Setbacks, even minor ones, send most people packing. The people who stick with it always win.

I haven’t really had a place to live for a few weeks now, since my ex-wife is staying in the house. So I’ve been traveling and floating between hotels and friends’ houses. I haven’t had a reliable connection because my computer requires a 47,000 square foot facility and a team of PhDs to keep from launching into low orbit.

Despite that, I showed up and you saw my essays every day you were supposed to. I think that’s a good example of what I mean when I tell you to show up no matter what.

On Friday I finally moved into a house near my other house, so my boys can walk back and forth whenever they want to. The house I found is awesome, but it doesn’t have the internet yet. I knew that going in, but I had talked to the neighbors who are also awesome, and they gave me the password to their wireless network. Score.

I moved in, set everything up, and presto! The net didn’t work.


My plan had been to get set up in the afternoon, and have an essay ready that evening. It would have been later than usual, but it would still exist, which is what counts.

There was nothing I could do. I didn’t have a laptop, it was too late at night to buy one or call a friend. I was exhausted from moving, and I had a billion things flying through my head, from custody to how I was going to fit my giant desk through the door, but if I had had an option to be able to write, I would have done it.

Sometimes your plans don’t work out. Sometimes your milestones fall through.

That’s the moment most people give up.

Didn’t land that big client for your business? Didn’t get as much excitement from the viral launch as you’d hoped? Someone you were relying on flake out? Guess it’s a sign. Might as well give up.

Except the people who you see succeed are the ones who kept trying, even when it was hard, even when the universe seemed bent on stopping them.

Maybe writing an essay one day late, on a laptop borrowed from a stranger isn’t such a huge stretch. But those moments add up, especially early on. Those simple moments when it takes just a little more effort and self-discipline to add to your gallery.

Those are the moments when you have to choose: do I give myself a break then blame “the economy” when I fail, or do I show up everyday (even when it’s hard) and do it until it’s done?