The Golden Triangle: The Key to Mastery

My wife is an extraordinary person, as many of you may already know. One amazing skill she has is the ability to take all my random, seemingly unrelated ideas and tie them all together into a simple concept that’s easy to understand. This is one of her brilliant ideas that she came up with during one of our conversations. We call it: The Golden Triangle!

Picture a triangle in your mind. Then cut it horizontally into three sections so that the tip of the triangle is at the top and the bottom third of the triangle forms the base. Each section of the triangle represents the amount of time that is spent. We believe that there are three major parts to creating something valuable: Preparation, Work, and Presentation. Anything that is of value in the marketplace takes time to make or develop. So each section represents the time spent doing one of the three activities. Meaning that tip would represent the least amount of time spent, and the bottom of the triangle would mean that a lot more time was spent.

I made a short video where I explain this concept: The Golden Triangle

This concept of the Golden Triangle even applies to the business world as well – not just the artistic, service-oriented industries. Before an important business call is ever made, there is a lot of preparation that is done in order to make that call happen; and that prep work could’ve taken weeks or even months prior to ever picking up the phone. Then after the business call is made, there is an offer, agreement or proprosal that is presented. The time that is spent on the Preparation, Phone Call (Work), and the Presentation will be a major factor on the success or failure of that deal.

I love to cook, and I draw many of my artistic inspirations from chefs from around the world. Roberta Sundbrack is one of those chefs who inspires me, and I’m so impressed by her philosophy. She’s one of the chefs that I mention in the video above. When asked if she had any advice to give young chefs, she replied, “Do it for love. Never for money or glory. The time money and glory start being more important it’s over, the magic is lost.” Roberta Sundbrack

This is the beauty of The Golden Triangle. It reminds us to do our work for the love of doing it, and love – like many things that are truly valuable – takes time. You may not consider yourself an artist because you don’t paint or play music. However, Seth Godin, a multi-bestselling author, would disagree. He believes that everyone is an artist, or rather, has the potential to be an artist no matter what kind of work they are engaged in. He says, “Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient. The medium doesn’t matter. The intent does.
Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another.” Seth Godin, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

“Art is what we call…the thing an artist does.

It’s not the medium or the oil or the price or whether it hangs on a wall or you eat it. What matters, what makes it art, is that the person who made it overcame the resistance, ignored the voice of doubt and made something worth making. Something risky. Something human.

Art is not in the …eye of the beholder. It’s in the soul of the artist.”
― Seth Godin

The reason it is so important to take the time and create something of value is because “we get paid for bringing value to the marketplace. You don’t get paid for the hour. You get paid for the value you bring to the hour… It takes time to become valuable to the marketplace. But you don’t get paid for the time. You get paid for the value.” Jim Rohn

Spend more time on the work that nobody sees you do – the Prep Work. Your personal “Mise En Place.” The work that you will never get recognized for in public, but gives you all the valuable knowledge and experience necessary to become someone of value. That’s where most of the work – your time and energy – must be spent. Then you spend a little less time on your actual “job”. The task that is required of you to receive pay. Then the presentation, meaning the plating of the dish or putting the final touches on a Poodle’s pom-poms, should take the least amount of time. When this process is followed, you will most certainly acheive Mastery Level in your chosen occupation.

I can’t find the quote online, but I heard Robin Sharma say that we should work in a way that moves people with so much emotion that a tear comes to their eyes. The way tears would come to your eyes if you were looking up at the Sistene Chapel. Let us do our work because it is the work we chose to do as our unique and special way of adding value to the world. We all have the ability to change the world for the better just by doing our jobs – any job – the way an artist would. Serving others for the sake of serving them because that’s what is in our hearts to do.

Your art is what you do when no one can tell you exactly how to do it. Your art is the act of taking personal responsibility, challenging the status quo, and changing people… 

Art isn’t only a painting. Art is anything that’s creative, passionate, and personal. And great art resonates with the viewer, not only with the creator… 

I think art is the ability to change people with your work, to see things as they are and then create stories, images, and interactions that change the marketplace.”Seth Godin, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

If you’d like to learn more about Seth Godin, you can visit his blog at

You can also purchase Seth Godin’s book, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable on Amazon by clicking this link: Or the audio verson here:

2 thoughts on “The Golden Triangle: The Key to Mastery

    1. You’re too kind!! Thank you so much for taking the time to read it, and for going even a step further by leaving such an encouraging comment! I really appreciate it. They say that the greatest gift anyone can give is the gift of their time and attention. I am so grateful 🙂


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