Overnight successes can get an abnormal amount of attention, but building a solid career takes time and patience. Steve Pavlina writes that he likes to think of his work as “building a moat:” it takes time to dig the moat, but once established, it’s nearly impossible to destroy. From the post:
If you stick to your chosen field long enough, it gets harder to fail with each passing year. More people will be aware of your existence than when you first started. You’ll have a bigger toolbox of strategies. You’ll have more clients and customers. Your skills will increase. You’ll have more chances for fortunate opportunities to land on your plate. And you’ll be competing against people with increasingly less experience than you have, relatively speaking.
Now hopefully this all makes sense logically as to why it works, but I’m also suggesting that you apply this kind of strategy very deliberately. It takes time to build a solid foundation and to create a moat around your work. If you quit after a year, you won’t be around long enough to see those long-term benefits add up. A year is nothing. Quitting during this time means you’re taking your moat-in-progress and draining it. Then you’ll have to start all over again with an empty moat. Good luck with that.
The post is a fascinating philosophical meditation on patience and the day job vs startup debate.
Note: The blog linked above is reposting Pavlina’s content, which came from his newsletter.