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Struggle porn Michel Pireu     | Business Day Friday, November 23, 2018
Two messages that are regularly conveyed on entrepreneurship: 1) Entrepreneurship is hard, but work hard and you can succeed. 2) Struggling is good. In other words, you should be working long hours, failing for years, you shouldn’t be comfortable, because comfortable is death, or worse, mediocrity.

Entrepreneurs devour this second message like doughnuts at a WeWork because most of them are failing.

The intended message may be “If you work hard at the right thing you can succeed,” but it’s misinterpreted as “if you’re struggling, you’re doing the right thing.”

The result is a masochistic obsession with pushing yourself harder, listening to people tell you to work harder, and broadcasting how hard you’re working. It’s struggle porn.

Working hard is great, but struggle porn has a dangerous side effect: not quitting. When you believe the normal state of affairs is to feel like you’re struggling to make progress, you’ll be less likely to quit something that isn’t going anywhere.

Of course, there have been some big successes, but the vast majority of wannabe entrepreneurs are strugglepreneurs; people going nowhere quickly who feel they are accomplishing something because they are struggling.

Struggle porn gives you a sense of progress when it feels like you’re failing. You don’t need to look at metrics like revenue because you know you’ve been working hard, and that guy on Instagram said that’s what it takes. Eat Sleep Code Repeat.

In this way, struggling and hustling become the success proxies unsuccessful people can brag about to give themselves the dopamine hit they would otherwise get from actually succeeding.

If someone is bragging about how hard they're working, chances are their business is failing.

Those running a successful business don’t need the feel-good reassurance that beating their head against the wall is worthwhile. Sure, they’re busy, just not struggle busy.

Adapted from an article at nateliason.com
 
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