Learn To Love What You’re Good AtWednesday June 22nd, 2011
You know the phrase, “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life?” I’d like to propose a variation... “do what you love, focus on it, get really good at it, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
You know the phrase, “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life?” I’d like to propose a variation… “do what you love, focus on it, get really good at it, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
Let’s assume that if you’re really good at something, you’ll get paid well to do it, have dramatically less stress (money is the most common cause of stress in Americans) and considerably more flexibility to venture out into other businesses, spend time with family and enjoy free time learning new hobbies like kitesurfing.
I’m lucky that I’m able to say I love my job and my team, and I’m constantly excited for the future. It took seven years for me to take advantage of some of our greatest qualities and some of my personal talents as well. Could I see myself doing anything else? Sure, we all could. I’d love to open a restaurant. I’d love to own a major league ball club. I’d love to be a renowned screenwriter. I can admit I’m a dreamer. I dabble aggressively in a lot of areas, but at some point I realized that if I was going to do it all, I’d first need to get really good at one thing and start making money doing it.
It wasn’t ever the lack of talent…the lack of determination…poor decision-making…or the economy that I’d flag as the primary factor in slowing our climb to the proverbial mountain top. In fact, every year or so we experience an amazing surge, and grow exponentially. Then, like a bad habit, we’d halt our business development and marketing efforts to spend time developing our side ventures. We’d find ourselves a level up, but in the same general scenario as a year prior.
I hate to say it now, and I’d vehemently deny it from time to time during our first five years in business, but I now know it’s important to focus on one thing and crush it. Furthermore, it should be the thing you’re best at.
These days we approach business a little differently. We make a more conscious effort to avoid getting too comfortable on good days and we don’t stop pushing our core business, ever. When something threatens to pull us off course, whether it’s an artistic venture, discussions of launching proprietary software, or hosting an event, we make sure it fits in organically and the timing is right or we tuck it away. Changing directions to start a new venture without proper resources can be very difficult, even if it’s something you obsess about (see Norm Brodsky’s advice here). All entrepreneurs need to be aware of the challenges of re-focusing, and instead of creating more obstacles, should continue to pick the low hanging fruit wherever it hangs.
We’re still on our way to that proverbial mountain top, I’m confident now that we’re just taking a more direct route.