As most people understand, building a great company is hard. It requires years of focus and dedication. You often hear founders, even after their companies have scaled, acknowledge that they’re constantly thinking about work when they’re away from work. They can’t help themselves. They’re giving it their all at the office and putting in more mental reps outside it. I was guilty of this when I was building my company. I’d find myself constantly thinking about the business and jotting down ideas—often at the most inopportune times (dinner, for instance).
As I’ve reflected and studied other accomplished people who aren’t founders, I’ve seen a pattern. In any industry or profession, the people who want to be the best have a similar dedication. They eat, sleep, and breathe what they do. It’s often a big factor in their eventual success.
That level of commitment has other ramifications. It means they often forgo other things in life (for better or worse). It affects their lives—and possibly the lives of others around them—in important ways. It’s hard to be 100% dedicated to your goal and have enough left to give to others too. Not impossible, but definitely hard.
People don’t stumble into significance. They dedicate themselves to what they’re doing and sacrifice to achieve it.