“Don’t expect to be motivated every day to get out there and make things happen. You won’t be. Don’t count on motivation. Count on Discipline.” – Jocko Willink
It’s 5:14 am, I’m sitting here at my computer, inside my office in the backyard, coffee by my side. It’s dark, a bit of chill in the air, truthfully I’d rather be in bed. I’d rather be under the covers trying to recover a few more hours of sleep.
I’m here because I’m always working to develop the discipline it takes to move my dreams forward, move my businesses forward. I suspect I’ll be developing this discipline till the day I die. Miyamoto Musashi, was Japanese swordsman, philosopher, strategist and write. Musashi went undefeated in 61 duels and authored the quote “one thousand days of lessons for discipline; ten thousand days of lessons for mastery.” Kind of sounds like an early day Malcom Gladwell.
Anyhow, when running a business, discipline is a set of expectations you have for yourself. Ain’t no one else going to do that for you.
I don’t care how much you pay a coach or management team, if you can’t discipline yourself, it won’t matter. You are the founder. If I’m working with you to implement a system of management, goal tracking and processes yet you fail to have the discipline to keep the execution going, or overseeing the consistent execution of the plan, well we just wasted a bunch of time and money.
Not everyone is excited about waking up early and doing a ton of work before it’s time for breakfast. Not everyone wants to start and run businesses at the risk of facing bankruptcy. Not everyone is ready to sacrifice family time, to take on massive risks, and to make big gambles with the future of their lives.
Some people are just happy working for a job at somebody else’s company and being the best employee they can be. What I want you to understand is that motivation alone isn’t going to get you where you need to go. You chose the path of being an entrepreneur, own it.
Discipline comes from the Latin work disciplinus which means to “instruct, teach,” which is the process of learning from, or given an example of guidance, that’s me. I’m here to guide you and your team in the implementation of the grander plan.
I view self-discipline as a set of expectations you have for yourself. Expectations that you won’t allow distractions, unexpected obstacles, or other foolishness to stop you from achieving your major goals.
Expectations that focus you on the end results (things like profitability) and ignore clutter and unnecessary tasks that get in your way. Discipline is essential for a successful founder, because it keeps them going when everyone else thinks their ideas are stupid and they should give up.