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Real Success and The Hustle

I had the privilege of talking to a group of business people and young entrepreneurs a few weeks back. Despite the chilly morning and grey skies they were really amped up - they knew they'd get the INSTANT FIX to ALL their business challenges in one sitting. They were sorely disappointed...

What exactly happened ? Well, after the overall ice breakers and introductions we did some deep soul searching: we got real about starting out, finding your ideal market, developing your product..blah blah...we covered MINDSET in real detail...THEN I finally gave them the REAL reason their businesses were not yet at the point they wanted them to be: #1 was HARD WORK; most of the attendees had a dream but were not doing much beyond that, #2 , the other was PATIENCE - the ones who were already hustling it out on the other hand were complaining that there simply were no results 2,3,6 months into the game !

How does SUCCESS look? REAL success? Where everything is balanced - spirit, mind, body, family, money. You may already know this or heard about it, how it's a winding road - a tough road - the cliche is so common we understand that bit. It goes something like this:

This post though is more about HOW success is achieved rather than WHAT it actually looks like. After all, success is for all intents and purposes subjective.

This post is about how you navigate that doodle between your STARTING POINT and your BREAKTHROUGH on the SUCCESS PATH, whether that path means marriage, business, religion, wealth, academics or health to you.

This is real-talk, from experience and not simply an inspirational piece.


# 1. DREAMING - everyone does this, EVERYONE at some point or another in their life has a dream! Every child wants to be a president, princess, dad, mom, soldier, king, body builder or SPIDER-MAN - every kid has a DREAM.

IRRESPECTIVE of your station in life or financial or cultural background, we all have a deep intrinsic desire to be better with each passing day, we picture a better future. No one wants to be truly hopeless even in the darkest of spaces. When HOPE dies, the body quickly follows suit.

# 2. TRY - If you act out on your dream, make that first step; attend a seminar, buy a book, talk to someone about it, write down your goals, enrol for a training program or join a gym - you've lent HOPE to your dream. You've placed it in the soil of opportunity. You've given it a start.

The GOOD THING about this action is that you're in the bracket of almost less than 50% of the dreamers that actually do anything about it. But trying alone is not enough...that's why we must ....

# 3. DO - when you move from MOTIVATION to ACTION, then you're really watering your dream. Now you're in a state of PROGRESS! In progress we find happiness.

When you register a business, make a Facebook post, book a stand, meet clients, develop a running or gym routine - when you do those little things that add to the BIG PICTURE - you're now in a circle of VERY VERY FEW people.

A very common theme for those in Step 3 is the realisation that those closest to you - spouses, pastors, parents, best friends - will tell you to give up in one form or another. They aren't to blame though. Your biggest challenge at this point will be SELF DOUBT - your own inner voice saying, 'This was a big mistake after all, let's go back to bed,'. TRUE success then comes to those who....

# 4. FAIL, BUT STILL DO - and rinse and repeat and continue until onlookers will actually think them CRAZY. When people start giving you the 'crazy look' I assure you success is around the corner. You see, success doesn't look normal to the average person and the only way to actually know you're successful is when your results are a) better than yesterday, b) above ordinary vs the average person and c) give you utter fulfilment.

The indicators for success are rarely put in the motivational books. Late nights, auctioneers, deserting friends, lack of money, loneliness and a general feeling of overbearing FEAR. If you understand that these indicators are not there to DESTROY you but rather to build your CHARACTER to manage the IMMENSE SUCCESS coming your way, then you'll stick to the GRIND.


Hustling is not doing, hustling is to continue doing through failure until you break through.

That my friends is how you navigate that doodle to the other you get from HERE to THERE.

The author, Jan Okonji is an entrepreneur, speaker, coach, and Founder of the Pan-African accelerator BGS – Business Growth Solutions.

Jan is passionate about helping employees transition safely into entrepreneurship whilst turning their great ideas into profitable businesses and has helped entrepreneurs collectively grow their revenue to over $ 10 Million in the course of running BGS.

Get in touch with him and book a personal session HERE

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