013 Good Things Take Time


It’s not something you can microwave. It’s more of a Crock-Pot thing. – Dave Ramsey

Good things take a long time. Episode 013 of Mike’s Notes – Soundcloud, iTunes, Overcast – explains it with three characters, let’s meet them.

Our 3 character:

Gary Vaynerchuk, best selling author and CEO of Vaynermedia.

Steven Pressfield, author of the War of Art, The Legend of Bagger Vance, many good books. 

Felicia Day, actor, author, funny awesome person.

Gary Vaynerchuk is someone I can only handle so much of, which is a problem because he’s everywhere. No matter what social network you’re on, Gary is there too.  If evangelists worshipped business and toured like rock stars, Gary would be their leader. 

What would be the gospel? To persist.

Vaynerchuk told Rich Roll that he’s been working out for two years and still doesn’t see any chest muscle. That’s okay, Vaynerchuk says, because he understands the analogy between this, and his business. It takes years of hustle to achieve anything.

If you want to start a business, Vaynerchuk says, there’s something to remember above all else, be patient.

“The biggest single decision of your life,” Vaynerchuk says, is trying to start a $1M business instead of a $300K one. This leads to “very impatient behavior in the first 24 hours out of the box. They’re looking for fast and cheap dollars…there’s not a single fucking person on earth that made it big in four minutes.”

Jason Fried said that we confuse “being a success,” with “being a superhero.” Don’t fall for the finish line fallacy, which is what happens if your finish line is superhero, a definition for someone, by someone else.

Steven Pressfield’s book The War of Art is a constant reminder, and cheerleader, for people running the long race. The book is an inspiration for perspiration

Pressfield’s framework is to treat “your thing” like a professional, not an ameatuer. A professional “puts their butt where their heart wants to be,” Pressfield says.

“The professional arms himself with patience, not only to give the stars time to align in his career, but to keep himself from flaming out in each individual work. He knows that any job, whether it’s a move or a kitchen remodel, takes twice as long as he thinks and costs twice as much. He accepts that. He recognizes it as reality.”

Good things take time. The professional knows this and doesn’t flame out.

Felicia Day is an unexpected character in my life. I can’t remember why I read her book, but I’m glad I did. You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) made me smile – a lot.

Day’s story is one of persistence as well. After a quick story, she opens her book this way:

“So how did I get this super-awesome career? Well, you’re in luck, because this book is designed to tell you how I got here! Short answer: A) By being raised weird. B) By failing over and over again. C) And by never taking ‘no’ for an answer.”

Day had an open door to quit. Her family hinted it. With a background in advanced mathematics, she could secure a job in any industry that didn’t rhyme with “ollywood.” She never quit though.

One small thing led to another. She started a small project called The Guild, an online web series Day shot in her house and garage. It required begging people for supplies and help. Even when she succeeded (going from making commercials to making The Guild), she faced the next set of challenges. Good things take time.

An equation for good things.

If we wanted to put a more formulaic spin on this we can turn to Cal Newport, who wrote, “rare and valuable jobs require rare and valuable skills.” If you want a job like Gary Vaynerchuk’s, Steven Pressfield’s, or Felicia Day’s you’ll need the skills those jobs take – which take time.

How to be a treasure hunter.

Carl Fismer wanted to dive for sunken treasures, so he found the grandfather of American treasure hunters, Art McKee.

Pulling up to his house one day, Fismer presented himself to McKee and said, “I want to be a treasure hunter, and I’m willing to work for free to learn the business.”

“Besides diving, what else can you do?” McKee asked.

“Nothing,” Fismer said.

“Everyone’s a diver, got too many of those,” McKee said, turning back to what he had been doing.

Robert Kurson explains what happened next:

“Firmer got into his car and drove back to Sarasota, where he enrolled in an emergency medical technician course, earning his boat captain’s license, learned to work on small engines, and volunteered to cook for fifteen firemen a day at the firehouse.”

Two years later he returned to McKee’s house, and when asked again, this is what he said:

“I’m a boat captain, I fix small engines, I’m a state-certified paramedic, and I cook. Meatloaf is my specialty.”

“Good,” McKee said, “you’re on my next trip.”

Resistance will tell you to quit.

If you’re in the middle, and expecting results, know that good things take time. If you’ve been doing “your thing” for 4 minutes, know that it’s going to take a lot longer. If your career has stagnated, men objectify you, and work is a grind, know that good things take time.

To end on a final quote from Pressfield, “do the work.”

If you don’t have a copy of the book The War of Art, get in touch and I’ll send one. The catch? If you think it’s good, you have to buy one for someone else.  

Thanks for reading, I’m @mikedariano on Twitter.

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