Most people quit too soon. Don't be like most people.Aug 02, 2023
Many of you know that I wear several vocational hats. In addition to the work I do with Platform Launchers and the online content I create, I’m also a college professor, the director of a mission board, an author, and a pastor. Somehow these roles work well together, but I often get asked how I juggle these tasks all at once. That’s a story for another day.
Of these roles, the one that has had the most challenging learning curve is my role as a local church pastor. I have been serving in that capacity for a little over 25 years. At this point, I feel well-versed in how to handle the position, but in my early years of ministry, I felt intimidated, overwhelmed, and frequently discouraged. More than once, I entertained the thought of submitting my resignation. Thankfully, I didn’t.
I still remember one particular moment in the early years when I was new to my role. The church I was leading had been declining for a decade or more before I started serving there. At the end of my second year, we realized that our average attendance continued to dip. One of the women in the church who was a key volunteer said, “I thought our church was going to grow when we hired you.”
I can’t tell you how much that hurt. I felt like a failure, and I was starting to wonder if I was letting everyone down. I had been serving at that church for two years and the pattern of decline didn’t improve. It got worse. But thankfully, that was about to change.
During the third year, the new culture I was trying to create in that church started to take hold. The ministries we began in year one started gaining some genuine momentum. New people started attending and several people that had a history of creating conflict started leaving. At the end of the year, we learned that the church had grown by 10%. I was grateful to God for this blessing, and I learned a principle that has served me well in just about everything I have set my mind to work on ever since.
I’m convinced that it typically takes three years of uninterrupted and consistent work to begin seeing the major fruit of ongoing momentum.
But in my experience, most people don’t get to see or experience that kind of momentum for three reasons:
1. They aren’t focused
2. They aren’t consistent
3. They quit too soon
What does it look like to be focused?
If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ve probably got a lot of ideas floating around in your head. I’m guessing you excel at coming up with new projects, fresh ideas, and concepts that you’d like to test.
That’s all well and good, but if you aren’t focused on your primary objective, you’re going to become a very distracted entrepreneur who doesn’t stick with an idea long enough to see if it might really work.
How can we become more consistent?
What does your weekly routine look like? If I asked you, “What will you be doing on Tuesday afternoon at 1:00 pm?”, would you be able to answer? If I asked you, “How long has it been since you released a blog post, podcast episode, or YouTube video?”, would it be more than a week ago?
Consistency is the secret sauce that flavors the success of most of the high achievers in your friend group. They create deadlines and they meet them. They don’t make excuses for failing to show up. There’s no such thing as “too busy” or “too tired.” They find a way to get things done, no matter what.
I’ll guarantee that most of the people you admire possess this trait. If you look back at the lives of successful leaders, entertainers, entrepreneurs, and members of your own family tree, you will see the trait of consistency exemplified in the lives of those who rose to the top.
Don’t Quit too Soon
A couple of years into serving as a pastor, I was on the verge of giving up, but there was something inside me that wouldn’t let me do it. Thankfully, I hung on long enough to see the fruit of the seeds that had been planted along the way.
If you’re in the process of building an online platform, podcast, blog, email list, membership community, YouTube channel, book empire, or anything else, don’t give up prematurely. When you’re building something with lasting value, it’s going to need a solid foundation. A solid foundation requires time to build, but once it’s in place, the rest of the building comes together faster than might have seemed possible at first.
Not long ago, I came across this quote from Alex Hormozi. He was speaking about success as a podcaster, but his example could be easily applied to other spheres of online platform creation.
To be a top 1% podcaster, you have to upload 21 podcasts.
90% don’t go past 1.
9% don’t go past 20.
1% make it to 21+.
So when people say “try harder” it usually just means “don’t give up.”
That’s my encouragement to you today as well. Get focused. Stay consistent. Don’t quit.
The successful people you admire are following this path. If you’re not on this path with them, start identifying whatever may be keeping you from joining them. Is it because you’re distracted? Are you discouraged? Are you lacking discipline? Figure out what it is so you can address it. That’s exactly what the people you admire are doing.
© John Stange
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