Conor McGregor earned (or is estimated to earn) $80 million after his fight with Cowboy tonight. The fight lasted 40 seconds. That’s $2 million per second. Not a bad pay day.

On first looks it can seem like it all came at once. But when you dig deeper, you realise it’s compound interest playing its part.

Conor has trained hard his whole life. He’s spent hours in the gym, sacrificed other opportunities in life to pursue fighting, been punched in the face, choked out, bled in the arena. You name it, he’s done it. All the while believing in himself. Telling others what he’s going to do and then backing it up.

Fighting might not be your thing but it doesn’t have to be. Your thing can be your thing. It’s the same process.

What will hold you back from improving is expecting to be perfect of the first go, expecting not to have to put effort in and still reap the rewards.

No rewards come without risk. The most despised people in society are those who reap rewards but take no risk, think bankers, politicians and terrible bosses. Spoils should go to the ones in the arena, not outside.

All the greatest benefits in life come from compound interest. Relationships, wealth, erudition (exceptional knowledge), wisdom, health. Anything which grows too quickly is at risk of being fragile, too big, too soon.

If you’re making something, if you’re starting out, start small, work towards progress not perfection. The pay day (rewards) won’t come without risk (continuous and revised efforts over time).

A fighter like Conor McGregor gets paid $2m per second because he’s spent his time in the arena, he’s shared his truth, he’s built his brand, he’s built a following. People show up to see his work.

The same goes for you. If you want people to show and see your work, give them a reason to.

If you want people to read your writing, write, publish it, write better.

If you want people to buy your photos and hang them on their wall, take photos, share them, sell them, take better photos.

If you want people to use your code, to use your application, make it, share it, make it better.

Sweat doesn’t start by pouring off you, it happens drip by drip. Fill the bucket up.