 2017 that you just didn't get around to getting done. And sure, it was important to you, but for one reason or another, you didn't think it deserved to be "front and center" or "top of mind" enough to warrant your full attention, so put it on the back burner, intending to get on it "later," when things cleared up enough at work or at home so you could make some time, which you always knew was wishful thinking. And, sure enough, you know how that turned out, right? Here it is the end of November and "later" never came.
So, I'm challenging you right now: Decide now how many hours you're gonna give your project, business idea, invention, book, whatever it is you want to build this coming year. No, no, no. Don't click away from this and go watch Netflix. Right here, right now, make this your moment. Make this your Christmas gift to yourself, okay? You still with me?
Okay, so say your project needs 500 hours. Okay. So, you're gonna need to wake up an hour or two earlier every morning to work on it. You DECIDE to do that, and consider it done. Put it in your calendar and block out the time for each day; it's an appointment you keep with yourself. You show up that first morning and you put in the work. And you do it again the next day, and the next. After 60 days of doing your new habit, you pick up the phone and dial me up at (630) 394–0535, because I want to know how you're progressing.
Anything worth doing requires sacrifice. We all know this. So if you want this year to be the one you self-publish that graphic novel, buy that investment property, launch that business or signature business product, paint that community mural, or compose that musical theme, build your daughter that treehouse—decide how many hours to devote to your project and schedule it; mark it in your day planner or Google Calendar, show up and put in the work! Some days it will be harder than others getting up early to keep that appointment, but I promise you, as you progress, and begin seeing the fruits of your labor stack up and accumulate and take shape, you'll appreciate the sacrifice.
You know I love you and I've also been reminding you that God loves you and made you special. You are not meant to be ordinary; He made you for great things. So get after it!
(Photo: Amazon Digital Services)
Dom De Bellis is an entrepreneur, author, public speaker, coach, and minister of the Gospel. When he's not serving his church or Boy Scout Troop, he is helping people in cities grow organic food.