Devin Halladay

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What's the secret?

The vast majority of people these days are looking to live a life that doesn't interfere with the status quo. Others are looking for ways to get rich quick on the internet. They ask "what's the secret? how can I launch x-for-x in a week's time without any money, without hiring anyone, and without proper knowledge? how can I do this without failing a million times before I become successful?" Want to know the truth? It's not pleasant: there is no secret.

If you want to get rich and popular by cutting corners, by writing click-bait articles on your Medium.com blog, by criticizing others to make yourself look like a hero, you can do that. Go ahead. But the odds are that you won't make any lasting impact. You'll get your moment in the spotlight, but that light will fade away more quickly than it sparked to life. People will forget you and your haphazard idea.

If you want to make a great product, run a great business, gain the love and trust and admiration of people you don't even know, you can't just look for a secret. There are no shortcuts on the path you're going to take. You're going to work hard, then work harder, then work so hard you forget what it's like to relax. You're going to stress out and stress out some more. You're going to live and breathe your scrappy little venture because you think you can make a difference in the world. You won't love it every day because it's tough, but you'll keep moving. You will miss opportunities and fail when you think you're about to succeed. You'll probably spend a lot of sleepless nights wondering what the hell you're doing wrong. But you'll never give up. You'll persist and when your gut feeling is to give up you're going to grab a coffee, sit down, and get back to work.

Then when you least expect it, you're going to realize something. Every day you've been working, you've gained a new follower, made a couple bucks, and sweated the details. Your users/customers/followers have noticed. Now seemingly overnight you feel like magic because you've done something magical: you've worked like mad to do something mad, and every second has paid off. You've done something that matters, and you're prouder than ever.

Special thanks to Mike Moloney for his editing help.


Published on Saturday 21 February 2015

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