The importance of starting & the founding of Amazon

Not too long ago was the 25 year anniversary of the founding of Amazon. For something that seems so ubiquitous today it was great seeing what things looked like when they first started. I was reading through this article and it really shed some light on how far Jeff Bezos had come.

While I’m sure everyone may take a little something different from this, it really emphasized the importance of just starting.

It really got me thinking about what it would be like to stick with something for 25 years. This could apply to your marriage, your career or even a side hustle. 

I truly believe in a day and age where people’s attention span is so short, you can be a success just because you chose a path, took action , and stayed on it.

the importance of starting

The advantage of 25 years

While its certainly not as easy as just sticking with something for 25 years, I believe a lot of success can be obtained with just being the last man standing. It may just be about grinding it out, going the extra mile and realizing no one else decided do the same.

What am I talking about?

I’m talking about all the hardships that a person will face over 25 years. If you are determined to stick with it you’ll get good at getting up when you get knocked down.

Not to mention what can be gained from being on the same path for 25 years. The experiences and wisdom have to be tremendous.

I always take examples like this and extrapolate them to my life. What if I were to stay in blogging/digital marketing for 25 years? Its likely I may not own 5 homes but what are the chances I could cover my living expenses? I’d say its fairly likely.

What if I were to stay in the same industry professionally for 25 years? I work with a few colleagues that have done this and also some that have jumped industries a few times. 

The contacts, network, experiences are all exponentially greater for those that have stuck with it.

I believe that if you narrow your focus enough and stick with something that there is a floor on the amount of success (however you define it) you can have.

It’s amazing how much can change

Something that people want when they embark on a journey is the destination. If you leave on a road trip to New Orleans you are very likely to end in New Orleans.

Unfortunately its not anywhere near this simple with business. I mean look at Amazon and Jeff Bezos. When they started out here is a picture of Jeff and his first office.

Credit: 60 Minutes

Am I the only one that thinks this is inspiring? Do you think Jeff knew where Amazon was going to be in 25 years?

I’m guessing he thought it would be successful. However, I would bet he didn’t think they’d be making their own reading devices (kindle), the leader in the home devices segment (alexa devices) or producing their own shows (Prime Video).

Look at the image below. This is Jeff’s Empire and all the companies he or Amazon own or have invested in. How remarkable is this?

Credit: Marketwatch (link)

Sometimes its just about starting

Right now Walmart is trying to gain ground on Amazon. They see where the future is headed and are playing catchup.

While Amazon is good at a lot of things, one of the huge advantages that they have is time. This goes without saying they have all the wisdom, experiences, learnings from all that time.

The only way Walmart can catchup at this moment is to outspend Amazon to make up for lost time.

Sometimes its just about starting. Taking action and see where things go.

Again, applying this to my life. If someone wanted to start a blog and compete with me I’d have over a year advantage on them. I’d have nearly 60 posts, 50,000 words and and over a year of blogging experience.

The best time to start is today. Sometimes its just about starting.

Its important to stay on the path

Maybe this is something I think about more than others but there is a tremendous amount of value in just getting up and staying persistent.

Sometimes its not about the next big win, the next sale or even the next big bonus.

Sometimes, actually most times, its about getting out of bed and taking the next step on your journey.

I’d have to imagine Jeff Bezos has thought about hanging it up. I can’t imagine what it was like to go through the tech bubble as a tech company. In fact, here was the stock chart during the bubble. Amazon had been in business for about 25 years.

Credit: Yahoo Finance

There stock price in December of 2002 was $22 per share after falling so dramatically.

Here is there stock today.

Credit: Yahoo Finance

That stock price of $22 per share is way over on the left. There stock price today? Approaching $2,000 per share.

When you get knocked down you’ve got to get back up. You are only a failure when you quit.

Application to my life

Even just writing this post has given me more confidence in the paths I have chosen. Currently I’d say the paths I have chosen are:

  1. Personal mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health
  2. My marriage
  3. Family
  4. My work
  5. This Blog
  6. My finances

The trick is not to add any more paths, at least for me personally. The more paths you have the less you’ll be able to focus on each one.

What paths have you chosen? Are all the paths you’ve chosen something you are willing to stick with for 25 years?

Remember, sometimes its about the importance of starting, putting in the work and staying on the path.

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