Risking Today’s Time for Tomorrow’s Treasure

I started blogging over ten
years ago. 

And after over a million words written,blogging taught me was to adopt an incrementalist mindset. Because
it’s not about one key post that changes everything, it’s about performing day
after day, helping a few people a little at a time and trusting that the
accumulation of the work will bear fruit. And, because most blogs are abandoned
a few months after creation, maintaining continuity over the long haul
separates you from the pack. Proving, that the best way to beat the odds is
through massive output.

also taught me that every blog post is a product. Every post its own piece of digital merchandise, with
its own launch date, target market, social trajectory, leveragability and
profitability. Some blow up, some just blow. Some make a killing, some just
make a thud. But as long as you show up every day and post, you’re still in the
game. But if you never click the publish button, you’re just winking in the

It’s only a matter of time, as I like to tell myself.

I’m reminded of when Don
Marquis, the renowned humorist, journalist, author and playwright, famous said
that publishing was like dropping a rose petal down a canyon and waiting for
the echo.

What a perfect way to describe delayed gratification.

The problem is, delayed gratification isn’t sexy. Patience is not
a primary agenda item for most of the world. Especially these day, when our
technology tricks us into thinking that everything does, and should, happen
right now. And yet, it’s something all prolific creators have in common. Their
capacity for delayed gratification makes it possible
for them to aspire to objectives that others would disregard.

Bob Lefsetz, former
attorney, music industry analyst and critic, writes a prolific, insightful and
useful publication called The Lefsetz
. He explores a variety of themes, including the diminishing role of
the major record labels, grassroots artist activities, digital media
distribution, new business models for the music industry, and my personal
favorite, what it takes to become a successful artist.

In a recent issue, he made a
powerful case for delayed gratification:

“Stay in school. I know, some of the biggest legends of the
entertainment business never finished college, some didn’t even complete high
school. But that was then, and this is now. The sixties were different. We
lived in an homogeneous society. Social mobility was rampant. You could go from
middle class to upper class quite easily. Rich was within your grasp. But no
longer. And
the brightest stars of today’s
society know it. That’s why the graduates go into finance and stay there, while
the great unwashed star in reality television programs, get famous for a few
years, then slide back into obscurity when the trade on their fame has lost
most of its zeros. We know their names, but they’re footnotes, trivia
questions, if you think they’re rich, you don’t know what rich is.
Life is long. If you’re not prepared for
delayed gratification, you’re going to have a very rough ride.”

The point is, it’s not about
college, it’s about continuity. Staying the course. Delaying gratification. Risking today’s
time for tomorrow’s treasure. Believing
that it’s only a matter of time. And know that those who practice patience,
become prolific.


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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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