When you heat up a frozen pizza, for the first 7-8 minutes, not much happens. It is only in the last 1-2 minutes that the cheese takes on its delicious golden brown, that the salami curls up its edges, and that the crust gets crispy.
What you do for those first 7-8 minutes almost doesn’t matter. You can watch the pizza intently, take a phone call, or do laundry in the basement — but if you mess up those last two minutes, you’ll end up with either an undercooked mush or a very large piece of coal. Whatever you do, you better make sure you’re around for those crucial last two minutes. Only then can you make sure you get your pizza exactly as you like it.
In life, too, the crispiness often comes at the end. It might be tempting to sell your business after seven years of struggle, but chances are your biggest growth spurt is just around the corner.
Stocks return the most in the years right before we retire — because even if the annual growth rate is the same, our base has already grown into a large pie to begin with. 8% of $1,000,000 is still $80,000. That’s a year or two of living expenses.
Relationships are most rewarding once we’ve found our rhythm. Friend or partner, it’s easy to feel good in the company of someone you’ve known for 20 years. What if you break up just before you’ll hit your stride? We can’t always know, but it’s important to try to be there for the tail end.
The night is always darkest before the dawn. When you feel most doubtful whether years of struggle have been worth it is likely the moment when you’ll most benefit from steering the course. Don’t give up too soon. Be there for the last two minutes of your pizza. It always gets crispy at the end.