What Could You Do In Four Years?

Four Years

Four years ago today, I posted my first blog post.

It got one tweet.

Four years later, I have over 100K reads a month on TMN.

Wow. Four years I have been doing this.

It seems like a long time. But, it really is not.

So, what could you accomplish in four years?

Four Years of Thanks

First, I have to thank my wife and kids for four years of supporting TMN. They have put up with me getting up before dawn every day to work on my passion.

I am sure there is a joke in there somewhere… “Yeah, my husband gets up at 4AM each day and plays Ninja before everyone else is up.”

Also, I have to thank all of you. I have been very fortunate to have a loyal readership and I know of many of you who have been reading my posts since the beginning of this site. I truly appreciate the kind words I get each and every day.

Why Do This For Four Years?

People ask me why do this for four years…

I do it because it is my passion. Time management always has been, back to when I was a kid. Strange? Maybe. But, is it any stranger than a gardening obsession? Or extreme couponing? Or <insert your passion here>?

We all have a passion. Find yours.

“When you do what you love, work isn’t work at all. It is play.”

(Tweet this Quote)

For me, blogging about time management, productivity, and technology is play.

What I Have Learned and Accomplished

Each year I have marked the anniversary of the TMN site by looking back at what I have learned and what I have accomplished.

(Here are posts from years one, two, and three.)

What I have learned in this year:

  • Success is (Still) a Long Process. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either lying, trying to sell you something, or doesn’t know. I have seen so many individuals and companies come-and-go in those four years. My original copywriter, most of the bloggers I started with, and even the blogging platform I started on (Posterous) are gone. They didn’t last.
  • Companies Still Don’t Get Social – Most companies still think social is a gimmick or are plain ignoring it. Many of them won’t be around at some point. At the same time, many that jumped on the social bandwagon as “experts” have been shown to be nothing more than opportunists with no real skill. (It’s hard to be an expert when you don’t have an online presence.)

Key accomplishments from this year:

  • Traffic – Site traffic almost doubled  year-over-year.  TMN has broken through the monthly six-figure traffic barrier. Which for a niche site, I would say is pretty good. I still remember when I was happy to see 100 readers a day.
  • Newsletter – I started the TMN newsletter last summer and have kept it going weekly for over a year. The TMN mailing list has more than doubled in size in that time. It has been a beneficial platform and is different than the website. It’s kind of like sending a personal letter to thousands of the TMN readers each week. (If you are not subscribed, please sign-up at the top of the right sidebar.)
  • Revenue – Last year the site was self-sufficient. This year, it is making enough income to support the site and added team resources. Most of the income comes from my existing ebook, affiliate links, and ads/sponsors in the sidebar. (Even got support via a TMN T-Shirt project. Thanks!)
  • Speaking – I spoke this January at the New Media Expo in Las Vegas. I moderated and spoke on a Productivity Power Panel that included Mike Vardy (Productivityist), Brett Kelly (Evernote Essentials), and Leo Widrich (Buffer App). It was a blast!
  • Press Exposure – I did a 3-part promotional series for Lifehacker and State Farm. Additionally, I was featured on sites ranging from The Huffington Post, AMEX O.P.E.N., and LinkedIn. (See here)
  • Team – Kelly from eaHelp joined the TMN team and has had a great impact on TMN’s operations. She runs a lot of the behind the scenes stuff and frees me up to concentrate on creating new material and opportunities. Chances are, if you have reached out to TMN, you have connected with her.

Where Does TMN Go From Here?

I am always working on the next step for TMN.

There have been many experiments along the way. Some worked and some didn’t, but it’s about always stepping forward.

Here’s what’s next:

  • Ebooks – I mentioned ebooks last year. They are very close to completion. You will see several in the coming months.
  • Courses – I have been working with an online training platform to deliver some elearning courses ranging from email management to goal setting, and of course, time management.
  • Traditional Book – I have code named this project “Book Book.” My new book (book) is in the writing phase now. Planning a publish date soon.
  • Speaking – I have had many more speaking opportunities. My schedule currently does not allow for many, so I have been very selective. However, I have 5 being scheduled for 2014 already.

And of course, I have several double-secret ninja-type plans in the works… that I can’t talk about yet… so stay tuned.

Where Were You Four Years Ago?

Where were you four years ago?

And where could you be now if you had started something?

A new business. A new degree. A new job. A new relationship.

You can accomplish a lot in four years.

What will you do in the next four?

Question: What could you accomplish in the next four years? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

25 thoughts on “What Could You Do In Four Years?

  1. Congratulations Craig! Four years ago I was finishing my masters in Barcelona and coming home to the US unemployed. Today, I have my own creative agency, just self-published a book, and launched my personal blog separate from the company. It’s amazing what can happen when you put forth the effort and work on what you are passionate about.

  2. Craig, I’m very excited for you! That is some amazing growth and I hope you all the best in the future endeavors. Four years-me has nothing on present-me. I’ve started so many new things in the past half a year alone, many that are paying off very well. Can’t wait to see what it’s like four years from today!

  3. Congrats, Craig. This is inspiring for many of us just getting this blog thing rolling. If I have half of your success in four years, I’ll consider my blog a success! Thanks for your stuff. I love it.

  4. I really am just commenting to say that I love code-naming your project book (book). That is awesome! Congrats on your 4 years of blogging, Craig! TMN is awesome 🙂

    1. Thanks, Thekla.

      Great to see you. 🙂 I do believe that you were one of my earliest readers. Thanks for your support along the way.

      PS – Yes, the book (book) is coming soon…

  5. Congratulations Craig on the four years! I really enjoy your posts, especially this one as I’ve recently started a blog. Great inspiration!

  6. Way to go Craig! The fact that you’ve put in the work for 4 years is the most impressive stat to me. 4 years ago I was reeling from quick success to even quicker failure. I started a business that eventually failed (but I learned a ton), finished my degree, moved to a new city, and have started a successful business since. The key to success, in my opinion, is the day in, day out work. The small wins that eventually add up. Here’s to the next 4 years!

    1. Thanks, Jeffrey!

      I saw in great clip from Gary Vaynerchuk recently where he stated that too many people don’t have the “patience” to be success. True, very true.

      Best wishes. 🙂

  7. Congratulations on another milestone! As a student in the last month
    of a BSc., I agree wholeheartedly with the difference four years can

  8. That’s inspiring. And hope-giving. I just started. See ya in four years! I needed to realize that now is an OK place to start even though I didn’t have an audience… duh. Of course. I needed to start first. Then get an audience. Find the audience. Develop the audience. Simple pimple! 🙂 Thanks for writing. I found your blog because it was listed on Michael Hyatt’s testimonials of others using his Get Noticed! theme. All the best!

  9. Congratulations Craig! Thank you for sharing your story. Reading this story on a monday morning has really inspired me to go after things that I am passionate about. Thank you for inspiring us through your posts.

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