Don’t Hope, Make it So

Don’t Hope, Make it So
Dustin Lien
September 3, 2018

Millions of people every day sluggishly roll out of bed, pour their coffee with their eyes still half closed, and commute to their okay jobs, surrounded by their okay co-workers, doing work that doesn’t challenge them, just waiting for the weekend.

Take inventory on your career and on your life, and ask yourself if you are truly pushing for a life of purpose, deep meaning, and excitement, or if you are settling.

Don’t settle, do work you love by creating it.

What’s that business idea you’ve been putting off starting? Make today the day you take the first step, not because the challenges and sacrifices aren’t real, but because you’re stronger than them.

Maybe you’re not sure how.
Maybe you’re afraid of what other people will think.
Maybe you haven’t been willing to dedicate the time.

You’ll never know what you can do, until you do.

Are you passively hoping things will work out, or are you making sure they do?

A few years ago, I launched an online project with a mentor of mine called Router Taco. It was a simple concept where I would interview different entrepreneurs about their at-home office setups, and ask them about their favorite items.

On the website where I’d post the interviews, I had affiliate links attached to “shop this item” buttons so when people reading the interviews were interested in buying the items for their own at-home offices, they could do so while I would make a percentage of the sales as a referral fee.

It was a good model, but after a couple of months, there wasn’t a lot of traffic going to the website, and there hadn’t been any sales yet. One Friday morning, my mentor asked me a simple question, “how are you going to make a sale before the week ends?” to which I answered, “I’m going to do X and Y, and hope a sale comes in.”

He replied with a simple statement that changed the way I think about sales and marketing, “Don’t hope, make it so.”

What’s interesting about hoping something will happen as opposed to making a specific and calculated plan, is that we’re almost admitting before we’ve even begun trying that results are out of our control.

Obviously I couldn’t twist anyone’s arm into making a purchase, but what that simple advice inspired me to do, was rather than stopping with the couple of marketing tactics I was planning on trying and hoping for a sale, I thought more creatively about what else I could do to essentially guarantee a sale.

Somewhere around 11:50 p.m. Friday night, I sent my mentor a screenshot of the sales report for the week, with the first sale made, along with the message, “I made it so.”