As a boy, I used to sprint from room to room during my free play times. I couldn’t wait to get from one activity to another. I would dash from playing with my MatchBox cars to playing baseball outside to eating a snack in the kitchen. It became habitual, and my parents used to hate the noise and chaos that would ensue.
As an adult working in Silicon Valley, I acknowledge that often my work days are not that different. I switch between calls with clients, to email and to working on projects with equal velocity. I think much of Silicon Valley is this way. If you’re prone to working fast, you probably work on multiple things at one time.
It’s even got a name of sorts now — Hacking. It’s the shortcut way to success, or so we think.
Our culture tends to look up to the people who accomplish grand things at an early age, like graduating from college at 15 years old, or founding and selling a start-up by 30 (okay, maybe by 21 to really impress folks). All this sprinting and hacking, but what’s the rush? Here’s a person who agrees with me:
I often talk to folks who want to pursue consulting and ask me for tips and advice. Some of those folks want the “Hack Way” to get to success. I disappoint those types 100% of the time, because the truth is that I don’t know the Hack Way. For me, it’s been more of a slow crawl.
I’ve been consulting for 10 years now and we’ve slowly, but surely found our way and had a bit of success. It’s required a lot of commitment, faith, belief and good old hard work.
I’m living proof that persistence pays off. I think this might be the very first year of my life I’ve even allowed myself the luxury of looking back and enjoying how far I’ve come. It’s hokey, but the journey is what matters. All the failures, all the mis-steps, as well as all the little successes along the way, make it worthwhile and rewarding.
I think if I would have hacked my way there in two years versus ten, I wouldn’t appreciate it. I probably would be on to hacking something else (maybe not so well either). I’m much more appreciative of our successes and patient with our failures. I think I see opportunities more clearly and have finally begun to appreciate the long crawl.