Thursday, January 28, 2010


Grinding is what poker players call it when they play steady, small edge poker, to make a small profit over time. Do you hear how harsh they think it is? Just imagine pressing yourself against a coarse, rolling millstone, hour after hour. It takes immense discipline to keep playing well through luck's variations. Good play pays in the long run, yet in the short term, when your good play doesn't work out, and your neighbor's bad play takes the pot, the temptation to stray from statistically proper strategy can easily throw you off course. Playing well requires constant vigilance. They call it grinding, and make it sound like flaying your skin off on a long-term basis.

Of course, they're poker players. They mislead for a living.

Right now, if you're unemployed or under-employed, if someone offered you a steady wage of $20/hour for sitting down, paying attention, and being extremely disciplined, would you consider that equivalent to having your nose sanded?

I'm betting not. Of course, if you've ever broken a diet, you might not have the discipline to play that kind of poker.

As best I can tell, building a business is like that, too. Steady steps in the right direction pay off -- although days or weeks can go by when it seems they won't. Discipline eventually creates wealth. Persistence pays.

Why call it grinding? Can you take steady steps and enjoy them? Could you play every day at creating your heart's desire? What if you built your momentum by spending a bit of every day doing what you like best?

What would you call it then?