The Hard Work I Do

by Michael Simmons on Jun 26, 2010

Below is a list of the hard work I choose to do in order to live my purpose:

  1. Going to bed around 10:00pm on weeknights and waking up at 6:00am. I’d rather stay up late reading blogs and watching TV and then sleep in as late as I want.
  2. Meditating for 30-60 minutes a day on weekdays. Most of the time, I’d rather be doing stuff than being alone with my thoughts.
  3. Making sales calls every single day. I used to be terrified of calling past or existing customers. It was just outside of my comfort zone. Now, everyday, I know that the most important work I can be doing is understanding our cusotmer’s needs better and expanding our relationship. Now, many customers are friends.
  4. Being a vegan and eating little sugar and saturated fats. I know that not eating properly has the ability to throw my whole day off and make me very silly. It also makes it much harder to focus and do the work that must get done. At the same time, I still want to eat ‘bad’ food when I see it.
  5. Doing the most important things first. I start off the day doing what I’ve already established as the most important stuff, not necessarily the stuff I most want to do.
  6. Speaking in public. I grew up being very shy, and I still consider myself introverted. I get nervous every time I speak, granted a lot less than I used to. This year, I had a lot of firsts. I spoke to three audiences over 1,500 people. I spoke internationally. I spoke to MANY groups of students who were required to be there by their teacher who came from a completely different background than I did. I’ve spoken to audiences that have consisted of entrepreneurs with businesses in the tens of millions and hundreds of millions. I spoke to an audience with the former secretary of education and Steve Forbes. All of these were outside my comfort zone.
  7. Spending 6 hours per day with my daughter during the week. Although, I love this time, I ALWAYS feel like I’m behind on my work. As an entrepreneur, I always have the fear in the back of my mind that we could go bankrupt. To spend time with my daughter and be with her, I must let go of my ‘stories’ about what I should be doing.

These are tough trade-offs. They are trade-offs that must be made every single day. Sometimes, I cave in to my ‘lizard brain’. However, I know they’re the right thing to do in order to live my purpose.

What hard work do you do?



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I'm the co-founder of Empact, one of the leading entrepreneurship education organizations in the world. I'm obsessed with understanding how we all can lead meaningful lives that have a positive social impact. I love probing into the truth of how we experience life. I believe that challenges are what make us grow the most, and I openly share my experiences. Continue reading…


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