Ever since the Gilmore Girls reboot in November there have been endless articles about the 4-part series and what was wrong with it. I don’t want to talk about that.
I want to talk about what’s wrong with Rory and how the same problem is screwing up your business.
Mild Spoilers: In the series, Rory is now 32 with no established home, job, prospects, stable relationships or direction. Which left many fans wondering, “what the hell?”
Rory, for all her strengths, has always been praised for being smart and not for her hard work.
It’s not unique to this fictional character, too many times we’ve heard older generations whine about Millennials who all got participation trophies (ahem, who was handing out those trophies? Yeah, you!) and therefore think they are special, unique snowflakes who deserve the world just for showing up.
Oh, how we rant and rave at those entitled idiots. And yet…
Entrepreneurs are making the same mistakes.
How many times have you heard someone say, “I made 6-figures this year because I worked really hard for my clients and busted my ass?”
You’re way more likely to hear, “Oh, I took 6 months off to really be with myself and then launched this passion project and now I’m retiring at 38 because I really just want to be with nature and meditate.”
It’s a sick spiral of downplaying work that pays off, elevating our “oops success” and making it all seem effortless and easy. And you, you over there working so hard – you’re doing it wrong.
For a long time I didn’t understand this mindset because mentors told me that the values of hard work were a Puritanical ideal embedded in the consciousness of everyone born on American soil and if we just gave up the idea of hard work then all our dreams would come true as we surrendered to the Universe.
Ahem: Bull. Shit.
Name for me one builder of industry who sat on a golden throne and let the Universe build their company. Who meditated oil out of the ground or willed train tracks across the land, who became the best basketball player of all time by avoiding practice or made millions as an author by forgoing the hustle.
You can’t build a house from the foundation up without hard work and those who like to pretend that you can have a vested interest in selling you their “tricks” to getting everything you want with no work whatsoever.
This lie is what keeps most entrepreneurs trapped in a cycle of trying so hard to “be” successful instead of working for it because someone told them that working hard is bad.
Which brings me back to Rory Gilmore.
If you watched the series then you might have yelled like I did that preparing for a job interview is not beneath you, working with a difficult client is part of life, having a difficult conversation is adulthood and working hard to get what you want is life.
The creators of the show set up Rory as the unicorn who was smarter than any of her peers and while they showed her fighting for good grades, college acceptances and the things she wanted in life, at some point the character fell into the trap that many entrepreneurs find themselves in today.
Having a single success doesn’t mean you’re invincible.
Being brilliant at something doesn’t mean you don’t work hard.
Getting what you want doesn’t happen by lying about whining.
Stop being a Rory. Be willing to work hard for what you want in your life and business because there are no participation trophies in life.