A colleague gave me a Brian Andreas drawing a few years back. It came with this quote:
Anyone can slay a dragon, he told me, but try waking up every morning and loving the world all over again. That’s what takes a real hero.
Those words cut deep through something I was struggling with. I couldn’t put my finger on it but I felt like I was missing something in my business and this quote held the answer.
I had just launched a hugely successful conference in NYC. It had sold out despite the fact that I had a teeny tiny list. The survey responses were thrilling. Everyone loved it!
It had been a herculean effort. I had slayed a dragon but the euphoria quickly faded. What was wrong?
That quote help me realize that the point of being an entrepreneur – at least a purpose driven entrepreneur – isn’t to slay the dragons. The purpose is to love the world. And doing that after I had just slayed a dragon felt hard.
I had put so much effort out I guess I expected cheering crowds to surround me and love me. But that isn’t the way it works.
As entrepreneurs we slay dragons FOR the people we love. And so on the other side of the dragon slaying we must give more love if we are truly to experience happiness and success.
That isn’t always easy. When you’ve been out dragon slaying you expect others to care for you. I mean you are their DRAGON SLAYER for goodness sakes.
But it’s not the crowd’s job (or your partner or you clients job) to give you what you need. You need to give it to yourself, or at least ask for it. You need to ask for and receive whatever it takes to be able to wake up each morning and love the world.
That one quote shifted my understanding of the whole point of everything I was doing. Dragon slaying got my ego fired up but loving the world got my soul shining happy.
Being a hero is hard. Loving the world after the failed sales call, the eight hours of copywriting, the tenth round of book edits, the Facebook post no one liked is hard. Every single one of those things you do to make your business grow, to serve your people more –whether they succeed or fail – are all the work of dragon slaying. The dragon slaying is important.
Figuring out what you need to do to wake up and love the world the next day – well that is the real work. That is what makes you a hero.