When I look back on my 20s, I definitely thought I was working hard.
But really, compared to now, I was just coasting.
Are you familiar with my friend Warren Buffett? I did a grand opening event for him a few years ago and was reminded that Warren knows a thing or two about something called compounding.
He built his empire on the notion that effort and money, compounded over time, adds up to HUGE amounts of wealth.
So basically, I spent my 20s building a million-dollar business and working 40 hours per week.
Sounds cool, right?
I should have spent my 20s building a BILLION-dollar business, and working 80 hours per week.
Because all of that effort then would have produced compounded returns now that I’m 31.
I figured this out around the time I turned 30, when I looked around and said, well damn, I’m nowhere near where I thought I would be at this stage of my life. I better do something about that!
So I started taking rapid action.
I probably haven’t taken a full day “off” — doing absolutely no work on my companies or personal brand — for well over 18 months.
But that’s OK — because my efforts are compounding over time and will make my 30s and 40s and beyond MUCH, MUCH EASIER.
But if you’re thinking, Peter, dude, I’d die if I worked that much, and I can’t think that far ahead!
There are two reasons why you’re wrong. No offense.
- If you’re doing what you honestly want to do with your life, it’s not work. It’s play. And it’s awesome.
- If you’re executing hard and smart, returns on your efforts take weeks to see — not months, and certainly not years.
Take friend and fellow entrepreneur Nicolas Cole, who went from zero to 200,000+ views in his first 30 days on Medium.
30 days to nearly a quarter million views — and for him, traffic means attention, prospects and real business for his ghostwriting agency.
Let me prove this to you another way:
When I finally got into honest alignment with what I really wanted in life, I made some serious changes.
I started blogging like a madman. I built my personal branding website. I shot videos. I went nuts.
And in less than 6 months, I got a column in Inc. Magazine, got published in Forbes and The Huffington Post, was named a Millennial Move Maker, got into Columbia Business School, and made the top 15% of the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies in America.
But it takes rapid action, something my friend and former Navy Seal, Brandon Webb, calls “violence of action.”
That’s what I wish I knew as a Millennial entrepreneur: the power of compounding.