What is the Business Hourglass?

The Wealth Building Hourglass is the concept that you build a wide base of skills and experience at the bottom. This wide base is the foundation where you learn, try, adapt, and explore ideas. This base builds character, experience, and gives you skills that bring you closer to a big win. Once you have the potential for a big win, you must narrow your focus, just like an hourglass. When your focus is narrowed you achieve a fast growth phase. Eventually you’ll reach a point of diminished returns, burnout, or just accept the success you’ve achieved as sufficient. Once this phase is complete, the goal is to pivot and diversify your profits into other smart investments that hold value or plant new seeds for the next leg of your entrepreneurial journey. 

This is a principle that I’ve brainstormed by bringing several concepts together along with my own personal experience. I’ve also applied this to other areas of life which are discussed later in this article. Enjoy!

How it works:

First, start at the very bottom of the infographic below and work your way up.

1. The Base - Exploration and testing phase

Try as many things as you can - fail quick and fail often - move through your failures - take them as nothing more than learning lessons.

2. Proven Big Potential

Eventually you’ll find something that might just stick. If you’ve tried dozens of things over the course of years you should know when something is going to be big.

3. The Inflection Point

Once you have that “one thing” that you see massive potential with delegate, automate, or eliminate everything else and focus ONLY on that one thing that’s working well.

4. Narrow your Focus

Take massive action and put in the work to capitalize on what is working well - this is grind time baby! TIme to quadruple down. Focus builds wealth.

5. Diminished Returns

Once you’ve been grinding for a long time you’ll either reach a point of diminished returns or reach a satisfied level of success or burn out - but don’t quit too soon, squeeze your narrowed focus phase for everything it’s got - if you’ve plateaued or you’re seeing diminished returns it’s probably time to pivot.

6. The Plateau Pivot

Once you’re sure you’ve plateaued it’s time to do as much as you can to delegate, automate, or eliminate the one thing you’ve narrowed your focus on and take your profits into other vehicles.

7. The Top - Diversify and/or Plant New Seeds

Where focus builds wealth, diversification preserves wealth - diversify and take your foot off the gas and/or plant new seeds to start the process over again.

This principle can be applied elsewhere

This principle can easily be translated into other areas of life. This is more of a “brain dump” or a journaling exercise for me to explore my thoughts. But here are a few examples where I see it taking place in my life:


“The base, exploring and testing phase”

From my experience, you just go out into the world and put yourself out there and see who you meet. Through conversation and pushing your comfort zone some people you meet will stick and some people will drop off. But once in a blue moon you’ll find someone who becomes a very valuable part of your network

“Small wins” (like minded peers - this is actually my network)
  • Mitch - the real estate investor coach
  • David - the CBD farm owner
  • Lisa - the wellness spa owner
  • CJ - the community pet waste management owner
  • Nick - the real estate and property management guy
  • Peris - the hustler / options trader
  • Kyle - the Photographer
  • Mark - the water feature landscape business owner
  • Justin - the serial entrepreneur / hustler
  • Jake - the glass blowing studio owner
  • etc…
“Failure / Lesson” (people who drop off, names are made up)
  • Jim
  • Ed
  • Joe
  • etc…
“Proven Big Potential”
  • Tom - the business coach, real estate investor, and serial entrepreneur
“Inflection Point”

Meeting Tom for the first time was an eye opener. Dare I say life changing.. I was in “lone wolf” mode in the early days trying to build my business. And in that phase I felt quite insane. I thought I was crazy. Then I met Tom and we saw eye to eye on everything, and I realized I’m not out here alone trying to “conquer the world”. He has a decade of business experience over me and lent me tons of ideas and insights. It was obvious Tom would be a valuable “peer” to develop a relationship with.

“Narrow Focus”

I met with Tom approximately two times per month for nearly a year, and still meet with him from time to time. I’ve definitely made progress and improvements to my business as a result. And his passion, hunger, and relentlessness lights a fire in me to be the same way and push for progress and growth.

“Diminished Returns”

Of course it’s possible to see my relationship with Tom deteriorate, but I don’t see that happening. Tom is hungry as hell and relentless in his pursuit of business and overall growth, and I’m right there with him. So the Plateau point might not apply here..


With enough success and financial resources I think it’s fair to assume the potential to eventually do a bit of networking through Tom to meet other individuals doing big things. I could plant additional seeds to see which networking opportunities and relationships I could grow from there!


“The base, exploring and testing phase”

This is basically dating… Do I need to say more..? Date around and don’t settle down too early. Explore your options. Build your experience with women. Learn how to handle heated situations and emotional women. How to handle breakups and rejections. Learn how to maintain a masculine frame within a “comfortable” relationship. Etc..

“Small wins”
  • Short term relationships
  • Friends with Benefits
  • Hookups and flings
  • “Spinning plates”
  • etc..
“Failure / Lessons”
  • Rejections
  • Breakups
  • The girl cheats on you
  • You find out all she just wants you because you buy her things
  • etc..
“Proven Big Potential”
  • That one girl that adds so much value to your life that you can’t help but want to lock her down, make her yours, and build a life with her.
“Inflection Point”

You realize she’s “wifey material”, mother material, she’s cooperative and trusts you to lead, supports you in your mission, brings you peace at the end of a stressful day, etc.. Basically realizing tons of green flags and few or no red flags.

“Narrow Focus”

Make her your girl, marry if that’s your thing, and build a life together.

“Diminished Returns”

Ok, so this label is only applicable if the relationship falls into disarray. Divorce would be the prime example for this label. If that’s the case, it breaks this model. But otherwise this label might not exist in healthy relationships.


This would be the point in your life where you have children and/or grandchildren. You “plant the seeds” of the next generation and offer your wisdom to help them grow into healthy adults.


“The base, exploring and testing phase”

Trying different sports, diets, eating habits, supplements, workout routines, etc… Here is my list:

“Small wins”
  • Cutting out all processed foods - focus on whole foods
  • 2-3 meals per day with zero snacks in between
  • Adaptogens over caffeine
  • 100% eliminating alcohol & sugary drinks / soda
  • Zero cigarettes, vapes, weed, etc..
  • Multi-day fasts (water only)
  • Healthy circadian rhythm (sleep at 10pm - wake with sunrise)
  • Skateboarding/Juggling/Hiking/Unicycling/Volleyball/etc
  • Calisthenics
  • Consistently tracking calories and macros
“Failure / Lessons”
  • Veganism
  • One meal per day
  • Too much fasting
  • Trying soooo many supplements that just didn’t do anything
  • Working with “professionals” that didn’t get me any results (digestion related)
“Proven Big Potential”
  • Fitness - 5x5 Stronglifts (I added nearly 30lbs of muscle doing this years ago)
  • Diet - Carnivore / Paleo / Mediterranean (avoiding sugar and anything processed)
“Inflection Point”

Strength - Seeing noticeable results doing 5x5 stronglifts after weeks/months. The progressive overload and weight I was putting up was impressive for my skinny frame. I built a lot of strength in a short period of time and started looking pretty good. (this was when I had a weight rack in the basement of my apartment, ever since I moved and then started Vanlife I’ve completely failed to continue this)

Diet - working with my Nutritionist and getting results from proper testing (which other “professionals couldn’t achieve”) really gave me a lot of confidence in working with her. 

“Narrow Focus”

Strength - Once I saw the results and locked in my lifting routine, I was all in. I was lifting very consistently and made a lot of progress in a short period of time following that framework. When I get back into fitness my starting goal / plan is for one dedicated year of consistent strength training 3 times per week. This will be my narrowed focus on fitness.

Diet - I’m currently working with a Nutritionist that has me on a specific protocol to address digestive issues I’ve been dealing with for years. I’ve seen hints of relief, or a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m working with her for all of 2022 and focusing all of my dietary efforts on following her protocol. Currently this is my narrowed focus on diet.

“Diminished Returns”

Strength - Honestly, you could probably do compound lifts and progressive overload forever.. But my previous plan was to get to a specific weight by strength training and then pivot from strength training into hypertrophy training.

Diet - Assuming I get my digestive problems solved I will no longer need to work with my nutritionist and I will pivot to a caloric surplus and start strength training again to rebuild strength and muscle mass.


Strength - Building a solid physique gives you the ability to use that as an asset in other areas of life. Whether it’s sports, fun calisthenics, attracting women, maybe even modeling, or anything else. You can explore how that strength and physique can add value to your life in other ways.

Diet - Generally speaking, I don’t think this would apply. Once you find a diet that really works for you it’s probably best to just stick with it.

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