April 10, 2012 by Speakers' Spotlight
How Bad Do You Want It?
Guest blog from Josh Linkner
Josh Linkner is the New York Times Bestselling author of Disciplined Dreaming – A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity, named a top 10 business book of 2011. He is CEO and Managing Partner of Detroit Venture Partners. Together with Magic Johnson and NBA team owner Dan Gilbert, he is actively rebuilding urban areas through technology and entrepreneurship. Josh is also the Founder and Chairman of ePrize, the largest interactive promotion agency in the world. Prior to ePrize, he was the founder and CEO of three other successful technology companies. Among writing for The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today and The New York Times, Josh is a regular columnist for Fast Company, Inc. Magazine and Forbes.
My friend Les Gold, star of the hit TV series Hardcore Pawn, gave a dynamic speech this week that left the audience mesmerized. His opening line really struck me: “How bad do you want it?”
As products of a consumer-driven society, we want just about everything. We want fancy cars, palatial homes, and exotic travel. We also want perfectly toned bodies, extraordinary athletic abilities, a big circle of friends, dozens of hobbies, and a close-knit family. Our wants are limitless.
The challenge becomes prioritization and sacrifice. As the sage childhood advice proclaims, “You can have anything you want but you can’t have everything you want.” Knowing that human desire surpasses the 24-hour-a-day limit, choosing what’s most important is critical. Without that focus, your energies become defuse and you end up accomplishing very little.
“How bad do you want it?” Les gets in the audience’s face with his trademark intensity. He’s referring to your commitment to reaching your goals and questioning the sacrifices you’re willing to make in order to win. The most successful people do what other won’t, not what others can’t. If you want something but refuse to do whatever it takes to get there, it’s merely fanciful dreaming. Those that truly commit to their goals and will walk through fire to achieve them are the ones that win in good times and bad.
Les works out seven-days-a-week at 5am. I’m sure there are days he’d rather stay in his warm bed, but he’s willing to sacrifice short-term pleasure for long-term fulfillment. Dealing with tough customers at his pawnshop empire can be difficult and often dangerous. But he shows up every day. Fearless. Driven. Committed.
It’s so easy to cast blame when we fall short. Between the economy, governmental regulation, fierce competition, and “not enough time in the day”, there’s no shortage of excuses. But when you’re busy moaning, someone else is busy winning. They’re willing to own personal responsibility for their results. Willing to do whatever it takes, no matter how distasteful, to achieve. Are you?
When you combine intense focus with unbendable grit and determination, nearly anything is possible. As you set out to make your biggest mark, you will undoubtedly need to make some tough sacrifices along the way. If it were easy, everyone would be a champion.
Are you ready to fight through rain, sleet, and snow? Are you ready to exert discipline and focus? Are you ready to be relentless?
How bad do you want it?