Writing a book doesn’t just involve a few dozen evenings with a cigar and a whiskey. It’s a 12 round Mayweather slugfest that takes place over months. I remember the reward of a cold six pack of beer after finishing a four-day mountain navigation course, living off the land, and dragging a 75-pound pack around the hills. Man, that beer tasted so good! The path and process of success are always far from photo-worthy, and require hard work but, the reward is always worth it, just like that cold beer.
“A Thirst for Excellence
When I entered the military, I had a single goal in mind.
I’d like to say I joined up out of love for my country, an irresistible desire to serve, a drive to help right wrongs and bring peace to troubled times, and a sense of obligation to give back to our free society for all the incredible things it had put in my life. Except none of that would be true. To be clear, all those things did develop over time. I have a hell of a lot more appreciation today for this noble, generous-minded, and at times bizarre experiment called the United States than I did when I was a nineteen-year-old kid. Righting wrongs, serving the greater good, a sense of gratitude for the freedoms and opportunity so many of us take for granted? I’m in. But back then? No. Back then there was one and only one gravitational pull that sucked me into Naval Special Warfare: a thirst to be the best.
I’d heard the SEALs were the best. So I joined the Navy—but I honestly had no interest in being in the navy per se. I wanted to be a SEAL.
I believe that you, reading these words right now, have the same bone-level attraction to excellence that I and most of my Spec Ops buddies do. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t have read this far. But—and it is a very big but—I also believe that is not a universal trait.
The desires for food and water, shelter, safety, sex, companionship, recognition . . . I recognize all these as universal. I don’t think there is a person alive who doesn’t want, in some fundamental way, to be happy and to feel that his or her being here on the planet makes a positive difference. We are all, even the saddest and most twisted individuals among us, heroes of our own stories.
But the thirst for excellence? I don’t think that one is universal. Frankly, I believe a lot of people just don’t care. Pretty good is good enough, and average will do. I say that not as an indictment but purely as an observation. If there were no average, if there were no frankly piss-poor, then there would be nothing against which to measure excellence. It’s just the way the world is built. Like the spectrum of visible light, there is a spectrum of achievement, with plenty of people vibrating away, content as pigs in slop, at the lower frequencies.
But that’s not where entrepreneurial success lies. Entrepreneurial success comes into existence at the purple and ultraviolet edges of the spectrum.”
I’d love to continue some of the great conversations and notes in the comments sections found across the web. What examples do you have of resounding success that took a long time to plan and the efforts of so many? What were some of the roadblocks or hurdles you navigated along the way? What were the biggest learning moments? And most importantly, who were the people that made it happen and when and how will you repeat past success and build future momentum?
Thank you again for all who continue to support me, my businesses and my team. This journey has been filled with so many emotions, events, people—I can’t wait to see where we’re headed next.