I stepped out of my house this morning and was met with a brisk breeze. The temperature read 42F, and the hair on my skin stood up. I got in my car and pulled out my phone, plugged it into the auxiliary port and began playing “Adagio in D Minor” by John Murphy.
Then I did something that many of you probably wouldn’t have done. I rolled down all of my windows and began my hour long commute to work.
I know that a lot of my friends think I’m crazy for loving colder weather, but I love it for one reason:
When I’m cold, I feel like my entire body slows down. Each motion, each movement of a finger to turn the steering wheel, each breath feels just a little bit slower.
In fact, it even feels like my mind runs just a bit slower. Instead of racing ideas pounding through my head, I just take a deep breath. I take in the smell of the breeze, the sound of the birds in early morning, and I do just one thing: breathe. It seems like it’s just me and the world.
When I slow down like this, I tend to focus more. And focus is something that I think everyone needs to get just a little better at.
I listen to the Entrepreneur on Fire podcast by John Lee Dumas every morning too, and he has a splendid acronym for the word:
I’ll repeat that for you:
Follow One Course Until Success.
Our daily lives have been polluted by ideas, especially people like us: the creators, the builders, the visionaries. Each new day brings new ideas, new fads, new distractions.
These distractions take us away from our one goal, our one purpose. My one goal is to build a profitable startup and, while doing so, show others how they can do the same.
I want you to take a minute, I want you to truly look deep inside yourself, and ask: “What is my ONE goal?”
What is your grand vision? Chances are you are already doing something that is going to make that vision come true. You’re already working on a product, blogging, teaching or whatever your calling may be.
But what you cannot do, is be dragged in multiple directions at once.
You need to follow one course until success.
Yes, ideas for new ventures, new products will still bombard you each and every waking moment of your life. But you need to put all of that energy into the ONE thing that you think is going to truly make a difference, that ONE thing that is going to move you closer to your goal.
Right now, my one thing is Kobra. But just yesterday, I had two more ideas for additional products and services that I could offer.
These other ideas were distractions to me. They were products that I think would be drastically successful, but that I don’t have the time or the resources to create fully.
If I did work on them, I’d be working on three things at once, and all three of my projects would suffer.
You will have brand new and exciting ideas everyday, but I guarantee you there will be a little voice in the back of your head for most of them. And that one voice will be telling you one thing:
“You’re already working on X, maybe this isn’t the time or the project for you.”
What I want you to do is follow that voice. Your initial gut reaction is usually the truth. After you’ve argued with yourself about it for a few minutes, I want you to do something crazy.
I want you to roll all of the windows down. I want you to slow down.
I want you to think about your idea just for one more minute, then I want you to think about the one person you know that would most likely want to pursue your idea.
And I want you to give them the idea.
You’re a creator, if you don’t build it, you’re going to question yourself for the rest of you life. “What if that was the one idea that was going to make it?”
But if you take that idea and you give it to someone, someone who it would make a little bit more sense for them to build rather than you, then you can relax. Then you know that maybe, just maybe the idea will still get built. If that person doesn’t like the idea, or doesn’t want to seriously pursue it, move onto the next person on your list.
I called my friend Lee and told him I had a great idea for him. He had been working on an app in the same space as my idea, but it hadn’t been fully completed yet. He loved the idea so much that he began researching the technology required to make it happen that night.
Then I called my friend Matt (there are so many of us) and told him I had a great idea for a way to create a sub-product that would allow him to market his services better. He created a landing page to launch the product that weekend.
Now I can sit back, relax, enjoy this cool breeze and focus on what really matters to me right now.
I’d encourage you to do the same. That great idea you have is useless if you have to put it on the side-burner, why not give it to someone else so you can watch it succeed, and maybe even help them once they get it off the ground?
And if what you’re currently working on doesn’t wind up working out, I guarantee you that you’re going to have another great idea. We always do.