Some people say I'm a smart guy. I got a decent VCE score, got an engineering degree, found a graduate position at the largest construction company in Australia, so I kind of felt like I was.

On the other hand my family things I'm a little ditzy. I forget things and can be a little absent minded at times.

I felt like I was smart enough for business and that anyone of my friends that studied with me were smart enough for it too. It would annoy me that these people wouldn't consider business with all their smarts. That's until I realised the real meaning of being smart.

Being smart is relative. Business smarts is different to Street smarts which is different to being smart in school. Anyone can dig their head into a book for a few weeks and get a good exam score if they really wanted to. Being school smart helped me very little with my business. In fact, it kind of made the whole experience a little harder.

I was trained to be a perfectionist. To read read read until my approach was ready and perfect enough to be implemented. Business is kind of the other way around. You implement first, then you learn, then you read, then you implement, you learn, you read, you implement, etc. The action part comes first and failing 100 times in a row is totally normal.

I've learned to ditch my textbook approach of reading blogs, analysing, writing notes etc, and have focused on just doing. I don't learn by reading anymore, I use it as inspiration and then put my money and time in action to see what results I get back. There's no quicker way to learn then real life experience.

But for all this to work, the skill I've had to train into me the most is persistence. I was reading a quora question the other day and the question read something along the line of,

"What's the most important skill or character trait to have in life"

The answerer had over 1,000 upvotes. You know what his answer was?


"Persistence leads to Mastery" he wrote.

It made me stop reading and reflect on how true that was. We're so caught up calling people geniuses and naturally talented, gifted by god or whatever but everyone that's reached a position of admiration has done so with a gruelling work ethic. They've doubted themselves 1,000 times over but have conquered that self doubt every single time.

Whatever I do from now on I make an initial intention to keep going with it for 3 months or till I've attempted it enough times to make an informed decision about it.

With Teespring it was at least 50 Campaigns/Designs

With Kindle, it's at least 10 books

With Gym, it's at least 3 months

With boxing, it's at least 3 months

Catch my drift?

No matter how enticing another idea will seem, force yourself to write it down somewhere and forget about it till you've finished with your initial project or commitment.

Most of the times we fail, it's not that we're not good enough or smart enough, it's more because we don't stick with it long enough. I feel that every one of my 20+ ventures I attempted before affiliate marketing, I could have been successful in if I just stuck with it.

Of course you need to be learning from your mistakes and switching things up. I'm not saying to do the same thing over and over and over again. But I AM saying to commit to one project until you've nutted out most of the process, to the point you can make an informed decision, whether you want to continue with this business model or not.

Just a thought

- Mateen


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Written by Mateen