Speaker | Entrepreneur | Author

Sam Davidson's blog

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Four Years Ago, Four Years From Now

I don't like to look at my life in decade markers. Where will I be 10 years from now? is too hard a question to answer. That's a third of my life. Forecasting that far our - unless I want to sell insurance the rest of my life - is nearly impossible. Instead, I look at my life four years at a time. That's much more familiar. I went to school in four-year increments. I can plan for four years. That's how I tackle any new dream. With a four-year plan, I spend the first year soaking in as much information as I can, then I think about specializing, then I hone in on a specific area and go deep, and in the final year I produce something of value and "arrive."

This is also how college happens, thus the familiarity.

In fact, I went into much more detail about the four-year commitment in this post - wait for it - four years ago.

Back then, I was not a dad. I had only started my first company and was thinking about writing my first book. I spoke sporadically, usually in small venues, mostly nearby.

And now, I've begun two companies, written three books, and travel and speak at conferences.

A lot can change in four years. The question, then, is whether or not you're ready to put in the work.

You entered college a wide-eyed freshman, curious about how it all worked. Four (or five) years later, you emerged, much different than that freshman. Why can't your professional life or personal goals be treated in the same way?

You have a dream and the unfortunate curse is that you want it now. But this is not how dreams or knowledge or achievement works. Time is required. Only time can provide you with the most valuable of lessons: experience. This lets you know what works and what doesn't, what you love and what you loathe, what you are good at doing and what is a struggle, and what's worth working towards and what needs walking away from.

Who were you four years ago? Life changes so fast.

Set a goal for yourself. And then, let the very next thing you do be to make a four-year commitment.

Nothing meaningful happens in 30 days.

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