It’s Supposed to Be Hard


It's Supposed to Be Hard

Have you ever given up on something because it was too difficult?

I stopped playing tennis after practicing for five years because I felt I was nowhere as skilled as I should be for someone who has clocked in as many hours as I have.

I practiced every day for several years, competed against other schools, and even hired a private coach.

It seemed like everyone around me was more consistent than I was in their strokes. They knew how to move their feet and keep the ball in play. I couldn’t keep up.

Keeping this website going is probably one of the hardest things I do each week. I really started to notice how difficult it was just over a year ago.

It’s not easy to come up with new topics that I believe to add value after I’ve already published over 120 articles to date on this site alone. I wrote about the struggle to publish every Monday morning here and I still feel tested each week as I spend hours brainstorming, writing, and editing.

That’s not all.

When I first entertained the idea of starting my own business I almost immediately shrugged it off. There’s no way I could do that, I told myself. It’d be too risky. I should keep working as an employee and gain more experience before I was “ready.”

Besides, why take the heat and shoulder 100% of the risks when I was in a good spot? I was comfortable where I was and quite content. What good would it do to swing for the fences?

My biggest fear was that it’d be too hard.

Every time I get discouraged, I try to remember that it’s supposed to be hard.

No one said it’d be easy. Things rarely are.

Each time someone “makes it look easy” is when you should applaud the loudest. That person is actually performing a magic trick or an illusion. There are a lot of moving pieces in the background and they’re juggling a lot of balls in the air to make it look simple. They’re at a level of mastery that took years of behind-the-scenes work.

You see an article appear on this website every Monday morning at 4am Arizona time sharp. Shortly after, if you’re subscribed, you get an email delivered to your inbox straight from me at 1pm Arizona time the following day.

It all runs like clockwork and if you refresh the page at the right time, the article appears fresh off the presses. It’s cleanly formatted, complete with a carefully selected image at the top.

But what you miss is all the heavy lifting that went into getting that post in front of you today. You wouldn’t have ever heard of me or this site to begin with if I hadn’t put in the many grueling hours of marketing this website and building an audience.

You wouldn’t be reading this very article if I hadn’t spent tons of hours coming up with these topics and putting thoughts down into words.

As for my business, there are days where I feel like I’ve made a horrible mistake stepping out on my own. At times, it’s too scary and uncertain. It’s stress that I’ve never felt before.

But simultaneously, I’ve never felt more alive or rewarded. To my own surprise, it’s actually working out really well and I’m in an even better spot than I was before.

How difficult it is to run this website is worth it because it brought me to my dream job which eventually led me to my business. It’s all connected.

It’s hard. It’s trying. The ups and downs come in flux so rapidly that I sometimes blink and miss the transition. I wake up and find myself on the opposite end of the mood spectrum.

But no one told me it was going to be easy. It’s supposed to be hard.

If it weren’t, everyone in the entire world would be successful, happy, and content with their lives. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world, so we’ve got to do what we can to increase our odds of crafting the lifestyle we want.

That means you’re not allowed to blame external factors for your shortcomings. You’re not allowed to blame macroeconomics, politics, or whatever new excuse you came up with this week.

It’s supposed to be hard, so get to work.

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Vincent Nguyen is the author of Self Stairway and founder of Growth Ninja, a digital marketing agency that specializes in Facebook Ads. Voted "Most Guapo" five years in a row (lost during 6th year to a hand model.)

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22 responses to It’s Supposed to Be Hard

  1. Some motivating advice here! I think it’s really important to have the mindset you describe here – basically that anything worth having will require a lot of hard work.

    It’s easy to choose the easy way out, especially since our minds are conditioned to seek out the most comfortable path through life. But a good principle to keep in mind is that the path of least resistance is also usually the path of least reward.

  2. Anything worth doing is worth the work, I once heard. Bravo to you! Let’s get to it! 🙂

  3. Lasting changes take time. Your thoughts become your actions. Actions become habits. Habits define our character.
    In the end it’s up to each of us to make the decisions that take us closer to our goals.

    • True! What are your goals right now, Kathlynn?

    • Just to name a few…transformation in my attitudes towards money, career and personal life balance, great health and a sharp mind, seeing the opportunities around me.

      • Good stuff! My personal goals at the moment are:

        Build up a consistent monthly recurring revenue (I got a specific dollar milestone in mind)

        Practice optimism regardless of how drained I am or if I’m in a “not feeling like it” mood

        Stay active, which could be a lot of things

  4. Everytime I found new article from you in my inbox, I try to ignore it because I don’t have enough time to read it, but automaticaly I find myself starting read the article to know what it is about then I find it really interesting to read. This is breifly how can I decribe your attractive way of writing. Best wishes,

  5. It’s amazing to me how many times you write about something I’ve been struggling with also. I just wrote a post about goals vs. process and I was thinking about my sport of dog agility. I sometimes feel exactly like you described about your tennis game. I do know what you’re talking about. One day when I was talking with another agility person about how hard I was finding it she reminded me, “of course it’s hard, otherwise everyone would do it.” I laughed. So true. I have to stop writing now and get back to working those weave poles with my dog. (And no, there is no relationship to pole dancing.) 🙂

    • It just goes to show that you’re never alone. Everything you’re going through, you can bet that there’s someone not far from you struggling through the same. It’s comforting, really, to know that there are others out there and that they’re conquering whatever’s temporarily keeping them down. Gives you strength to persevere.

  6. Another great post.
    So much resonance.

    Not surrprisingly,I’ve found taking the easy way to avoid momentary difficulty leads to a much harder path. In the end you have to overcome your self imposed obstacles as well as the original one you avoided.

  7. Really an excellent post Vincent. It obviously resonates with your readers. Me too.

    It really strikes a chord at this particular time cause I’m also starting a business and the number of tasks, learning, hiring, delegating, etc. is un-eph-ing huge. What the hell did I bite off. But you are a kindred spirit so you know. You won’t give up until you give it all you got.

    And the one thing, well, maybe three things that make a big difference is 1 – delegate what you don’t like to do to someone else, and 2 – stay healthy by listening to yourself (keep aware of body, mind, and spirit), and 3 – stay flexible and adroit to respond as change inevitably occurs. The plateaus that I’m sure you are running into, like back in tennis, are tough to go beyond. But with persistence and perhaps some help from mentors, coaches, even mind tricks like hypnosis, one day you’ll suddenly find yourself on the rise again with new vigor and talent. Best to you man 😉

  8. Love and appreciate your articles. No#1 fan!!

  9. Great article!!!, changes and going after your dreams is difficult, scary and so uncomfortable (jumping into the unknown), but I have learned 2 things in this life of mine. 1. success is always preceded by hard work and 2. a very harsh reality is Life is not fair,the world don’t owe you anything, you have to get what’s yours. If things get messed up and difficult I just remember Martin Luther King Jr. famous words ” If you can’t fly, just run, If you can’t run, just walk, If you can’t walk, just crawl, Don’t stop moving by any means keep moving forward”

  10. Nobody said it was easy man! Words well said at the right time. Here I am going home at 8 in the night from work. One year ago, work was lax but no business! Now, business is overflowing- am I supposed to complain?

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