Mike Compston is a retired rancher in his 70's living in Nevada. In their full interview, Vance and Mike talk about how values are created and handed down, regrets he has from his life, the value of the Articulate Ventures Network, and what he thinks happens when you die.

In the below clip, they also touch on a dichotomy between 2 ideas that have been circulating in the network opposite each other, and are worth a deeper look into. There's the Three Quarter's End Concept which suggests an act of endurance is what you need to carry through a difficult situation, and there is also the Cain Sacrifice, in which you ask yourself, "What sacrifice am I not making to achieve my ultimate goals."

The Three Quarters End Concept

This idea comes from an interview Vance did with running coach Mark Spewak. In it, Mark explains this premise that can be applied at the micro or macro level in the things that we do. Looking at the micro first, Mark goes on to connect the concept to his native field of Running. The first quarter of the race comes with relative ease, the second quarter is when you start to hit something of a stride, but it's the third quarter where he sees runners struggle the most.

The reason in the micro example is that as a runner, you're far enough in that it's no longer easy, but you're equally far enough from the finish that the end isn't yet in sight. Mark goes on to note that this mental limbo is what causes many runners to 'check out' in the third quarter and start taking it easy either continuing that lull off effort until the home stretch burst of energy or worse off, riding it out until the finish.

Taking this concept then and thinking of it in the macro, I think that Vance did a great job of summing it up in this clip from full interview. Vance breaks reaching this junction simply into three steps:

  1. The euphoria of trying something new.
  2. The excitement of making it happen and seeing results.
  3. The long march down to the valley of disillusionment.

It is the decision of the individual to when they reach this valley, put their position into perspective and gather the energy to march forward in their objective.

In the macro, while valid in many cases, this idea starts to get a little murky dependent on the broader goals of the individual which is what leads to our dichotomy of ideas.

The Cain Sacrifice

Back to the above clip with Mike, during the interview, they touch on the perfect place to draw a murky example when talking about marriage. Having been together for ~50 years, Compston is able to talk about the subject from a position of authority. When talking about the sacrifices one sometimes needs to make in a lasting relationship is when Vance brings up idea of the Cain sacrifice as opposed to the three quarters end concept.

The idea in a sentence is that sometimes we need to give up something of value now, in order to obtain a greater return in the future. The Cain title comes from a story in the bible where Cain and Abel are both making their respective sacrifices, yet Abel is receiving dividends for his and Cain, none. God goes so far as to reject Cain's sacrifices because put simply, they aren't of great enough magnitude.

I'd first heard the concept from a Jordan Peterson clip which then came up in discussion with Vance when talking about an opportunity I'd had with WAND that fell short of the results I'd hoped for. The opportunity was a $50,000 grant where we'd made it to the final 40 out of some thousand submissions but didn't manage to seal the deal. In hindsight, this was for the best, even if not directly for WAND. Another member of the network and president of St. Louis Bank, Travis Liebig, had prompted me to ask myself, is $50,000 what's holding the business back? — Because if that's the case, then go out there and get $50,000 through a loan or some other arrangement and if it's not, then keep on keeping on and figure out what needs to be done. This prompted me to make my greater sacrifice in the form of bringing in a new team member to fill my day to day responsibilities and divorcing from WAND my time as the means of promoting its growth. This has allowed WAND to continue to grow at a pace where the team is happy as well as given me the freedom to continue to follow the path set forth by my daemon.

What's the takeaway?

The correct model is subjective to your goals, the desired outcome, and especially how broad the frame of reference you're looking through. When pursuing a direct goal with a direct means for good as the outcome, the play of endurance to follow through via the three quarters end concept may be the right lens for you. If however, you're in a scenario where winning the day doesn't win you the year, it may be worth considering what sacrifice you aren't making to serve the longer term good.


I'm Benjamin Anderson, executive producer for the Vance Crowe Podcast. In this series of articles, I dig deeper into Easter egg ideas from the podcast. Here, I will explore the 'why' behind concepts mentioned on the podcast, where otherwise you may only get the 'what'. I want these deeper dives and info riffs to help us build a tighter relationship between you the listener and us the podcast creators. Please feel free to send me a note, feedback and especially constructive criticism to ben@articulate.ventures.