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The other day I saw an online story about Henry Winkler reinventing himself from “The Fonz” on Happy Days to the comedic acting coach on HBO’s Barry. His wife of 40 years talked about how important working is to Henry. And how sad she was for him going to audition after audition without being hired. Henry admitted that during days when he didn’t know what to do, he just hung on. He likened it to surviving a gale force wind. Last year, he got the part in Barry and won an Emmy for his performance.
“I mine the system every day,” says Henry Winkler. “But it really does work. If you are tenacious and if you have the will, it all comes back to you.”
Mining the system every day resonated with me. It likely resonates with you, too. It’s what we do inside our businesses. We mine our own system – our business. We dig and dig and dig some more. Working hard to find the gold, or diamonds or whatever precious thing we can. Mostly we’re all mining for success – defined however we choose to define it. We’re searching for momentum. And if we find it, or create it, then we keep mining to keep it. Or amplify it.
Hard work. Few occupations seem harder, more difficult physically and mentally than mining. At least, being the guys who go into the mine. Entrepreneurship is a different, but sorta the same kind of tough. It’s tough physically and mentally. It’s often dark and lonely, too.
Nothing beats hard work. Nothing.
You can’t replace it with anything else. There’s no equation where anything equals or surpasses hard work. Not talent. Or know-how. Or experience. Largely because a person who works hard has the number one ingredient for success, willingness!
Willingness was what drove Henry Winkler to find his next level of success. He was willing to do whatever was necessary to get a part. He wanted to keep working as an actor. That desire fueled his willingness, which in turn, amped up his work ethic.
He’s talented. Let’s not forget that, but even with a proven track record of success his phone wasn’t ringing. He had to go get success. He had to mine for it every single day.
Yesterday we talked a bit about complacency. There are many reasons why a person – including YOU – might grow complacent. But this much is sure, complacent people don’t mine every day. Willing, committed people do.
The system could represent any number of things, but for our purposes, it first represents your business or organization. Your enterprise is the vehicle that produces the value. The vehicle requires constant care and keeping. As the owner, or as a leader, that job depends on you doing your part.
For most top-level leaders, the mining you do is done through others. Non-leaders think it’s easy, but they don’t understand. It means worrying about the miners who do the actual digging inside your company. It means providing them with all the tools and resources they need. It means taking care of them. Each and every one of them. Their problems are your problems.
You know the pain of it. And the loneliness, but you wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s the kind of mining you most love.
Henry Winkler mined the acting system every day by doing what he could. Same goes for us. And all the people on our team.
When we’re on the gold it’s easy, but when we’re not it can be hard to keep up our determination. Winkler mentioned two aspects of mining that are critical: tenacity and will.
Tough times test them both.
Today’s episode is about encouragement. I want to encourage you to mine the system every day even if today’s haul isn’t what you hoped. Or if it is.
If it’s not, then keep at it. Henry’s right. It will come to you. Keep digging and believing. Keep learning, understanding and growing.
If it is coming to you, then amp it up even more. Strike while the iron is hot and all that. But there’s also the reality that a small improvement in success garners much greater success than a large improvement in failure. When you’re growing is the time to focus on growing even more. Give it all you’ve got. Every day.
No matter what.
Be well. Do good. Grow great!