Stay positive, work hard, make it happen.

Winners embrace hard work. They love the discipline of it, the trade-off they’re making to win. Losers, on the other hand, see it as punishment. And that’s the difference.”~ Lou Holtz

Contrary to what you’ll hear from the “something for nothing” crowd, real success does actually require a lot of hard work.

That doesn’t mean the work has to be unpleasant. Most top achieving entrepreneurs and business owners love their work – but it is usually hard work nonetheless.

Unfortunately, there’s this big movement being taught in success books that all you have to do is think positive thoughts and everything will come to you automatically. Wealth. Happiness. Sunshine. And Rainbows. Everything good in life.

Being generally optimistic is important.

In addition to having a positive attitude, you must have a realistic attitude toward work. People will tell you to think positive and you’ll get positive results. But they forget to mention that you need a positive attitude and a solid work ethic.

It’s easy to understand why the “easy” message sells much better than the “work hard” one. Who doesn’t want to take the easiest path? We all do.

The cost of anything is measured by the amount of life you’re willing to exchange for it.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

If you want to really be successful in your business, there’s no easy, simple way to do it. There are systems and shortcuts that can automate the process, but the people who have paid the largest price, in terms of the sacrifice, the commitment, the dedication, the hours they’ve put into their enterprises… those entrepreneurs and business owners are the people who are likely to ultimately experience the success they claim to be seeking.

There’s a fascinating story about Bill Gates that I think illustrates this point.

He went to a Mercedes dealer to pick up a new Mercedes and one of the first things he told them was, “I want you to take the radio out of it.”

Puzzled as to why Bill Gates would want to remove the radio from his brand new car, they asked him why. He had them remove the radio simply because he didn’t want any distractions. While he would drive to and from his office, he wanted to stay focused on his work.

That’s certainly an extreme example, but it represents a man who was totally into his vision. He didn’t want anything to get in the way of his focus on his business goals.

Look, if you really want your business to be successful, you can’t just have a positive attitude. You’ll have to focus and work hard in your business. U.S. President Abraham Lincoln once put it, “Good things come to those who wait, but only what’s left over from those who hustle.”

It’s true. So get out there and hustle to make your business everything you want it to be.

-Michael Halsey