1 characteristic which separates the hopeful from the heartbroken

Let me tell you about these two mysterious characters standing next to me with our backs to the Thames river.

It started May of 2016 — I received a weird tweet from some random English guy. He wanted to work on a book together.

I ignore the message.

Let’s work on a book together” typically means this:

“I have no experience, no expertise, and no following, but I’d like you to offer me the platform you worked so hard to build.”

3 weeks later, the guy followed up. HE FOLLOWED UP. I agreed to a call. The guy’s name is is Ash Ali (in the middle of the pic). Right after his wife gave birth to his first daughter, Ash quit his job to join a startup with no profit, just potential. Later, that company went public for £1.5 billion pounds (yes, billion). We’ve been working together ever since.

In a world of infinite distraction, Ash worked hard to get my attention.

Now, he and I are turning a vision of his into a reality.

Hustle is a good thing, but that’s not where this post is going.

— — —

Far left in the picture is Hasan Kubba. Hasan is a search engine optimization expert, entrepreneur, and investor. A few years into his successful career as a digital marketer, Has saw a poster which caught his eye:

“Digital Marketing Network Night — Learn new trends. Meet new friends.”

That night, he met Ash. The two of them connected that night — instant kindred spirits. Neither of them had attended a networking event before. I also don’t think they have been to one since.

Now, they are building a training company together counseling young entrepreneurs.

Serendipity is a good thing, but that’s also not where this post is going.

It’s not going to either of those places because I haven’t talked much about the third guy in this picture — me.

Me, who wanted to publish a book so badly at age 19.

Me, who finished writing assignments for my cousins and girlfriend.

Me, who spent hours for one sentence to put in a story which paid me $7.50.

Me, who wrote 3 fiction novels to people who will never read them.

Me, who became a technical writer because it sounded fun (it wasn’t).

Me, who finally realized this:

Anything worth having or becoming takes patience.

Ash and I worked for his book for the better part of a year. Then we found Has. Then we worked ANOTHER YEAR. Then we found people interest in the book. Then we met in person for the first time.

In my experience, you don’t rich quickly. You don’t get fame quickly. You don’t get deep relationships quickly. Instead, you follow the process:

Work -> Improve -> Wait.

And then two years later, you may find yourself in a country you’ve never been to, arm in arm with people you’ve just met, chatting like old friends.

Keep going. Keep believing. Keep dreaming.

Much love as always ❤

— Todd B

This article first appeared on Medium.