It all comes down to one word:
Yesterday was the first time I got to read my dossier for the 40 women to watch over 40. In it was a quote from someone who had nominated me:
“I think that perseverance is key to her success.”
The tagline from my interview that just aired with Real Talk/ Real Women said,
“The big difference in making things happen is: you just keep doing it.”
Clearly, the impression I leave is consistent. It’s also accurate. As I worked on the programming for our second game this week, I thought, I know there are better programmers than me, people who have a lot of really elegant solutions I would not have thought of. My success comes from just not giving up and lots of old-fashioned hard work.
Two things I learned from sports still apply to my life today running a business. The first is that variety is good. When I was tired of practicing drills in judo, I could go out and run track. I was on my college track team and the U.S. judo team at the same time. When I was exhausted from working out, I studied, and when I was bored studying, I went and worked out.
Last week, I made pretty good progress on game 2, worked on it A LOT. Then we drove to Las Vegas and had a meet-up with our Kickstarter backers and representatives from different school districts. (Thank you so much to everyone who came.)
Today, I went back to working on the coding, got frustrated with some code that should work but doesn’t and after a few hours did one of the problem videos as an example for three of my collaborators who are doing voiceover and animation so they have a tangible model. When that was done, I wrote this blog.
The second sports lesson is a line from track coach:
Champions always do more.
When I was competing, I would try to get to practice 15 minutes early and knock out 50 or 100 repetitions of an arm bar or some other drill. I’d try to stay 15 minutes late and do the same thing. In my conditioning workout, I always tried to run an extra mile after I was tired, do an extra set at weightlifting, in some way get in at least another 10 minutes. Even if I only did this six days out of seven, and 50 weeks out of 52 and only for the last ten of the 14 years that I competed, those minutes came up to an extra 2,000 hours of training. And thus are world championships earned.
Every night when I am thinking about knocking off, I try to finish one more thing. Tonight it is a conference paper I am working on for the Turtle Mountain Disability conference in October. It will be their first time holding it and I’m really excited about the topic, “I’m from the Internet and I’m here to help (people with disabilities)”
After that, I’ll work for a bit on my paper on factor analysis for the Western Users of SAS Software meeting in November.
So, those are numbers 43 and 44 of 55 things that I have learned in (almost) 55 years – the secret of success is doing more, and when you are tired, just do more of something else.