“If we have a good quarter it’s because of work we did 3, 4, 5 years ago. It’s not because we did a good job this quarter.” - Jeff Bezos
Bezos’ Amazon is a pretty pervasive company.
Upwards of two hundred thousand employees. Eighty billion plus in revenues. Many subsidiaries. Hundreds of units operating with autonomy. Millions of people that use their infrastructure and services to support their own businesses.
As Benedict Evans says, “Amazon is a bundle.” A bundle run by a man whose vision is fixed years into the future.
In James Altucher’s guide to reinventing yourself, he talks about the timeline. It’s not, “if I do this for two months, it’ll change my life.”
It’s, “I’ll do this for five years, and only then will I realise the momentous impact.”
When we create schemes of self-improvement, do we allow ourselves that much slack? Do we say, as we begin the journey towards a changed life, “okay kid, relax, you won’t see the full effects for years.”
We do something for six weeks, a couple months, a year. Then we become disillusioned when we don’t see any progress and quit.
When it comes to changing your life, the timeline is years, not weeks. True, what you do today will affect you tomorrow. But more likely, you won’t see the consequences of your actions for years.
Every time you think of giving up, remember the timeline.