What is “The Grind”? Jim Taylor at Psychology Today has a good definition of the grind in regards to athletics:
In training and competitions, you arrive at a point at which it is no longer fun. I call this the Grind, which starts when it gets tiring, painful, and tedious. the Grind is also the point at which it really counts. The Grind is what separates successful athletes from those who don’t achieve their goals. Many athletes when they reach this point either ease up or give up because it’s just too darned hard. But truly motivated athletes reach the Grind and keep on going.
The grind applies to finance as well. Eli Radke at Trader Habits writes about how the grind applies to trading:
It takes a long time to become an overnight success. So how do you become a success? The grind. You have to love the grind. The slow and steady progress. So slow you might not even notice. Consciously or subconsciously you begin to have breakthroughs. These “ah ha” moments where all of the work before comes together to form a thought that changes everything…The grind makes everything easier, just not in the beginning. Expectations often fog progress.
Fred Wilson writing at A VC talks about the grind in relation to venture capital:
People ask me what a day in the life of a VC is like. Each one is different. But they can be a grind. Take yesterday for example…Depending on your perspective, my day yesterday will either seem stimulating or exhausting. It is both. I love my job. I get to meet amazing people and learn about awesome things every day. But the cost of that is meeting marathons where you have to be alert, active, and on your game in every one.
Do you have to love the grind? They call it the grind for a reason. It isn’t always fun. Pushing through the grind requires effort and energy that are not always there in abundance on a daily basis. Jim Taylor continues:
Many sport psychologists will say that you have to love the Grind. I say that, except for a very few hyper-motivated athletes, love isn’t in the cards because there’s not much to love. But how you respond to the Grind lies along a continuum. As I just mentioned, loving the Grind is rare. At the other end of the continuum is “I hate the Grind.” If you feel this way, you are not likely to stay motivated. I suggest that you neither love nor hate the Grind; you just accept it as part of the deal in striving toward your goals. The Grind may not be very enjoyable, but what does feel good is seeing your hard work pay off with success.
The Grind is unavoidable for anyone trying to achieve something of note. Overnight successes are a rarity. Anyone who achieves success in their chosen field has over time come to terms with the grind.