What are you willing to do or give up to build your business?

I was talking to somebody recently and they said, “Carrie, have you always been so driven? Have you always had this work ethic?” I had to really think about that.

I have to say my dad had an amazing work ethic and my mom taught us that if you’re going to do it halfway, you’ll end up having to do it again…so just do it right the first time. We all know that the faster you do it (correctly) and get it over with, the sooner you can get to the fun stuff. That’s true even as a grown up. Shh, don’t tell mom she was right. She always says she knows best.

Let’s take a look around at business owners and life builders that you consider a ‘success’ – the reason why they (& I) have the results we have is because we’re simply willing to do what others are not willing to do.

One of my role models early in my business career, Pamela Waldrop Shaw from Bowling Green, Kentucky, said, “You need to be willing to do what others are not so that you will have a life that others will never have.” She also said, “Are you willing to work harder than you’ve ever worked in your life for two years of concentrated intense relentless action so that you never have to work quite that hard again in your life?”

Well, I don’t know about you…I can do anything for two years. I can absolutely do anything for two years and my answer was a resounding, “Yes!”

What I’ve found is when I’ve poured myself into two years of intense effort and then I loved the results, I also loved the momentum, changed my direction a tad and then poured two years into something else, then two years into something else. We grow. We evolve. We see results and it pushes us forward into new seasons of life and business.

It’s addictive really. I still had time for my family, I still had time to play, still time to pursue things I’m passionate about, but I was willing to do what others were not. Are you?

Now, what are some of the things I’m willing to do? I gave up TV about 7 years ago and have never looked back. I don’t have any ‘shows’ I follow. I have never seen one episode of any virtual reality TV and I don’t watch the news. It’s something I was willing to do…even if I ‘deserve’ to unplug and unwind and relax and be entertained…. a few other things…

• I’m willing to get up early.

• I’m willing to work late.

• I’m willing to do without a little sleep if I need to.

• I’m willing to think outside the box.

• I’m willing to have my feelings hurt

• I’m willing to learn new skill sets, new technologies, new software, and new processes.

• I’m willing to make some sacrifices financially if I need to

This seems to be a pattern in my life. What about yours?

==> When I was getting ready to go to college, I worked two jobs that summer while my friends were playing.

==> I worked all the way through college and took 27 credit hours my last semester and 18 hours my last summer session.

==> As a newlywed, I took a job for 80 hours a week for several months so that we could pay off our student loans.

So, even when I was young, I was willing to do what some others weren’t so I could have different results.

My friend, author Frank McKinney says, ‘to live an extraordinary life, you must resist the ordinary.’ (WOW)

So, what are you willing to do?

Olympians get up and train in the dark before school. They often give up parties with their friends, social activities, relationships, fun stuff. Maybe they don’t have any time on Facebook, maybe they don’t have time to listen to their iPod, they are busy training for their dreams.

What are you willing to do?

Are you willing to make the sacrifice for your dreams? If you’re not, don’t blame the course you took, the age of your kids, the market, your coach or all this ‘new technology.’

You need to ‘cowboy up’ and say, “It’s because I am not willing to give this the attention it deserves. I am not willing to chalk up my hands and get back on the beam and get to work. I’m just not willing.”

And honestly… that is OKAY…but realize there is no one to blame, you’re just not willing perhaps.


I am willing to be driven. I am willing to achieve some very big things and I still have some very big things I want to achieve. I think you can too, but you just have to resolve that one question, What are you willing to do?

PS Before you blast me about ‘all work no play makes Carrie very dull’ – let me assure you that short term sacrifice equals long term gain and I’ve lived a life that I’m very proud of. I have an amazing marriage, gorgeous children (4), incredible trips & experiences and I don’t regret one single choice I’ve made in those short bursts of sacrifice, investment and attention.

Now I want to hear from you below!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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41 thoughts on “What are you willing to do or give up to build your business?

  1. Carrie :
    Thanks for this post, I have believed this for years. I get that im all work no play thing, but I do enjoy a few things in life, but choose to include them into my life to be able to enjoy them.
    Like taking an extra day to ride motorcycle to work an event, rather then fly there.
    After reading, I think its time to see some other things I could cut back on to make my dream happen.
    Thanks again

  2. Tim… Always love your input and insight! While I don’t believe in
    ‘balance’, haha – I also see that there are times we need to reward
    ourselves with UNPLUG and BE time! When we TRULY have earned it by
    playin ‘full out’

  3. LOVE this post – thanks for sharing. Am on the cusp of making a major jump to do that in next few weeks, so thanks so much for reinforcing what I was thinking. It’s always great to get your super-dooper encouragement. Thanks and big hugs from Ireland. C

  4. and i KNOW when you have tiny ones it’s a crazy circus…but my little ones motivated me SO MUCH to achieve while they were little so they could reap all the great rewards as they grew!

  5. I defy ANYONE to call you dull, Carrie!

    In fact – I think that just goes to show that, even without the “usual” stuff that other people have in their lives, you are still fun, focused AND family oriented. A true role model!

    I agree with having no TV and the late nights/early mornings. That has made a real difference to me over the years.

    Sacrificing my ego! Watching, learning and being mentored by other people who are steps ahead of me is the INTELLIGENT thing to do and although I’ve been stretched in ways I never thought possible, I’m also in a place I never thought possible, too :)

    Thanks for reminding us that sacrifice can mean short term loss but is a huge long term investment for the better!


  6. Could not agree more! I just walked away from a steady paying job to build my business and we are spread thin financially for the moment but nothing compares to the freedom and joy thats found in creating your life driven by your vision! Most people are too afraid to try.

  7. Carrie,
    I have always appreciated your hard work and tenacity. I have watched and learned with you over the past years. I have learned a lot from you. If I could sum up everything you have said it is one word: Focus. This is what I have got out of what you are saying. We have a large whiteboard in our kitchen for daily important stuff that we need to do in our family. At the top of that board my husband has written, ” Your fodus will become your reality”.

  8. love this and with the news today about the Hudson River tragedy where the
    mom drove in with her kids…tragic…makes me focus even more on building a
    great llfe, focusing on my blessings and encouraging those around me

  9. I think most of us have to get to the point were we are more afraid NOT to
    try than to try and fall down 😉

    (So proud of you!)

  10. so proud of you Pattie!! we have been mutually watching, yes?

    same can be true of weight loss — most are not willing to give up the
    sleep, the snacks, the sedentary life for the body they ‘think’ they want.
    that’s okay too as long as they realize the choice is theirs!

  11. I think being willing to make the sacrifices & do the hard work comes from knowing your WHY (something else I have learned from you). The problem is that my why is to stay home with my kids even though I am the sole bread winner – and I keep losing focus because I don’t really think it can happen. That is something that I am working on.

    Thanks for the reminder that you really do have to live differently from everyone else to get different results.

  12. You can. You absolutely can. I know because I do. Sole breadwinner. 4 kids.
    It’s tough. It’s hard work. But it’s reality. I believe in you Rebecca.
    There IS a huge accountability and responsibility in that. Scary alot of
    days. But SOOOO worth it. You can. You must.

  13. This is a great wake up call Carrie. And a refreshing change from all the “be a success in an hour a week” bs being hawked out there. It just don’t work that way. The times in my life when I made the most money (aside from trading stocks) were the times when I put in the time (as a commissioned salesperson).

    Thanks for the reminder of sacrifices that need to be made.

    ps. I stopped reading newspapers 4 years ago, and never watch the news(waste of time), but still haven’t gotten rid of the TVs altogether, although I have cut watching time by more than 50%!

  14. Thanks Jim – I always find there are places I can play ‘full out’ even more and some places where I can pull back a bit. Put in the time. Put in the passion. Play with focus and most of us will be astounded with our capacity.

  15. Oh yeah, Carrie, Preach!!!!! I became a subscriber of yours less than a month ago and have learnt soooooo soooooo much already. You are my kind of lady … and I know there are so many more out there!!!
    Love it, love it, love it. And thank you soooo much for being a woman who lives ‘out of the box’ allllll the time! It is sooo boring living like everyone else. Where is the fun in that? Plus, the results of becoming more so that you can be more and do more is incomparable with just following the status quo.
    I love you Carrie.

  16. Kemi – love the enthusiastic feedback!! And you know I am a preacher’s
    daughter, right? Always tickles me when someone says ‘preach’ LOL


  17. Thanks so much, Carrie! I recently declared a moratorium on TV because it was interfering so much with working toward my goals. I also quit my regular job to build my business. I’m excited but doubtful at the same time. By the way, I’m working through the tasks you suggest in your list-building materials; I’m learning so much that I can implement right away. Love it that you respond to your blog followers. You definitely get my vote for most worthwhile blog!

  18. Before I started my business I was told it would be the hardest thing I would ever do…I probably understood that intellectually…now I understand it at a gut level. My printing business is now a profitable investment that I “oversee” about 8 hours a week. I could play golf every day…but I am working on a second business instead. I have decided that I will live better in the last years of my life than I ever lived before and it is in reach. You are an inspiration to me.

  19. Bill – and now that I’ve read this – you are also an inspiration to me!!
    Have always respected your great business — but another one?? WOW!! So
    proud of you!! Thanks for stopping in!

  20. Thanks Carrie, i am a FIRM believer in short term sacrifice equals long term goal.My granny always preached to us as kids..”dont waste your life on TV,watching others live their lives..get on and live your own”… i always suggest to my clients if they take out at least 30minutes from one of their soaps and spent that time on THEMSELVES..they would have all the time in the world to heal and re-energise..

    you are so real Carrie, you truly are an INSPIRATION on so many levels :-)

  21. ok — note taken…take better care of ‘Barefoot Self’ – yes ma’am 😉 Love
    you Miss Newlywed!! So proud for you and how you work with your clients!!
    Your last 18 months has been life-changing!!

  22. Carrie, this is exactly what I needed to hear at exactly the right time – the words of wisdom to keep me on course! I’ve been loosing momentum recently and feeling very annoyed with myself. Hey presto, I’m raring to go again!

    I’m a single mum with a baby under one so wake early to get some work in, take care of my son during the day and then work again every evening until bedtime. I too have had to cut out TV. I simply don’t have time to do it all. I heard a fab saying recently, “When you die you won’t wish that you had watched more TV.” So very true!

    Keep up the great posts. x

  23. Hard to believe but at some point we also won’t say…I’m still really
    upset that I didn’t sleep more in my life 😉 proud of you!

  24. I love how you wrapped your words around the idea. I have always had a strong work ethic from childhood. My parents were hard workers. My first job was at 11 years old. My next job, I applied at 14, and kept going back weekly, even though the store owner said “not until you are 16”. After a few trips I offered to work two full days without pay, if at the end of that he still would not hire me, the deal was that I would leave him alone. Half way through the second day, he hired me. I was so excited. Now, due to a neck injury I can not work as a nurse right now. It has been six years,(I worked as an RN for 15 years). I am not willing to keep sitting around, so am trying to start a business. Learning a completely new skill set is challenging and daunting, but I work at it hours each day. Reading your words, and watching your videos is empowering, thank you. I have the drive, I just need to find the direction! Home-based business is a whole new world.

  25. Why don’t you do something in th RN arena? Online medical posting. I know you can’t diagnose, but surely you?e seen WebMD and all the health sites?

    You could channel that into MomNurse or some similar area. Yes, you have to figure out a little tech and your angle. But I believe it’s best to stick with your primary knowledge and skill set.

    I focus on that a lot in my book. It’s a core mistake people make.

  26. Carrie,

    I am 45 years old. I have been a part of 5 start ups most of which ended profitably or break even. My main business that I ran for 13 years ended in flames in the 09/10 era…! I have also been married 3 times (probably my fault). I have three kids of my own 21,14,11 and two step children. I have no job at his time my third marriage is a little stale and is mostly a partnership of parenting and survival. We love each other but struggle with your kids/my kids. We differ on money and life planning etc.

    Point and case starring at the white board with fear and excitement! I started selling papers when I was 9 at a race track my dad worked at ad have been the financial pillar in my family since I was 16 including helping my parents. I am pretty wore down and struggling to find the Mojo to jump back in the game. 

    I am willing to sacrifice just about everything except who I am and being a part of my two young boys lives. Well I guess that was a rant but your post just really woke all that up in this morning.

    Thank you for your motivating spirit!

    Duke Brown ( @SpillRecovery)

  27. I was happy to see you mention Pam Shaw. She is phenomenal and well-received in our MK world.

    I love to say, “Short-term investment for long-term gain.” We are investing in ourselves. There is something so much more empowering in that thought for me.

  28. Yep. That is something Pam herself taught me 😉

    She is a woman of integrity and incredible work ethic!

  29. I only work a couple of days a week and I can’t wait till I can give that up.  I have been told my website will be ready this week, Then my app shortly after.  So I am looking forward to Launch very soon.@Kiddiecaptions  Thanks for this.

  30. Sleep is the number one thing I think I give up. I always say, I sleep outside the box because the box got too small but now I don’t have a box so why sleep.

  31. Easy to say, not easy to do.
    I’d love to start my own business to get me away from month-to-month cycles. However, I have no spare money and my boss doesn’t allow extra work.
    ‘The Fear’ keeps me under the cosh, and I don’t want to be there.

    Until we work for people who value our work, as well as not over-extending credit and the like, this cycle will never end.

  32. Great stuff, Carrie, thankyou!! Just the straightforward motivation and inspiration that I need, :) Oh and yes , , I am willing!!

  33. I get up around 6am every day and go to bed by 10pm. I have given up TV shows and spending time with people who are time wasters. Workimg from home means that people perceive that I sit around all day. I actually have a “schedule” that doesn’t involve morning talk shows and housework. It has definitely made me far more productive!