Consistency and Perseverance

It is consistency and perseverance that will move a mountain – Rich Roll, in an podcast with James “Iron Cowbow” Lawrence.

The statement above caught my attention as I listened to Rich Roll Podcast in my morning commute. It touch me deeply to think that, almost anything is possible if you have the consistency and perseverance.

Consistency means doing the same thing over and over again, day in day out, with a believe that it will lead to improvement, or to your goal. If you watched Karate Kid, it is the Wax On Wax Off moment. In athletic performance, it means running the same course, same speed, same volume, in believe that it will lead to improvement. In investment world, it means buying the stock as the indicator say so. It is boring, yet you do it day in day out, knowing that it will lead to your goals.

Perseverance means doing things when situation is not in your favor. It could means keep running despite heavy rain, or pushing your training time in the middle of busy week. It could also means to keep producing high quality work, even when nobody believe in you.

If you have both, you can surely move a mountain.

What Define a True Visionary

Steve Jobs had the vision of “Computer for the rest of us” when he started Apple Computer. He sold his car, and put his future into creating Apple II computer, and later Machintosh. When he was ousted from Apple, again, living his vision, he started NeXT to create computer for everyone. And when he was back with Apple, he live and breathe to another of his passion: design.

Not only that. All other Apple product after his return, the design of Apple store, live and breathe his passion, his vision.

Tony Fernandez, once a Regional VP of Warner Music Group for Southeast Asia, has a comfortable paycheck and bonus to live lavishly. Yet, he quit his job, and bought AirAsia, a troubled company back then, with his own money, and by mortgaging his home. He then transformed AirAsia into the most respected low cost carrier in the region. He live and breathe his dream: to run an airlines.

So, what differentiate someone who is passionate, and someone who is visionary?

Quoting a friend of mine over lunch: A true visionary believe in his/her vision. Their vision is more than passion, it is their religion. If given between death and not achieving his/her vision, a true visionary will choose death. It is the only thing they believe, live and breathe for.

So, do you define yourself a true visionary?

You Can Only Skimp So Much Before….

If you are cash strapped, you might choose to spend less money on everything. The few things that you might skimp on are:

  1. Starbucks. Expensive coffee such as Starbucks is a luxury during difficult time
  2. Food. Unfortunately human still need to eat. You might opt to eat cheap junk food rather than more expensive full meal
  3. Holiday. It will be an luxury to have holiday overseas, or even within the country

The problem is, you can only skimp so much before your body and soul starts to breakdown. When your soul break down and weary, it will be more difficult to come out with creative idea. And when your body starts to breakdown, you get sick. You will get less productive, earn less money, and pay hefty amount of medical bill.

The same thing applies to a company. HP during Mark Hurd’s time try to save money by skimping on Research and Development. The reason is simple: The economy was bad, so saving up is the best way to ensure the company can still operate.

But, Hurd was skimping too much in Research and Development. And the company breaks. When the economy finally recover, HP has all of its creative bloods sapped off from its R&D, and left in the rubble, trying to recover in commodity instead of creative market.

Same like human body, a business will breaks if the management skimp too much.

Being On Time

If you made an appointment at 10am, it means you need to show up at 10:00, not 10:15 or 10:30. 10:05 can still be tolerated as people sometime unintentionally set their clock 5 minute late. But definitely not 30 minutes late.

Make all effort to attend meeting or appointment in time. Leave early and aim to arrive 15-30 minutes in advance. Wait at nearby coffee shop within walking distance of your meeting, rather than somewhere that risk you to be caught in the traffic jam. By being in time, you show respect to other people time, and the higher importance you put to the meeting or the person you are going to meet. All these little things will bring you a long way forward.

You have made every effort to show up in time for your flight. Why not trying to do the same with your other appointment? Besides, I don’t ask you to be there 2 hours before, only 15 minutes before.

Real Artist Ship

Here is a few things to ponder. If Leonardo Da Vinci never put the painting of Mona Lisa out in the public, do you think the painting will become “the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world”?

If The Wachowski Brothers never put the film Matrix out for public view, do you think they will be as famous as they are today? If Mark Zuckerberg never open Facebook for public, do you think he will be as rich and famous as he is today?

You can plan forever, design for several iteration, do a build test, pilot run, and many more before your big launch. But, no matter how great your work is in whatever you are doing, a web designer designing a blog, an architect designing a house, a programmer writing a code for a games, a project manager doing transformation project, your work will never become an art until out into public. Unless you pack your final product and ship it out.

Putting your work out in the public means that making the connection between you, the artist, and the general public. It means that your product will influence and change the public in a way. It means, to be ready to be criticized by the public, and to fail. It also means to use the critics and lesson learn for the next iteration to make a better product.

Real Artist Ship. – Steve Jobs