I watched a YouTube video of a guy spending 30 minutes a day learning how to jump rope.
Because it’s 2021, and that’s what we do—we watch the internet to see people trying to do things.
The video was mostly boring. He learned to jump rope after some time.
But in the video, he made a random comment that really hit home for me.
He said that athletes spend 90% of their practice time going at 10% effort.
What? They don’t do all those crazy high-flying moves all the time?
When the best athletes talk about the countless hours they spend practicing behind the scenes—the hours not seen on highlight reels online or on TV—they talk about repeating small movements, building muscle memory, and training their mind . . . all at 10% speed.
This same concept applies to building companies.
You only get a few minutes in the spotlight, when a publication highlights your work or you appear on TV, for example. The rest of the time is spent at 10% effort, strengthening the company’s foundation.
I would even argue that most people cannot spend most of their time at full speed.
Building a business is like putting together a 10,000-piece puzzle.
Sure, you could try to power through and complete it in one sitting, but you could also choose to do it over a few weeks.
If you try to do it all at once, you will most likely burn out, and your efficiency will decrease over time.
If you spend a few hours a day on the puzzle, when you’re focused, then slowly, over time, the puzzle will get built.
When you’re running a business, though, it can feel a little like building a plane while you’re flying it.
Everything is falling apart, customers are mad, people are asking how it’s going, and you have to make space to take care of yourself and go slowly, methodically.
Now, of course, there are times when you have to sprint, put all the chips on the table, and give 100% effort, but that won’t last long.
Side note: My favorite animal is the cheetah because they can run 60 miles an hour, which is mind-blowing, but they can only do it for 20 seconds at a time.
But compare the cheetah to the camel. Camels can only walk 3 miles an hour, BUT they can walk 25 miles a day while carrying 300 pounds. So, which animal would you rather be if you were trying to build a business?
Confused yet? LOL.
My point is, if you only pay attention to the highlights and listen to media publications, it seems like everyone is a cheetah all the time. However, in reality, the most successful people spend 90% of their time like the camel and only 10% of their time like the cheetah.
90% of the time . . .
Be the athlete who practices at 10% speed every single day for hours.
Be the entrepreneur who works silently behind the scenes every single day.
Be the person who dedicates two hours a day piecing together a 10,000-piece puzzle.
Be the engineer who stays calm, building her plane one part at a time, despite being mid-flight.
Be the camel and walk slowly, remembering to bring plenty of water for the trip.
And 10% of the time . . .
Be the athlete who jumps with all their might to make the game-winning play.
Be the entrepreneur who does seven media appearances every day for two weeks straight.
Be the puzzle-maker who stays up all night to finish the puzzle.
Be the engineer who works for 14 hours straight to keep her plane in the air.
Be the cheetah who sprints 60 miles an hour so you don’t starve to death.