Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a motivational speaker who can speak about the power of longevity in business and how time is much more important than timing at your next event. Contact us to check availability. The full transcript of the above video is included below.


Full Video Transcript:

Hi and welcome to another edition of Strategic Business Insights. Today we’re going to talk about time, time and the role it plays in success. And there are really two different areas that I’m talking about, but I’m going to borrow a phrase from the stock market: Success in the stock market is not about timing, it’s about time. Buy something and hold it for a long period of time and you can see those gains.

Now, if you’re a trader you’re going to disagree with that entirely, but let me go with this saying because it relates to success in so many ways. First off, think about the book my Malcolm Gladwell entitled Outliers. In that book—if you haven’t read it I highly recommend you read that book, Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell—but in that book he talks about the 10,000-hour rule. And you may have heard about that somewhere because he didn’t invent that, but he talked about it a lot in the book. And the idea was that if you spend 10,000 hours doing something, you’re going to become world-class at doing that thing. World-class, and he looked at all kinds of examples like Bill Gates and the Beatles and Steve Jobs and hockey players and countless others, people who spent a huge amount of time doing one thing become very, very proficient at it.

But the second thing is in business, when you’re in one field for a long period of time, everyone in your network gets to realize that you are in that space. You develop a very congruent identity. Everyone knows that your identity is doing what you do. And this is something that I really kind of screwed up myself, not only just in business but even as an employee. And if you’re an employee it relates there too. Like if you have a job over here for two, three years and then you leave that and you go to this totally different thing and work over here for two or three years, and then even a third thing, it’s not coherent, it’s not congruent at all. And if you’re going in for interviews, inevitably you’re always going to need to have a story to explain why did you go from here to over there and why did you go from there to over here, because the person who wants to hire you is thinking, “This doesn’t make sense. It’s not congruent. I don’t understand what this person is about.” But when you do one thing or if you’re in one field for a long period of time, people get to know that that’s what you do.

And so for myself when I was in business in the beginning I did a whole bunch of different things, and I changed because they either weren’t something I enjoyed doing or I enjoyed doing it but I didn’t make a lot of money doing it. So for one of those two reasons I switched more than a couple of times, like three, four times to different fields to try and find something that I both enjoy and I could make a good living at. And I finally found it in the speaking business, which is what I do today, and I’ve been a professional speaker now for about seven years.

And there’s a magic that takes hold around the five-year mark. There’s nothing scientific about that at all, but it’s something I felt that I’ve been doing the same thing for five years and my whole network starts to understand that this is what I do. People are like, “What does Patrick do?” They’re like, “He’s a professional speaker.” There’s no hesitation there anymore. There’s no conflict in those words or anything like that. People know it’s congruent. They’re like, “That’s what he does,” and I love what I do. But you have to do the same thing.

And maybe there’s another level of even higher congruence, like more magic that kicks in at the seven- or the 10-year mark or the 15-year mark or the 20-year mark. I don’t know because I haven’t gotten that far. But I noticed around the five-, six-year mark that the congruence really started to settle in. People were like, “I understand what Patrick does.” And that helps. It helps my referrals. It helps everything. Everything runs smoother.

So again, there are two different reasons why time, spending time in a given space, benefits you long-term. The first is that you’re going to become very, very good at doing that one thing. You’re going to develop instincts and intuitions in your area where you can see things quicker than most other people could see them because you have such a heightened level of familiarity and expertise and experience that you can look at a situation and just immediately be like, “I can see what’s going on here very, very quickly.” So that’s the first reason, is you develop that experience and expertise. But the second thing is that your whole network, your whole life ends up being built around that one thing and there’s a congruence that sets in, and it helps your referrals, it helps your identity, everything in your business runs smoother.

So success in business is not about timing, it’s about time. Pick one thing. Look at your life and think about what is it that you both enjoy doing and you can make a living doing. If you’ve found something that hits those two, stick with it. Stick with it, especially if maybe you’re struggling. Maybe it’s year three or year four. I know how that feels. I’ve struggled for years myself. But stick with it because the longer you’re in it, you’re going to get better at it and your identity is going to coalesce around that one thing, and that’s going to move your business forward.

So stay the course. Don’t switch around so much. It’s not good. It’s not good in the employment markets and it’s not good in business. Success is about time. Spend time. Pick one thing and build your whole life around it.

Thanks for watching this video. My name is Patrick, reminding you as always to think bigger about your business, think bigger about your life.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a keynote speaker who has spoken at business conferences in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.