The Success Paradox

I believe a lot of newcomers struggle in their entrepreneurial journey because they fail to understand that life is one big paradox.

In other words, things that seem completely opposite actually must coexist for balance. For example, there is no life without death. There is no hot without cold.

Here’s how this applies to entrepreneurship…

I looked up the origin and meaning of the word “achieve”. And I discovered that in late 14th century it meant “gain as a result of effort.”

Then I looked up the origin and meaning of the word “effort. In the late 15th century it meant “laborious attempt, strenuous exertion“, with roots in Vulgar Latin *exfortiare* meaning “to show strength“.

In other words, you must represent your strength through some painful action before you can achieve your end goal.

At least, that’s how I interpret it and it holds true from my experience.

“Effort is only effort when it begins to hurt.” [Ortega y Gasset, 1949]

Another way to look at it is… the fear of failure is the lack of understanding of paradox. In other words, you must experience failure in order to achieve your end result.

Again, there’s no success without the struggle.

Another important point is that I believe you must incorporate this understanding of paradox within your daily routine.

For example, the paradox in freedom is that you need some sort of disciplined structure to experience freedom. If you just ignored all your investments and businesses 24/7 you wouldn’t have any freedom left.

At the same time, I believe we all need some level of comfort, routine, and predictability. But the paradox is… we also need some sort of surprise and variety so things don’t get boring.

For example, a way this incorporates into my daily routine is that I practice the same direct response marketing and business fundamentals over and over. Yet, technology is always changing. Ad networks are always evolving. I do the same thing, yet it never gets boring because it’s always changing. Paradox.

How are you practicing your understanding of the paradox of life within your daily routine and entrepreneurial journey?