There’s no real how-to book for the entrepreneur

Posted on Posted in Work

If you haven’t read yesterdays post, do so now.

The hard work is hard not only because it’s hard to do, but it’s also hard to identify. At least, that’s what I’m finding. I could be totally missing something, but it seems like the easy stuff is all over the place. There’s how-to books for all the easy stuff. There’s school for it. Heck, there’s even consultants and mentors for you if you need.

The easy stuff is hard at first, but at some point, it gets just that, easy. Like I mentioned yesterday about writing code. When I started learning how to code for the web, it was hard. I couldn’t make things work, couldn’t write something efficiently and certainly couldn’t ever show anyone else how to do it. Now all those things are elementary to me like writing my ABC’s. Writing code may be hard or seem foreign to you, but it’s learnable. You can teach yourself the gist of it in a matter of hours. And you have something in your life that was hard at first, but it’s easy now.

The hard stuff is crazy hard. There are no how-to’s for it. No map. No instructions. I’m finding that being an entrepreneur is part of the hard stuff. It’s a bit like writing code was when I started, trying something and failing and then trying something else. The main difference I see is that there is never a point where it “clicks” and everything gets easier. Maybe I’m wrong, but I see even the top people of the industries I follow still failing from time to time.

The other thing I’m finding about the hard work is that it’s not identifiable. When I came across a problem learning code, I could identify that there was a problem somewhere in a certain line or chunk of it and start to narrow down the possibilities on how to fix it. The problem with the hard work is that I have no idea where to start. Sure, I’ve failed many times so I know a few things that won’t work for me, but that still doesn’t give me a good idea of what will. There are so many other choices, many of which I get to invent myself. (Which gives us another problem, there is no multiple choice for the hard work.)

So you see the problem we’re facing here. Doing hard work is important. It’s the way we build a future that is recession-proof among many other things. But the problem is figuring out what’s hard so we can go do it.

The flip-side to this is that if someone could identify the hard work for you, they would do it themselves rendering your efforts next to useless. So at least we have the opportunity to do something when we figure out what it is we need to do.


  • kentsanders

    Great thoughts, Jared. I was talking with a friend the other day about this sort of thing – about how there is tons of information out there about how to build a blog, publish a book, and a million other related things. And they all emphasize different things, so it’s extremely confusing to someone starting out. But there is no one who can sort out everything for you – you just have to get started and accept that you will make a bunch of mistakes, and enjoy the process of learning.

    By the way, I like the new site design. 🙂

    • Very true. Been thinking about it for some time actually and I get frustrated seeing so many people saying “Here’s how to do it…” when it may or may not work the same way for someone else. I understand that how-tos are very applicable in certain specific situations, but something like what we’re discussing here is a bit too abstract in my opinion.

      Thanks for stopping by. I decided it was time for a refresher and something I didn’t have to build. 😀