So one day I’m driving my mom’s Scottish buddy, John, somewhere–I don’t remember where–and he says, “Have you heard of this Trism?”

You have to understand that John is not only Scottish, and therefore difficult to understand in the first place, but he’s also a serious practitioner of colloquialisms that only Scottish people, and maybe only Glaswegians, can understand. So when he says something like, “Have you heard of this Trism?” I would normally say, “Ha ha, yeah…” and pretend like I know what the hell he’s saying, hoping that he’ll keep talking and I’ll eventually figure it all out.

This time I said, “What’s a trism?”

He explained to me that it was a game for the iPhone, and that the game’s creator made like $600,000 in a few months after putting it on the app store.

I pretty much slammed the brakes, let John out, drove to Best Buy, bought a Mac, and started developing my first game that night.

It wasn’t the money that motivated me, but the freedom. I had the development skills, and I had a better understanding about motivation from having tried to be a writer and failed. I had shed the skin of thinking that I could just put in a little effort and good things would happen, and so I felt that putting in 100% of my time on making apps could result in something special.

In a way, it did. After all, making apps is my current career. But I didn’t get the freedom I had envisioned. By making my own apps I was able to collect about $49. Not too shabby until you consider the time (a few years) and the money (several thousand dollars) I sacrificed in order to make the dream a reality.

But again, I learned something. I had a new question forming in my brain. It was, “How much are you willing to endure in order to achieve what you want?”

The answer had always been not much, but with such disastrous results from my first major endeavors, the answer was starting to become bring it.

As Rocky Balboa says, “It’s not how hard you can hit. It’s how hard you can get hit, and keep on moving forward. That’s how winning is done.”

Suddenly I was willing to start getting pummeled.

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