Recently, I keep hearing friends complaining about how there isn’t enough time during the day to do what they planned to do. This resonated with me because I remember back when I was a freshmen in college I had all this ambition, but the work I had put into my passions didn’t go anywhere. I myself am still in the process of chasing my own dreams. You may be asking, “Well Aaron, what are your dreams”. Currently, my life’s work is packed into an app called Blerp, which I started two years ago while going to school at the University of Utah. People are amazed that Blerp has released apps on the Android, and iOS store. We have an app integrated into iMessage and Messenger Keyboards. As well as apps integrated into Twitch and Discord. For some people, they could raise millions of dollars and not build what we have built at Blerp. Surprisingly we built all these apps bootstrapping with a couple of student engineers and a product designer. You could say we needed grit in order to get Blerp to where it is today. While that is true we also had strategies in place to do more work with less effort. This way of thinking is completely different from my previous strategies as a freshman in college where I would do work and get no results. There were three main mindsets that helped me improve my life so that I could grind out my dream as well as keep my health somewhat alive.
The first thing I did was improve my ability to focus on what’s important in my life. In school, I tried to do everything. I “dropped the ball” on tasks because I did not say no. I got a mediocre score on the GMAT because I told myself I needed to start a company and go to business school. What I found is that I used to be afraid of closing doors. Surprisingly, it sounds like many people have this problem. The truth is that if we are constantly chasing a new shiny job we will never reap the rewards of our current work. Also if we spread ourselves to ten different tasks we will never put enough effort into the one job that will actually take us where we want to go. From my observation, the people who truly succeed in this life have a strong conviction of the ideas that are most important to them. These same people also will diligently give all their time into working on ideas or relationships that they decided are most important to them.
Attracting people to work on blerp with me was vital for getting blerp to where it is today. The truth is that during college, I did not have the character to attract a strong team. I still don’t but it's better than before. I actually attribute my lack of leadership to why my first couple of business partnerships failed to work out. It took me years to improve my character so that I could find and build the right team. Working on your character means setting values for yourself and living by those values such as doing the right thing even when its hard to do so. It means showing that you are truly passionate about your work rather than chasing fame or money. It means being a decent human being and empathetically caring about the people who give you time. Being a person who knows how to give more than they take is also vital in getting great teammates to want to work for you. If you feel like you don’t have enough time during the day then figure out how to get smart people to help you split your workload. The progress you will make on your specific goal will drastically be different compared to the progress of working on your goal alone.
Prioritize your life so aren’t burnt out all the time. I used to have the attitude that if I wasn’t working then I was losing. Losing what? For me, it felt like I was giving time away if I just relaxed. What I didn’t realize is that the time I spent sitting in front of a computer doing nothing could have been spent hanging out with a good friend while re-energizing myself to work harder the next day. Nowadays I still get everything done that I say I will do, but now I still have time to grab lunch with some close friends as well as go to the gym (sometimes). If I knew how easy it was for me to truly make progress on my dreams while still having some free time then I would have given myself free time sooner.
I am a strong believer in working smart as well as working hard. Making progress towards your dream may take some sacrifices but the process doesn’t have to kill you. Some weeks those sacrifices will be bigger than others. I do hope that these tips I leave with you limit the number of sacrifices that you will have to make while chasing your own goals.
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