10,000 Days, One Thing

If I could give you one thing of value out of this post it would be:

If you want to get something done and you are serious about it,
write it down, post it on your mirror, and look at it every day.

(Or stick it on a note in your wallet. Make it the unavoidable mission in front of you.)

This year I will be hitting my 10,000th day in this world; one crazy thought. In another 10,000 I will be just shy of 55 years old. It never seems like there is enough time in a day, but I can’t help but think, what would I do if I knew I had exactly 10,000 days and counting? Few of us truly know the number to our days, but “What would you do with 10,000 days?” Perhaps something like this:

  • Visit and live in a beautiful foreign country like New Zealand
  • Go somewhere not knowing when I’ll come back
  • Go tornado chasing
  • Learn to surf
  • Learn a foreign language
  • Learn to play guitar
  • Start that business I’ve been talking about for years

What would you add to the list? If money was not a concern, what would you do? What value would you bring to the table? Its a question I have asked myself many times. I have found that it is a great exercise to spend 15-20 minutes at least once a year doing a mission critical status report for myself; a visualization of goals and direction.

Here’s more or less what I do:

  1. Where was I one year ago? What was I doing? What was I working on? Where was I living? What were my goals? How was I feeling about life one year ago?
  2. What about five years ago? What was going on in my life? Where was I? What were my dreams, passions and goals? Seriously take five minutes and think about it…
  3. … no really, read one and two again and think about it… its okay, I’ll wait..
  4. Okay now that you’ve immersed yourself in your past, where are you today? Have you achieved or worked toward those things you were passionate about 1 & 5 years ago? If not, why? What could you do to change that?
  5. Write that down.
  6. What do I want for myself in the next year? Where do I want to be? What do I want to have achieved? What do I want to work to change? Fix? Improve? … What about in Five years?
  7. Now live in that for a few minutes. What does it feel like to have reached those goals? How has it changed me? Imagine everything about being there, in that new place.
  8. Write down those goals; specifically. What do you want to have done, completed, accomplished, changed in five years? Be truthful to yourself.

Andrew Herr jumping on the golf course at Martis Camp with Sunset in TreeThere are guys I know that have made fortunes simply telling people, “Figure out what you should be doing, and then do that.”  There are tons of blog posts about becoming a pro in anything with 10,000 hours of dedicated practice; in fact there is a young man I read about who is trying to become a golf pro by dedicating his life to practicing it (Dan McLaughlin’s 10,000-hours plan). I’m no rocket surgeon but I’m pretty sure 10,000 hours can fit in 10,000 days.  Whatever it is that you truly want to accomplish, make no more excuses, there will never be a perfect time, make it happen. Get ‘er Done! Some day those 10,000 days will be behind you.

Thank you for reading my blog – Daniel S. Herr.
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Daniel Herr Profile Picture (@DanHerr)P.S. – If you’re curious, me, as Daniel Herr, if I could give one thing to the world, I would create a non-profit organization with a mission to create, invest in, build, and support sustainable businesses. I envision an organization that reinvests what is earned into the community and the world around it. I want to build businesses not merely with the intention to get rich and the desire become the largest of the Fortune 500’s, but the goal of becoming the best businesses they can possibly be. Choosing instead of big, to be great. And I am working toward that end…

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Comments

  1. I have a dry erase marker specifically for writing on my bathroom mirror!

  2. As I think back on this post and my stated goal of creating what would appear to be a Non-Profit Private Equity Fund, I have a number of questions:
    1.) Can a Non-Profit own profitable businesses (I imagine so if you look at university endowments, but perhaps you create it as a for-profit with re-investment parameters in the management agreement)
    2.) Would it be an endowment, public charity, private charity, PE fund? A combination of entities?
    3.) What level of profitability is acceptable for the children of a non-profit? Perhaps there is no set number, especially if you are creating value.
    4.) What would the investing activities look like? Obviously the entity would acquire businesses and continue to operate those profitably, but what about that profit? Some would be invested back into the same businesses for growth, but the rest? Perhaps in the stairs of an entrepreneurial community (founders, startups, growth,… champions)?
    5.) Whom would/should I work with in this pursuit?

Trackbacks

  1. […] that looking back on my post comments about creating a Private Equity Non-Profit Fund, I also found this article from 2012. Definitely […]

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