I’ve started three different blog posts on three different topics in three different weeks. I’ve gotten 200 words into each, re-read it, and closed my laptop. I like the topics that come to mind, but for some reason, I can’t drive it to the finished product, frankly, I can’t get it to the halfway point without hitting some sort of roadblock.
As I moved past my 200th word on blog post number four, it finally clicked: just keep going. The final product may suck, it may not be polished, it may not get more than 20 views, but I’ll never know unless I just keep writing.
It’s an oddly perfect time to reminisce on my last few years as the world changes and shifts month over month, so let’s start from 2013. Note: I promise there’s a point to this story, spare me the next 3 minutes and I’ll drive it home.
I graduated from college in 2013 and got into personal training. It taught me a few early life lessons like professionalism, dealing with shitty bosses, and the fact that I don’t want to be in sales ever again.
I hit a bit of a quarter-life crisis and chose craft bartending as a next step. Don’t ask me about logic in that decision, it was a ton of fun and I met some cool people. The lessons that came out of that were creativity and following your passion. Also, I’ve yet to meet anyone who makes a better margarita, challenge me, please.
I wasn’t happy but didn’t know what to do next. I had two significant people in my life tell me I needed to make a tough decision to “get a real job.” Turns out tip money from a bar in a small city isn’t a great way to build long-term success.
I asked a successful friend to lunch to pick his brain about what steps I needed to take and something clicked and it all made sense, I just had to start and keep going.
Less than a month later I was an entry-level Marketing Associate at a startup SaaS company. The work felt below me like I was smarter and more skilled than what I was trusted to do. But I had my head down and just kept going. My dad’s advice from when I was younger kept ringing in my head, “work 20 years at your craft and you’ll be successful.”
On my one year anniversary I was promoted, given a raise, and granted stock options. This felt like such a milestone when in reality I was just getting started. I celebrated that weekend, then got right back to it the next Monday morning.
The happy ending wasn’t all that happy, because less than a year later the company went through a round of layoffs and I was let go. Being the quick learner I am, I fell back on my life lessons: take it professionally, be excited I didn’t have to work for an inadequate boss, drink a margarita or four, and just keep going.
I came to ReCharge as an entry-level Marketing Associate (again), apparently, my two-year career in startups wasn’t enough for a director-level role. The work was fun, challenging, exciting, and something I actually wanted to sink my teeth into. I could tell I was on a good path which helped me invest even more time into the company. Fast forward a bit, I’m managing a team of four responsible for all outward-facing content we produce.
You read all the way here? I’m impressed! I hope the lesson is pretty obvious by now, but in case you missed it…
JUST KEEP GOING.
It’s become a bit of a personal philosophy of mine. In tough times, in good times, in difficult times, when things are not going according to plan… just keep going. And it works for things of all sizes:
Starting a new job? Head down, push on, learn, and get better.
COVID lockdown? Stay mentally positive, get to the next day.
Missed a 5-foot putt for par? Take a breath and step to the next hole.
Starting a new project? Kick it off strong and keep moving.
Drank too many beers this weekend? Eat healthy today and get back to fitness.
Arguing with a friend? Step back and admit your faults, then reconcile.
Can’t write a blog post? Find an idea, start writing, and just keep going.
Take any motivational speaker you want, they’ll all say the same thing. I don’t claim to be GaryVee or [insert influencer here], so I’ll leave you with one of the great Will Smith quotes: “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”
Whatever is stopping you from doing that thing, figure out your plan, and just keep going. You’ll be better because of it.
Chase Alderton is the Growth Marketing Manager at ReCharge Payments. He is passionate about the psychology behind why people make decisions which influences his marketing strategy. Outside of work, you’ll find him in the gym, rooting for his Boston Celtics, or creating new cocktails.