The question: How much effort is too much effort?
The answer: “Too much” = Bad Work. No one ever puts a limit on awesome.
Think about it, there is no such thing as an athlete saying they “played too much football” to become a pro, a writer saying they ‘wrote too many words’ to finish a novel, or an entrepreneur saying they ‘sold too many products’ to become successful. If you have ever had that feeling that you are doing too much work, then chances are whatever you are doing is not going to turn out very well. Successes will always come with a price, but very few (in any) will say that they overpaid.
If you do get that feeling, however, step back and rethink everything about what you are trying to accomplish. Look at your goals and what you are assuming is your path to get there. It is not hard to accidentally take a wrong turn and wind up somewhere you do not want to be. If you can’t seem to hit a target from twenty yards a way, being a quarterback might not be your future. If you rewrite the same chapter dozens and dozens of times, or worse, the same small part of a chapter, then it might be time to look at what kind of story you are telling and why you are choosing to tell it. If you are sick and tired of walking door to door selling encyclopedias no one wants, it might be time to accept that this ‘internet’ thing is not just a fad and move on to a new product or service.
I have stated before two seemingly contradictory things: 1) Don’t Accept Failure and 2) Failure is Always an Option. Just because failure is an option, and one decides that what they did indeed do is fail, does not mean they have to accept it as the end-all-be-all of a project or plan of action. As long as you never stop, you have never truly failed, and unnecessary surrender is the worst kind of failure. Giving yourself the choice of surrender is giving in to the idea that you have a limit, and going over that limit would be bad. No limits means no real failure, no bad work (by this definition) and never a chance to not succeed or not be totally awesome.
I want everyone to be awesome. I want people to realize that the only real limits they have are time and energy, not effort, and if they really want to get things done they will and it will be good. It might take more work than you have ever done before in your life, but once you start reaching your goals you will never look back on it all as being ‘too much.’ I can guarantee that.