In my early thirties an epiphany emerged from my training log that shaped the arc of my life. I was competing in age group triathlons at the time and as a natural record keeper I carefully logged every workout, every race, and every personal best. One day while flipping through the pages of my logbook, a startling revelation jumped out at me.
On any given day I might have more energy or less energy, faster lap times or slower lap times, better splits or worse splits, than the day before, the week before, or even the month before. But on a timescale of years, my progress was always positive and substantial. The focus I had given to my training was paying off.
But triathlon was not the only thing that appealed to me. I also liked sailing, skiing, hiking, rock climbing, and even soaring. But what I understood from my training log was that if I wanted to become an expert at something I needed to focus, and that meant making the hard choices to say No to a lot of things I enjoyed. I thought hard about what I would do, because I really did love all these different activities. Ultimately, I made the conscious decision to focus on sailing and let the other activities drop away.
That was half a life ago, and today I am amazed by the things I have learned, the experiences I have had and the connections I have formed. Earl Nightingale was right when he said that if you spend just one hour a day on a subject, within five years you will be a world expert in that area.
These same lessons apply to business. There are always new and challenging things to pursue: the latest social media platform, the newest cause, the hottest business idea. At the SSC we would be dishonest if we claimed to have never strayed from our path, yet we are proud to report that our mission and vision have not changed in nearly four years, and like a yogi bringing his focus back to his breath, we have our mission and vision to keep bringing our focus back to why we are here.