Thursday, May 30, 2024

Love the dirt - Sahil Bloom

"You've Gotta Love The Dirt"

I'm fascinated by professional longevity—what allows one person (or company) to survive and thrive even as their counterparts and competitors fade and wither away?

Gary Vaynerchuk has had incredible longevity in his career as an entrepreneur and creator.

We were chatting about what enables this longevity, when he casually dropped a single, incredibly powerful line:

"You've gotta love the dirt."

The conversation moved on from there, but reflecting during the ride home, I was attached to that one line.

Let me explain:

The dirt is where you start. It's where you're built. It's where you find your initial success.

The dirt is the things that don't scale: It's talking to customers, spending time in the weeds, engaging with your employees and colleagues, testing and learning.

The dirt is where you find the early gold.

We all start in the dirt on the journey to success, but few are willing to remain there. Few fall in love with the dirt.

Most people get that early taste of the gold and it changes them. As soon as they can, they leave the dirt behind.

In Gary's words, "They head up to the skybox." They never feel the dirt again.

This is why most won't last. This is why they don't have true longevity.

Because if there's one fundamental truth of life, it's that the dirt is where the game is played.

The dirt is where the gold is found.

The day you leave the dirt is the day the clock starts ticking down on your run.

You've gotta love the dirt.

Embracing "The Dirt" In Your Life

If you've been a reader for a while, you'll know that I believe the most powerful principles apply broadly across your life (not just in a single domain).

Importantly, while the genesis of the comment was about business, this insight on loving the dirt applies to every area of life:

Business & Career

In Legacy, a book about the world famous New Zealand All Blacks rugby team, the opening chapter tells a story about the veterans of the team being the ones who clean up the locker room after the end of the Rugby World Cup match.

Lesson: You're never too big for the dirt.

In your career or business endeavors, the dirt is what makes you successful:

·       Talking to customers and stakeholders

·       Engaging with employees up and down the organizational hierarchy

·       Owning the failures

·       Giving credit to the team for successes

The most successful CEOs in the world may have immense leverage from their teams, but they never lose sight of the basics.


In the social media age, we're inclined to believe that relationships are built on picturesque vacations, in manicured photos, and the like.

But real relationships are built on the basics that you never see on social media:

·       Having hard conversations

·       Sitting with people in the mud when they're going through darkness

·       Showing up when it's inconvenient for those you love

·       Cheering for the successes of others (even when you're failing)

The dirt is where the deep, lasting relationships are forged. If you get too far away from it, there's no coming back.

Physical & Mental Health

I often espouse the benefits of doing hard things in your daily life—of never shying away from the friction.

This is, fundamentally, about embracing the dirt.

A fit body and a strong mind are built through hard things:

·       Pushing yourself physically

·       Punching the clock, even when you don't feel like it

·       Slowing down to embrace stillness

·       Experiencing true silence and solitude

Fall in love with the hard things and live an easy life.

The takeaway of all of this:

If you want to build something meaningful, something that lasts—in your business, relationships, or health—you've gotta love the dirt.

Never lose sight of the difficult, boring, gritty basics that made you successful in the first place.

If you do, you'll live to regret it.

Source –