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Do you grind or blaze?: how two different attitudes can both lead to success.

Do you grind or blaze?: how two different attitudes can both lead to success.

Are you a grinder or a blazer?

Grinders and blazers are two different types of people that can both end up being successful, yet one group tends to be successful in the long run and the other tends to be more successful for the short-run.



Blazers are super passionate people who often dream big, shoot for the sky, and have huge ambitions. Blazers come up with a lot of ideas, and once they really dig into one, they tend to ignite like a flashfire (hence the nickname blazer, like a raging blaze). Blazers often end up being successful because their levels of motivation and commitment are very high, but they also tend to burn out quickly and hop from one big idea to the next.

On the positive side, blazers can be the serial entrepreneur who creates tons of successful companies but never sticks around to manage them, and on the flip side a blazer can be the person who is always moving from one get quick rich scheme to the next.

Blazers have a high potential for burnout and long term failure because they rely so heavily on passion and excitement to motivate them, but if they can learn how to keep their motivation going over a long period of time they can end up being quite successful.



Grinders are hustlers, they are the people that go out every single day and do the same thing over and over again, they are gritty and they are determined. Some people think grinders are crazy, but many times the people who love the grind end up grinding so long that they end up creating huge success over time. Grinders often lack enthusiasm and passion, they just know what they need to do and they do it each day: no feelings attached.

On the positive side, grinders can be the athlete who, despite not being very good, keeps practicing and becomes a world champion, but on the negative side the grinder can end up being the overweight middle aged man who gets up everyday to go to a 9-5 job that he hates.

Grinders usually take a long time to create success; rather than putting in a ton of work for a short period of time and coasting, grinders set a goal and do it every single day. Grinders can have a hard time maintaining encouragement because the results they are after often come slowly to them, but if they can learn to embrace the challenges of the grind and seek daily improvement, then they can compound their success.


So which is better a grinder or a blazer?

Grinders and blazers both have their benefits. Grinders are strong in the long term because once they commit, they dig in and can continue on through almost anything; blazers are strong in creating ideas and getting short term things done because they have so much internal passion and motivation.

The grinder has to learn to find passion and purpose to give meaning to their work; and the blazer has to learn to either maintain their motivation and drive for longer periods of time or they need to find opportunities where they can move from one project to the next easily.

Blazers and grinders are just two different types of people, and we all possess some these qualities in ourselves. I for one, am probably about 60/40 blazer to grinder. I work best when I am awash with passion and energy, but I know how to grind and push through when times are tough (or when I am lacking motivation), but I really hate the grind to be quite honest.

Maybe it is weakness on my part to want things to not have to be a grind in the first place, but I acknowledge that, many times, life is a grind and you can either dive in or give up, and I have never liked giving up.


Learn to blaze like an inferno and then ease into the grind.

The best case scenario is becoming a person who gets highly passionate about new ideas and experiences, dives in, and works like a mad man (or woman) until you get things done; but, if for some reason things end up being difficult or don’t go as planned, it’s good to put your nose down and grind for a while until you can find your next chance to reignite your passion.

Passion is a great thing to have, but without discipline, willpower, dedication, and the ability to grind a bit, it will be hard to accomplish much in the long run with passion alone.


Reject the label and just learn from both sides

Don’t call yourself a grinder or a blazer, just try to implement and learn the best of both worlds. As soon as you label yourself as this or that, you short change yourself and your abilities, so seek instead to take the good and implement it into your own life so you too can find the success that you are after.

What do you think, do you prefer to grind or to blaze? What things do you struggle with, motivation or discipline? Leave a comment below or on facebook and let me know what you think!


  1. Hi again Shane,
    This is a great article. It really helped me understand what I was doing, looking back at my successful ventures, versus my not-so-successful ventures.
    I’m off to read the “Be more like sandpaper” piece now.

    P.S … sticking “or women” in brackets… kinda puts us on the side, like an anomaly. I completely get you didn’t mean it, but, maybe something to think about next time.

    • monsterid

      Hey Bec,

      Thanks again for stopping by and leaving me some feedback for my post. I am glad you liked it and that it helped you distinguish the behaviors that differentiate success from not-so-successful. Glad to hear you are heading over to check out more of the site.

      In regard to the woman in the brackets, I know you already understand what I was trying to do (include women into a old adage [work like a madman], so that a woman reader wouldn’t feel left out); perhaps I should have just left work like a madman as is?

      I do try to consider women when I write my articles even though I understand that about 60% of my readers are males. I totally believe that women have every qualification (and potential) to work just as hard as men; and I certainly didn’t mean to make it seem that I was implying that a hardworking woman is an exception and not the norm. If anything, I have probably met more hardworking women than men in my lifetime!

      Thanks again for visiting!


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