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I was a journalism major at the University of Georgia and after graduation I had two job offers. One was for a newspaper in LaGrange, Georgia. The other was in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

Both papers were small (about 30,000 circulation), and had a reputation for developing young writers. After thinking it over, I chose to adventure West. I had never been to Idaho and knew nobody.

My mom took the 30 hour drive with me in my brown Grand Prix, my back seat and trunk filled with everything I owned. When I dropped her off at the airport to fly home I felt simultaneously proud and scared of my new independence.

During my time in Idaho, I learned how difficult it is to write a concise sentence, how to cast a fly rod, and I leveled up my snowboarding skills by venturing to the local hill multiple times per week before work (my work day started at 2pm).

My stint at the Post Register in Idaho didn't quite last a year. My bank account was quickly heading towards zero as my entry-level reporter salary didn't support trips to pricey resorts like Jackson Hole with my new friends. More than that I was home sick. I didn't want to admit it, but it was more difficult than I anticipated to be thousands of miles from my family and people that love me.

My first "real job" was an eye opener, and although I never took another newspaper job, I like to think it helped to shape me and how I approach business.

I learned the power of a good story, watched my boss lead with grace, and saw how powerful consistently setting deadlines can be.

I've spent the last decade managing people. And I have not yet had an employee that does not procrastinate. Even if a project has been 99% complete for weeks they will wait for the last day to officially submit.

We just wrapped up our 2023 Budget, and although we started it in July, my brother and I were making major business decisions on December 31st so we could "lock it in."

As we enter a new year, lots of us set new goals or made lists of resolutions. Set in the abstract we envision the new person we want to become. My guess is that most of those goals and resolutions do not have associated dates.

Even if you are the rare exception that is good at setting dates for yourself to complete the mundane like cancelling Netflix or mowing the lawn, it is very rare to do this on the more meaningful things in life.

However, these self imposed deadlines on major life milestones are the most powerful of all.

In 2009, after being laid off from my job as an insurance analyst, I set a deadline that I would start King of Pops (although it wasn't named quite yet) by April 1st, 2010. I also committed to staying at for at least a year.

Looking back, there were more unknowns than known as I ventured into entrepreneurship for the first time, but that deadline was key in getting this whole thing started. And the commitment to stick with it for a year allowed me to cast aside doubt when things weren't going as planned.

I'm a believer that we can accomplish more than we think. It's a big reason why we're so excited about the Cartrepreneur® program that we've started. More than an opportunity to be your own boss, it's the perfect entry point into owning your own business.

If you're thinking about making a change in your life it's smart to think it through, but a disservice to overthink it. It may not go as planned, but with hard work and a good attitude you'll come out on the other side for the better.

Life is short. Set a deadline, and make sure you're living it fully.

 

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