Eric Thomas is one of the hottest motivational speakers in the business. The guy is gifted there are no two ways about it. I discovered him a couple of years ago and highlighted one of his most famous speeches in a post called “How Bad Do You Want to Be Successful?”
In his talk he said, “If you want to be successful you gotta be willing to give up sleep.” When I launched my first business back in the early nineties that was part of the gig. I worked a regular J.O.B from 9 to 5 and then worked my passion until I feel asleep late into the night. It was nothing to get only 2 or 3 hours sleep if a big deadline was approaching. Still to this day if I’m locked-in on a project I will forget to eat or work late in to the night. I don’t think twice about it. Sleep is simply not that high or my priority list.
In one of Eric’s latest speeches to a group of students, he says something in a way I had never heard it said before.
Your dad can be a billionaire, but the drive he had to get the billions (is his) – he can’t take you to Walmart to buy the drive. You can’t go buy drive. They don’t sell it.
The written word does’t do it justice. Go listen to it – the Heart of Detroit.
The drive, desire, passion of the most successful people is unmistakable. Eric was homeless. He sleep outside and ate from places unimaginable. Even if Walmart sold drive he didn’t have the money to buy it. Will Smith says if he gets on a treadmill with you either one of two things will happen. Either you will get off first or he will die (Will Smith – I’m Not Afraid to Die on a Treadmill). There are countless other examples.
Eric’s quote also got me thinking about the century old debate – are entrepreneurs born or made? It’s safe to say that entrepreneurs have drive. They make up less than 1% of the population. If you are in the top 1% of anything – you have something going on. The politically correct answer to this question is that entrepreneurs are made. That means that anyone that wants to become an entrepreneur can become one. I actually lean towards the “made” camp.
That said, there is a gap in the “made” camp’s theory. I’ve taken a number of courses on entrepreneurship and have never heard it mentioned. Read numerous books – nothing. Business plans don’t address it.
In my opinion, the will to succeed is truly the secret sauce. I have no idea where it comes from. I’m not sure if it is a made or born thing, but one thing is certain – Passion, Drive, Desire, the Will to Succeed can’t be bought. They don’t sell it.
Check out Eric Thomas’ new book “The Secret to Success.” It’s a great book. I read it in two sit-downs.
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