People always ask me what the most successful entrepreneurs have in common. Here’s one: They play the long game. They know that success doesn’t happen in one big burst; it happens in small increments, a slow build to greatness. They have the patience to see it through—to put something in motion and then build it, nurture it, evolve it, expecting that this is only the first step in a process they cannot fully envision. They know that the only thing they can control is their forward momentum.
Want to see how that plays out in the extreme? Check out Richard Rawlings, the star of a show called Fast ‘N Loud, as well as the star of our May cover. He sold a printing press he owned so he could invest the money in opening an auto garage—with the plan of building it up, turning himself into a character, then turning the whole thing into a TV show. That alone took eight years. Eight years of pitching the Discovery Channel, of staying focused on the long-term vision. And the TV show wasn’t even his end game: He saw it as a way to launch a broader brand, which now includes restaurants, a concert venue, and more.
Imagine if Richard had settled for the printing press. Or given up after one year of pitching—or three, or five, or seven! I’m telling you: The long game is the only game. Everything else is a distraction. -Jason Feifer.