It's mind-boggling to think that it was only in 2015 when I cannon-balled into the rocky waters of entrepreneurship.
Since then, I have gone through some of the most overwhelming highs and devastating lows of my life. I'll never forget when I saw that I was featured in Forbes for the first time, or when I was sinking in piles or debt, or when I took a private plane to a resort in South America, or when an overly zealous magazine editor told me I was "unoriginal".
This journey is a relentless rollercoaster of puppeteers pulling at your heart strings. And sometimes, all you can do is brave the storm and muster the courage to keep swimming.
It's probably difficult for anyone who's not an entrepreneur to understand what that feels like - that addiction to a challenge or goal that most would call completely unviable.
But that feeling is the strongest internal force I have. Without mentally and emotionally stretching my creativity everyday, I am nothing.
In entrepreneurship, you are never standing still. You are either growing or fading away.
And if you want to continue growing and improving at an accelerated rate, you have to learn to transform your perspective on time.
When I was a senior in college, a bizarre and rather disgusting thing happened to me - I got my index finger stuck in a blender and almost sliced it off.
Within seconds of ruining my smoothie with blood and chipped nail polish, I pulled it out and wrapped my finger in a kitchen towel. My two roommates just stood there, horrified, wondering if they should call an ambulance.
After a brief discussion, we collectively decided to just superglue the dangling finger back on. The emergency room was too expensive, I thought. No one has time for that.
And while my finger eventually healed post-superglue, it took a very long time and left a prominent scar that perhaps a few stitches wouldn't have.
In that moment, I had two choices. I could have valued money, or I could have valued time.
I chose to save money, and waste time.
I now realize that when people are faced to make decisions, their values come to the surface.
Some people - the Wealthy - value their time more than they value their money.
And others - the Poor - value their money more than their time.
When I say Wealthy and Poor, I'm speaking less about the status of their bank accounts and more about their mindset.
People who view the world through the lens of scarcity and limitations - Poor people - will do anything to hold onto the precious dollars they have. They'll spend years obsessing over finding the perfectly priced used car. They'll drive two hours out of the way to find a certain yogurt at a grocery store for a dollar cheaper. They'll wait a decade to go on a vacation for five days. And they'll waste months complaining about what they don't have without ever finding the time to fix it.
This mentality is rooted in the same cliches that most of us were raised with - money doesn't grow on trees, save it for a rainy day, you can find it cheaper at the Dollar Tree, etc.
But what Poor people fail to realize is that the money they have can always be made back. You can always get a new job, open up a business, or inherent a large sum from a distant uncle you've never heard of.
Making money is easy.
What they will never be able to make back is time.
And this is why Wealthy people put their precious hours above all else.
When you view the world through the lens of endless opportunity and abundance like the Wealthy do, you trust that by putting your money into opportunities that will help you grow faster, you yourself will become better.
And the better you become, the more money you will make.
That's why it's called an investment.
Time cannot be replenished, which is why it has to be strategically utilized.
But it's impossible if you spend days tinkering in activities that get you nowhere.
Endlessly reading blog posts. Searching for the cheapest solutions. Stalking Facebook groups for freebies. Contacting 100 service providers comparing prices.
If there is something that you give your time to everyday, every week, or every month that isn't helping you produce the leverage - expertise, money, time, resources, etc - you need to succeed, then I suggest putting those tasks into the hands of someone else so that you can focus on your growth.
If you're building an online business, for example, you should select four to five activities that push you forward and give you the experience and confidence to be more successful.
Everything else - making business cards, designing your website, writing email sequences, running your Facebook ads, etc - should go to someone who can do it better, faster.
That's what gets you ahead at lightning speed.
Not DIY-ing. Not budget-hunting. Not nickel-and-diming. But trusting that when you invest in the right opportunities, you will get your result 10 times faster.
That's what valuing your time before money looks like.
I would say that maybe 10% of the world views the world this way. But those who do are also the most successful people on the planet.
The question is, which lens do you subscribe to?
If you're ready to stop playing small and start seeing tangible progress in your business, let's talk about it. There's no time to waste.