A few years ago, I was lucky enough to score a meeting with a successful entrepreneur who had just sold his internet company for hundreds of millions of dollars. I desperately wanted him to be my mentor, so I rode my Harley up to Santa Barbara to meet with him. I showed him an early version of Credit Repair Cloud that I was working on. He thought it showed promise and I was over the moon.
Next, I began to tell him about all the other projects that I wanted to start on. To this he stopped me abruptly and said: “Don’t do that. Don’t start any other projects. Only focus on this one thing until it can run without you.”
“Don’t start any other projects. Only focus on this one thing.”
My problem is: I’m an idea guy, with ideas that flow all day long and I cant stop ‘em. However, I wanted to impress him, so as an experiment I set out to follow his advice and do nothing but focus on this one thing. From that moment on, I put every waking thought into my one goal. I lived and breathed it. I dreamed it. I put every penny into it and lived on top ramen. Sometimes I’d work for several days in a row without sleeping. I was driven.
I quickly learned that amazing things happen when you put extreme focus into just one single goal. It gave me super human productivity, enabling me to move forward 10X faster and do the work of 10 people. Along the way, when a new idea would pop into my head, I’d quickly write it in a notebook, to push it out of my mind and regain my laser beam focus. So that’s how I forged ahead, inch by inch, moving forward just a little each day — Like slowly pushing a boulder up a cliff.
“It was like slowly pushing a boulder up a cliff.”
Now years later, my focus and commitment have paid off. Doing the work of 10 enabled me to do the impossible and launch something awesome and huge with no investors, no board of directors — and nothing but extreme focus. Little by little more amazing people have come onboard, and now my small idea has grown into a successful company, with stellar employees and very successful customers in 1,200 cities and 15 countries — with an awesome team, a company culture, and barbecues. That one idea transformed into a living-breathing entity with a momentum and life of it’s own.
I am so thankful for the amazing and simple advice I received that day in Santa Barbara. I couldn’t have accomplished my mission if i had been distracted by all the other ideas in my head. I never did see that entrepreneur again, but his life-changing sentence still echoes in my head, making him the best mentor I’ve ever had.
Now as I am helping and mentoring others, I see that most new entrepreneurs spread themselves too thin. If this sounds like you, as an experiment, try to rein it in and focus on just one thing. Focus is key. Keep a notebook of all your other ideas, but keep your eye on the prize with one big goal, broken down into all the small steps you’ll need to reach to get there. Remember; If you keep moving forward just a little every day you will always have momentum.
“Remember; If you keep moving forward just a little every day you will always have momentum.”
This 1 minute video by Casey Neistat that reminds me of this same topic. If you’re an entrepreneur you’ll enjoy this.
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