Success: The Urgent Case for Greater Urgency

The definition of the word “hustle” (as I know it) includes the idea of working with a sense of urgency. The word hustle has lost something. Now it is used to describe entrepreneurial behavior or endeavors. Many of these endeavors die from the very lack of hustle necessary to acquire enough clients or customers fast enough to survive. There is little sense of urgency, and much of our actions now show up in mediums like email instead of more powerful—and more useful–mediums. There is currently an urgent need for greater urgency.

Results Now Are Better Than Results Later

Let’s assume you play the lottery called “Powerball.” (I know you don’t really play the Powerball and the only bet you make is on yourself, but this is a hypothetical). By some great fortune, you win a great fortune. The office where you need to fill out the forms and collect your new-found wealth opens at 8:00 AM. What time do you show up to receive your winnings?

I imagine you are sitting in the parking lot hours before the first employee shows up to open the lottery office. You would rather have the money sooner rather than later. You would want to pull that result forward in time. If you agree with these statements, then you should work to obtain that same outcome in every other area of your life.

If it takes twelve months to nurture and win your dream client, starting today is better than starting tomorrow. The sooner you begin the process, the sooner you produce the result. Waiting to take action move the result further into the future when you should want to pull it forward in time. You pay the penalty when you are lazy, distracted, or procrastinate. You pay an even more massive penalty when you don’t know what you want, don’t have goals, and fail to build a plan to achieve them.

Speed Acquisition of Results and Opportunities

You have no doubt heard of a vicious cycle, that downward spiral you find yourself in where one bad event leads to the next. You may not know, however, that a vicious cycle has an opposite called a virtuous cycle. In a virtuous cycle, one good event leads to another and another. It’s an upward spiral of higher results and rewards.

The sooner you create the first positive result, the sooner you produce the second one. You can’t start the process of creating a virtuous cycle if you don’t start. The speed at which you generate the results is the speed of your spiral. If you don’t work with urgency, the space between successes means your upward spiral will crawl up instead of racing in that direction. Urgency allows you to narrow the space between results, and as they get closer together, you create a flywheel.

As you produce results and create success, you are provided with more opportunities. Those opportunities accelerate your success even more. Urgency comes with immense advantages. Sloth, apathy, cynicism, and self-doubt come at a price that no one should have to bear. Many bear it while incorrectly believing urgency would require more of them.

Urgency Creates a Competitive Advantage

There is a famous saying that goes something like, “Slow and steady wins the race.” Apparently, the person who said this has never actually run a race. Or perhaps they had just read Aesop’s fables. The point of the saying is that slow and steady beats fast and sporadic, a position no one would deny. The truth, however, is that fast and steady wins the race.

Urgency creates a competitive advantage. Moving sooner and faster than your competition gives you an advantage. In markets, we call this first-mover advantage, where a company makes the market and captures share before any of their competitors (or would-be competitors) has a chance to respond. In sales, the first person to gain a meeting and shape their dream client’s view of their challenges or opportunities tends to win. There is research I have seen cited (without ever seeing the data myself) that suggests that the first person that returns a call also tends to win. Their call causes their prospect to stop calling other companies to look for help (a steep penalty to pay for moving too slow).

If you want success sooner, you must produce results sooner. If you want to produce results sooner, you need to act with a sense of urgency.

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