This morning I watched a video by entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk titled “How to Apply Macro Patience and Micro Speed”. Gary is a hugely successful multi-millionaire entrepreneur who currently runs a media agency called VaynerMedia. He freely dispenses bucket-loads of career advice on YouTube for anyone who is looking to start a business, earn more money, or simply learn how to hustle harder.
You can watch the 4 minute video here:
Here’s the big idea Gary is preaching:
Most people have massive goals of becoming successful, rich, and happy, but very few people are approaching these goals in the correct manner.
Most people are applying micro patience and macro speed to their goals. In the micro (the day-to-day) they’re simply being too patient – when they could be reading, studying, working on a side hustle, they’re instead opting to be patient and take their time.
They’re choosing to watch Netflix, go out drinking, or sit on the couch and scroll through social media. But in the macro (the long-term) they’re focused far too much on speed, meaning they want to accomplish their goals very quickly.
For our biggest goals – to be financially free, to own a successful business, to have enough freedom to travel the world – this strategy of micro patience and macro speed is not the answer.
Instead, Gary suggests we use the opposite approach: apply macro patience and micro speed.
This means hustling in the micro: diligently building our businesses, implementing positive daily habits, focusing on incremental improvements, and generally applying discipline in the day-to-day to get done what needs to get done. Gary refers to this as “speed”. I like to think of it as diligence.
Meanwhile, in the macro he suggests we practice extreme patience. So even though we’re working hard in the present and taking the right steps on a daily basis, we need to be aware that our goals will often take several years to accomplish. We need to be patient with the process.
By using this approach, we shift our focus from the outcome (I want this result now!) to the process (All I care about is doing the right work each day, making steady progress over time.). This makes us more likely to stay dedicated to the process since we know our desired outcome will likely be many years away.
Applying This Methodology to Financial Independence
I think this idea of short-term diligence mixed with long-term patience is a wonderful recipe for anyone seeking to achieve financial independence.
As I’ve said in previous posts, financial independence truly is a massive, audacious goal. It can be a little intimidating. But through applying macro patience and micro speed, we can deconstruct this colossal goal into tiny, manageable pieces.
No matter how wide the gap is between earning and spending, F.I. will still take several years for most people to achieve. It’s inherently a long-term goal. So we can either whine and complain about how long it will take to reach F.I. or we can learn to accept it for what it is and practice patience.
This can be difficult, especially in the instant gratification world we live in. We’re so accustomed to getting immediate answers through Google, overnight shipping from Amazon, 2-minute microwave meals from Wal-Mart. Rarely do we actually have to practice patience on a daily basis.
But without patience, financial independence is a stressful goal to pursue. For someone who just discovers the concept of F.I. they might be inclined to start working 80 hour weeks, pick up overtime shifts, forfeit family time for working all in an effort to rapidly increase their net worth, but find that they’re incredibly unhappy after only a few short months. This is an unsustainable approach.
F.I. has to be pursued with patience, which means we need to pace ourselves. And pacing is the key to becoming more productive on a daily basis.
Once we accept that F.I. is a long-term goal, we force ourselves to be patient and find our own pace to use in this financial marathon. We let go of the need to sprint out of the starting gates.
Pacing ourselves has the incredible effect of reducing stress while increasing productivity. It forces us to identify what we need to do on a daily basis (the micro) in order to maintain our pace.
This might mean listening to podcasts on the way to work, dedicating an hour each day to a side hustle, working on building a blog, setting aside time at lunch to read, researching ways to reduce monthly bills, etc. All of these actions are small and easy to do, but over time they make all the difference.
The best part of all is once we start implementing these daily habits, they slowly become part of our routine and they’re not a hassle to do. We simply do them without thinking. And over time we hardly notice when our savings rate starts creeping higher and higher, pushing us towards financial independence faster and faster.
By applying macro patience and micro speed, we crush financial independence in the long-term. We recognize that F.I. is a goal that must be approached with patience and that all the tiny actions that inch us closer to this goal are lying at our feet in the short-term. So don’t stress about achieving F.I. overnight. Instead, accept it as a long-term goal and vow to take action now in the micro that will allow you to reach that goal in the future.
I strongly suggest using free financial tools like Personal Capital to track your net worth, spending habits, and cash flow to help keep an eye on your money. The more you track your finances, the better you get at growing your wealth!
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Zach is the author behind Four Pillar Freedom, a blog that teaches you how to build wealth and gain freedom in life.
Zach's favorite free financial tool he's been using since 2015 to manage his net worth is Personal Capital. Each month he uses their free Investment Checkup tool and Retirement Planner to track his investments and ensure that he's on the fast track to financial freedom.
His favorite investment platform is M1 Finance, a site that allows him to build a custom portfolio of stocks for free, has no trading or maintenance fees, and even allows him to set up automated target-allocated investments.
His favorite way to save money each month on his recurring bills is by using Trim, a free financial app that negotiates lower cable, internet, and phone bills with any provider on your behalf.
His favorite micro-investing app is Acorns, a free financial app that takes just 5 minutes to set up and allows you to invest your spare change in a diversified portfolio.
His favorite place to find new personal finance articles to read is Collecting Wisdom, a site that collects the best personal finance articles floating around the web on a daily basis.
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