By Steve Moran
I recently came across an article at Inc.com titled “The One Thing Nobody Ever Tells You About What It Takes To Innovate” and it started me down memory lane to the very early days of Senior Housing Forum.
The Secret Sauce
A number of years ago, when people were first starting to notice Senior Housing Forum, a reader reached out to me about meeting at an ALFA (now Argentum) conference. I was on Cloud 9! Someone who was reading my stuff wanted to meet ME! (My confession: I still love it when this happens, though it is more frequent and, as a result, we have better conversations.)
I could hardly wait. We set a time and place and immediately after meeting, he said this: “The reason I really wanted to meet is that I want to learn how to start a blog kinda like yours.”
I immediately went from delighted to offended. How dare you try to, in a moment, learn from all my hard work, pain and failure!
I don’t remember exactly what I said, but I am guessing it was not very helpful, because it sounded like he was asking how he could go into competition with me.
Boy, Was I Dumb!
First . . . if you are that person and reading this, I want to say, “I am sorry for being kind of a jerk and that I don’t remember you.”
On reflection, it dawned on me that the reason I was succeeding was not exactly some kind of magic formula or secret sauce that he or anyone could steal. I figured out that I had a way of thinking and writing that resonated with the senior living community, but it turns out that was not and is not the magic secret.
Grinding it out was really the secret sauce.
The magic secret was . . .
Every evening sitting in front of the TV sending out hundreds of connection invites. So many that it maxed me out each and every day . . . for me and Senior Housing Forum, it meant sending thousands of LinkedIn invites, which got me in the penalty box at least three times, including a 30.
Making a commitment to publish one article a week, then two . . . and never ever, no matter what, skipping publishing.
Forcing myself to walk up to strangers and introduce myself.
It was, at the end of the day, that I was willing to grind it out each and every day. In some sense it was not really a grind because I could see results and progress, but at the same time it would have been easy to just not do it, but I knew that wasn't an option.
Grind and Vision
I am convinced that being able to grind it out each and every day, week, month and year is ultimately all about having a vision for “what can be". Without a vision for what can be -- and a belief that you can turn your vision into a reality -- it is impossible to grind, and without the willingness to grind it is impossible to achive the success you desire.