"I work because I'm hungry. I'm hungry because I have goals. Those goals are based on my dreams, and my dreams will soon become my reality." -- Anonymous
The simple truth is that if you're not hungry enough, it means that you're not willing to dedicate the time and hours needed to make your business thrive. And just as importantly, to make sure it keeps thriving in the long term. You're probably not hungry enough to be in business in the first place.
And, the odds are that you won't be for very long. The market is ruthlessly efficient at weeding out those who aren't hungry enough to survive and ultimately thrive.
Naturally, hunger comes when we're first starting. We tend to treat each sale and every client interaction that might lead to a sale as it matters to our survival. Because in the early days, it does! That one extra sale could mean the difference between keeping the lights on for another month or sitting in your office in the dark wondering what to do next.
The fact is that the calculus doesn't change once you find success. Every sale still matters, and it still spells the difference between the life and death of your business. The one that you've poured so much of your passion, time, and energy into it. But, once you find a certain level of success, it's a little (and sometimes a lot) easier to lose sight of that.
It's easy when you're flush with the success of a breakout hit and to sit back and bask in the glory of that accomplishment. You feel as though you've "made it." And on a certain level, you have! At that point, though, the trick is staying there.
This is not to say you can't sit back and relax for a brief period and enjoy your accomplishments. But, "making it" is not a final destination at all, and "making it" is an ongoing, iterative process.
And to do that, you must stay lean and hungry.
As for the clients, you have to be willing to go the extra mile to demonstrate that you genuinely want and care about securing their business. That means something to you. They are not just numbers in your database somewhere. Although it might not appear so from where you're sitting, you need them a whole lot more than they need you.
Without a client, you don't have a business. Without you, they'll hop to your competitor, who is willing to go the extra mile, whoever is just a little bit leaner and hungrier and willing to do what it takes to earn (and keep) their business.
Once you've achieved one goal and mapped out one frontier, a new one will inevitably appear. When it does, you have a choice to make. You can sit idly or plunge headlong into the unexplored wilderness and blaze new trails.
The hungry entrepreneur is the one who is constantly moving—always striving and trying to find new ways to take their business to the next level.
It's just a part of the lifestyle we have chosen, and that's something to know before you leap.
Once you have leaped, you need to take great care never to lose sight of it. Because the moment you do, that'll be the moment you stop pushing yourself. The moment you stop testing your limits, looking for solutions, scanning the horizon for competition that has not yet appeared, and preparing for the day that it does. It'll also be the day you start taking your clients for granted.
There's a path of failure and, ultimately, starvation for the entrepreneur who is not hungry. Avoid starvation!
"Stay hungry. Stay foolish." -- Steve Jobs