The #1 Cornerstone of Success

I’ve spent a lot of time in my life looking for something “better.”

When I was a musician, I was “looking” for something better in the business world.

When I was in the business world, I was “looking” for something better in the marketing world.

In each subject area, I’d work really hard at the beginning. I’d either have some good success or great success and then BAMO… the bottom would fall out.

The glitz and shine of the new would wear off, or maybe I’d just get bored.

Either way, the result was the same over and over: Things would start to get old and I’d start “looking” again.

I would always approach “greatness” or the start of it anyway, and then run over and start looking for another mountain to climb.

Maybe I was afraid of success, maybe I was afraid of criticism, I don’t know. And it doesn’t really matter.

The important lesson I (finally) learned is that operating like this is no way to live or run a business.

One, it’s tiring as heck.

Two, it’s kind of selfish. Because living like that keeps me from making the real breakthroughs in life. The ones that often require many, many days of what I used to consider monotony. Those are the breakthroughs that will really allow me to make an impact on the world.

Making an impact requires excellence. And that comes from doing stuff over and over.

I did that in the music world. I practiced my instrument a lot. Sometimes as much as four hours in a single day. I talk about it like it’s a lot, but in the world of a professional musician, that’s really nothing.

Whether I practiced 20 minutes or four hours, I wasn’t mature enough at the time to continue doing the work when I got bored.

And I have to tell you, I got bored very often. But that’s because I was “blind.”

I couldn’t see the work for what it was – a path to achieving something great for myself and others. Mainly for others.

Instead, I just saw the work as more work, and I didn’t have the discipline to do it.

I’ve grown up a bit since those days.

Now I know that my “work” is developing the discipline to stick around and to keep doing my work.

I do the work even if it’s easy. Especially if it’s easy. It’s easy because I’m good at it. It’s easy because it’s a gift. A gift I’m supposed to share. And I can always get better… closer to being EXCELLENT.

For me, I think this is the key to success:

Develop the focus and discipline to do the things I’m good at over and over. To become GREAT at them. Not in a robotic lifeless kind of way, but in a more methodical, deliberate and conscious way.

I’m betting that at the end of my life, I’m not going to look back and talk about how much money I made in such little time or anything like that.

But I do imagine that I’ll probably look back on my life and ask myself just how many lives I changed and by how much.

So what does this have to do with business?

I think a lot of business owners do the same thing.

In the end, it’s easy to devalue and skip over what comes easy for you. After all, there’s no struggle in it. There’s no “overcoming adversity” in it.

There’s no big “I DID it” release when you get to the end.

That’s the story line that plays out over and over again in the movies. Man overcomes all odds to achieve success.

That’s just not how it happens most of the time. That’s not real, it’s just a story.

In my experience, “success” is far less exciting than I thought it was going to be.

It reminds me a bit of a business owner I know who told me about a really successful marketing campaign he did once… and then said something like, “Yeah, we never did it again.”

Instead of looking for the “right work” my goal now is to do my work the “right way” for me.

And that is to do it like it matters. Because it does.

We’re all on this earth to do something or be something. And we all have to figure out what that is.

I think it’s easy for those of us that are afflicted with this syndrome called entrepreneurialism to always be striving… always searching for that thing that’s going to give us “the rush.”

A new marketing method, a new piece of software, a new cutting edge technique…

I know I’m guilty of it.

Instead of executing what I do well on a consistent basis, my focus was always on searching for the new and exciting.

Sure I could generate traffic, sales, clients, readers by sitting down every day and writing something valuable. We get addicted to the climb instead of addicted to excellence.

Don’t discount what you do well just because it’s easy for you. Even if it seems too easy or unexciting.

You could be on your way to something great.

And that is what the world needs now more than ever. The world is waiting for you to discover your greatness.

Do your work. Over and over and over again.

[Ed. Note: Jason Leister is an internet entrepreneur, direct response copywriter and editor of “The Client Letter,“ the daily e-letter from, where he helps independent professionals create success. You can contact him via his website at]