Speed and patience.
Somewhere at the intersection of these ideas lies the formula for sustained success.
At first thought, speed and patience seem to be direct opposites. Being patient typically means that you aren’t moving very quickly.
But the magic happens when you change your perspective, which is how Gary Veynerchuck looks at it. The way he puts it, he likes to live with micro speed, but macro patience.
Speed in the short term. Patience in the long term.
Gary (often referred to as GaryVee) is best known for his impact within the entrepreneurial world and social media. He first turned his parent’s wine store, Wine Library, into a $60 million business while using YouTube as the primary platform for growth. He then became an early investor in Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat; and now his media company Veynermedia runs the marketing campaigns for some of the biggest companies in the world.
If you haven’t listened to anything from GaryVee, it’s worth checking him out (here‘s an interesting video to start). But two notes of caution first: he swears A LOT, and you’re probably going to hate him the first 3-4 times you’re exposed to him. He initially comes across as brash and egotistical until you’re able to really understand where he’s coming from.
But back to this idea of micro speed, macro patience.
Specifically, let’s focus on the macro patience part.
In the entrepreneurial world, Gary describes it simply. Most people are concerned with getting rich quick. They want a fancy car, or a nice watch, and they’re in a hurry to get them.
And it’s the same thing in school. Students are often impatient. They want to study for 15 minutes and master a new topic, or to spend a few hours in the gym and suddenly be a great athlete. But it doesn’t work that way.
And these unrealistic expectations are a recipe for failure. The quick fix, or the “secret tip” to success is almost never the solution.
So GaryVee preaches the exact opposite. Rather than being in a hurry, patience is the way to go.
A successful business isn’t built in a month, or even a year. And it’s the same with great student athletes. Sure, some people start with more natural talent than others, but in the long run it all comes down to work that’s been put in. It’s not about the work you’ve done in the past week, it’s about what you’ve done to prepare over the past year.
Almost every “overnight success” out there took 5, 10, or even 20 years of blood and sweat to get to the point where they had their chance. Whether it’s in business, sports, music, art, or anything; the journey takes time.
Take Chance the Rapper for an example. He really blew up and became a household name in 2016. It seemed like he burst onto the scene overnight.
But it’s easy to overlook the fact that he had recorded his first true mixtape 5 years earlier, and to forget that he had been recording music since he was in 6th or 7th grade.
We like to look at sudden success and imagine that we’re just one big break away. We think we just need to be given our shot and we’ll be set.
But what we miss is the groundwork that’s required. Chance isn’t an exception, he’s the blueprint for success. Take anyone you could imagine and trace their path to sustained success. I can almost guarantee you that it took years of hard work.
Life is a marathon. That’s why you have to embrace the journey, and be patient.
I learned the hard way when I started Get the Most Out of High School. I had this big idea that I wanted to share some of my thoughts. I felt like I had something unique to offer, and I thought I could use that as a way to start a business and make some money.
And I failed miserably in the beginning.
I started by putting together an online course and trying to sell it. I still believe in everything I put in the course (I even use some of that material in my blogs). But the problem was that I was focused on the wrong things, and I was too impatient. Rather than taking the time to learn what student athletes and their parents really needed, I hurried to build what I wanted to teach.
And to no one’s surprise but my own, it was a flop.
The course wasn’t nearly tailored enough to provide any real value to student athletes. And the fact that it was an online course alone was probably enough to doom my efforts. Between long days in school and all of the extracurricular activities that ambitious student athletes take on, the last thing they want to do is come home to read/watch lectures and work through mental exercises.
So early on my impatience got the best of me, and I had to adjust.
Since that initial failure, I’ve taken a step back. Rather than trying to force my ideas on the world, I shifted my focus towards listening. I started to obsess over finding a way to provide real value.
Not because I want to make money. But because I want to make an impact.
In the short run, it’s a stupid play. I’m losing money every month, and there’s nothing in the near term that’s likely to change that.
But I don’t mind because, in the long run, I have no doubt that this is the right path. Over the past few months, I’ve been able to offer real value to several student athletes and to make a difference. And even though I don’t see a short-term path to any of the success that I’m hoping for, I’m oddly confident that it’ll all work out in the long run if I remain patient.
So I’m big on this idea of macro (long-term) patience, and it’s something I’ve been trying to focus on. But the other side of the equation is just as critical.
That’s what GaryVee calls micro speed.
And it’s what I’m going to highlight next week.
So far now, think about this idea of long-term patience, and how it can apply to whatever you’re working on.
But keep an eye out for my next note with the second half of the equation.