“Half of knowing what you want is knowing what you must give up before you get it.” – Sidney Howard
At this point in my life, my entire career is based on change. I get paid based on my ability to help businesses and leaders successfully make the changes they need to make to get the results they want to get. And virtually everybody has some result in mind.
It could be something short term, it could be some long range strategic vision, or anything in between. Rarely do I come across somebody who says they don’t really want anything or they don’t really want anything to change. Those people seldom get into positions of leadership in the first place.
What I do come across on a regular basis is people who talk about the change they want, but really aren’t willing to sacrifice much to get it. I’m not going to get philosophical about where it comes from, but there seems to be a disease of “quick & easy” that infects a lot of people. Everybody wants to be or have something different, and they’d like to have it tomorrow without a lot of effort.
No chance. Real, meaningful change is hard. Real, meaningful change takes time. If you aren’t willing to invest time and effort (and maybe more), then change isn’t going to happen. There’s no “easy button”, there’s no magic bullet, there’s no miracle pill. You actually have to work for it over a period of time. Most people just aren’t willing to do that.
So before you start talking to your people or yourself about the changes you want to make, or the vision you have for yourself or your business, ask yourself what you’re willing to put into making that happen. The change you’re thinking of might require you to work much harder than you’ve ever worked before. It might require you to work more hours than you’ve ever worked before. It might require that you accept less profit in the short term. It might require you to pay out cash in the short term. It might require any number of a hundred other things. You have to think about whether or not you’re willing to make those sacrifices.
As I read the last few paragraphs, this all sounds like a bit of a downer. So let’s end with something positive. Remember why you want to make the change in the first place. You’ve got a picture in your head of what the outcome will be. Remember how great that is. Keep that picture in front of you every day. There will be short-term pain. Remember the long-term gain. It’s worth it.