I remember when I was a kid in scouts (I am an Eagle Scout) my backpacking group had t-shirts that read “that which does not kill us, only makes us stronger.” Looking back, it becomes more apparent to me every day that scouts taught me much more about life than I ever thought.

Fast forward twelve years. As a CEO, entrepreneur, and marketer, I can tell you that people buy for one of two reasons; to avoid pain or to move closer to pleasure. With the exception of sex, people will always choose to avoid pain above gaining pleasure.

Perhaps most folks (including our federal government) have it all wrong. Can pain actually be good for us? Exercise can be very painful, but also very good for us. Eating brocolli and Brussels sprouts IS very painful, but very good for us. Going to the dentist every 6 months can be painful and terribly inconvenient, but once again it is good for us.

You see, most pain is short-term. Much of the gain however is long-term. Getting up at 5:00am every morning to run in 30 degree frost is hardly pleasurable…but perhaps this short-term pain is the key to living a life of health, vitality, and pleasure – long-term. In sales, making 20 cold calls every morning is painful, even to the most seasoned sales professional. But, cold calling is vitally important to maintaining a pipeline that puts food on the table. As the old saying goes, timid salespeople have skinny kids. Or maybe it should read pain-averse salespeople.

No pain, no gain. The enlightened entrepreneur embraces this concept. Starting and building a business is no easy task. Mistakes will be made, opportunities missed. Short-term pain will undoubtedly be endured. Enlightened entrepreneurs know that building good systems, good habits, and staying lean all entail short-term pain…but it can and will lead to long-term pleasure.

Just because the medicine is good for you doesn’t mean it tastes good going down.

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