Give your all to your life. You can’t be half-in, half-out.” –Urban Meyer
You’ve heard the term “all in,” haven’t you? It means being fully committed to something. The term is borrowed from poker, where “all in” means having all of your chips at stake in a particular hand.
As you know, I’m a football fan. I enjoy watching the games, and I also enjoy learning life lessons from the sport, its players, and its coaches. Today I learned a lesson from Ohio State Head Football Coach Urban Meyer.
In 2012, Meyer spoke briefly to a group of high school wrestling coaches about the three things that must be present for a person to be all in for his or her team.
These same three things apply to your solopreneur life.
When You’re All In:
1. Choices become commands.
When you love your spouse, you’re totally committed to the relationship, Meyer says. If you love your spouse, then working on your relationship is no longer a choice, it’s a command.
If your solo business is designing websites, then you know this: striving for perfection is no longer a choice, it’s a command.
If you’ve hung out your shingle and you’re working as a defense attorney, you know that doing everything you can within the law to help your client is no longer a choice, it’s a command.
2. You make sacrifices.
What does it mean to make sacrifices? It means “killing” the things that affect your ability to be “all in,” Meyer says. “And how do you kill something? You cut off its energy sources.”
What do you need to “kill” in your life? What’s affecting your ability to be all in? What should you sacrifice?
It could be your lifestyle. It could be a friend who’s jealous of your new life and your enthusiasm for work. (It could be Netflix! Do you want to have a great day at work tomorrow? Then turn off Netflix and get at least 8 hours of sleep tonight.)
3. You devote the time.
If you’re all in, you give the time that’s needed to be great, Meyer says.
Author Malcolm Gladwell agrees. In his book “The Tipping Point,” Gladwell addressed the issue of time and he made the term “10,000 hours” famous. He studied successful people and discovered they had devoted 10,000 hours to their craft before they “made it big.”
Gladwell cited the Beatles, who seemingly were an overnight sensation in the early 1960s. But for several years prior to that, the Beatles had traveled to Germany on weekends to perform at military bases. They did at least three shows a day. But when the Beatles got their chance at stardom, they had put in the 10,000 hours and they were ready.
Gladwell further explained that nearly every discipline requires roughly 10,000 hours to achieve competency.
You have to put in the time to be all in.