Kelford Labs Daily: Relentless patience

How to make patience work.

Kelford Labs Daily: Relentless patience

One of my favorite hobbies is reading long biographies. You know, those ridiculous 900+ page tomes about some obscure historical figure.

Occasionally, I’ll get the incredulous question of, “How do you get through those things?”

And my answer is the same: “Relentless patience.”

Here’s what I mean: If you’re tackling something long and challenging, the key is not effort, earnestness, or force of will.

It’s patience.

Because the trick to getting through a long book is to take a long time, and to be okay with it. The problem is not that the book is long. The problem is that most people just stop.

I know because I buy most of my books used and so many of them have dog-eared corners that stop within the first 100 pages.

The reader got frustrated that they weren’t making progress fast enough, and they tried to burn through it quickly. And when a few hours of reading barely registered a dent, they gave up.

Instead, the secret is to assume it will take a long time and to be okay with that.

For me, I read 50 pages, every single day, with few exceptions. 25 in one book, and then I switch to another book and read another 25 pages. I’m not a super fast reader, so this takes me about 45 to 60 minutes.

So that means that every month I read about 1,500 pages. Which, when you put it that way, is quite a bit. That can be two giant biographies every month. Do that for a decade and you’ve got a fair library going.

But why am I annoyingly humblebragging about reading boring books? Because the exact same thing is true for marketing:

The secret is not to do a lot in one day—you’ll barely make a dent. 

The secret is to assume it will take a long time, and to set yourself a pace you can maintain.

The secret is to be relentlessly patient, and to have the confidence that you’ll get to the last page eventually. But only if you keep going.

If your marketing has stalled, if your sales are slowing, if your profit’s slipping, or your churn’s increasing, don’t panic.

Don’t try to do everything at once.

Instead, do whatever you need to do to buy yourself six months of runway to take your time. To approach it slowly. To be relentless in your efforts and in your patience.

Now, it won’t actually take the full six months to make progress. But if you try to do it faster, you won’t get anywhere.

The cadence, the consistency, the “I’m never going to stop” energy is what matters.

So, what’s your equivalent of 50 pages a day? What can you sit down and tackle, consistently, at the same time each day, that will build toward something bigger?

What about spending time every day writing outreach emails to your past clients to ask them about their experiences, which you can turn into case studies and testimonials?

Or maybe you can spend 10 minutes every single day working on a blog post?

How about spending a few minutes every day creating content for social?

The point is to do a little—honestly, as little as possible—for as long as you can.

That’s the relentless part of the patience.

And it’s the part that makes the patience work.

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