Last updated on March 31st, 2019
Have you ever thought that throwing ten darts at the dart board at the same time was a good idea because, surely ONE of them will hit the bulls eye? If you can answer “yes” to that question, or even “possibly” then you need to watch this episode!
Tracy and Pamela break down why it’s not a good idea to send yourself in many directions at once and offer a very effective, Warren Buffet-inspired technique for narrowing your activities down at any given time.
We’re not saying you can’t do it all… You just can’t do it all at the same time! Watch, comment and share!
Pamela: Hi everybody is Pamela
Tracy: and Tracy
Pamela: and we are here to discuss how business really works
Tracy: So today we’re going to talk about the fact that you can’t do it all. Focus is key.
Pamela: So there are thousands if not tens of thousands of ways of doing business today and that’s kind of the problem. There are so many options that it breaks your concentration it, fragments or concentration and you just lose focus.
So how many unfinished projects do you have going on?
Tracy: Huh! Luckily not too many for me, but you know…
Pamela: We’ll see about that!
Tracy: You know one of the best stories that you hear all the time about focus is the one more Warren Buffett is talking to a guy whose got like all these ambitions and things he wants to accomplished and basically, Warren tells him to go make a list of the 25 that are the most important for him to accomplished in his lifetime. So the guy works on this list, whittles it down, everything, and he finally brings this list he is really proud of and shows it to Warren.
And Warren read it over and he hands it back to him and he goes “Okay, now pick the top five. The ones that you desire the most accomplished in your life.”
Well, the guy had a hard enough time just getting down to 25, now he’s got to come up with the top five. So he spends several days working on it and he finally brings it back to Warren. Warren looks at it as goes “Okay, how are you going to proceed?”
And the guy says “Obviously I’m going to concentrate most of my efforts on this five and I’ll only work on the other ones in my spare time.”
Warren looks at him and goes “Wrong. You’re going to throw the other list away and you’re not going to work with those and you’re not even going to think about them until you‘ve accomplished the top five.
[Time – 2:00]
So one of the things today is we just we try to do too much. So it’s, pick the top five. Concentrate on them.
But then I think you actually have to go a little more granular than that. I believe one business at a time, one market or audience at a time, one product at a time, you know, one tool. A lot of people try to like do ten social media tools, and they’re not good at any of them.
Pamela: Yeah that’s true.
Tracy: So one tool at a time. So it’s very important, you know, you’ve got to have productive, disciplined, focused concentration on one course of action until you see some success.
Pamela: Okay but… but Tracy here has what four businesses now?
Tracy: Well, three and now we’re building the fourth.
Pamela: …and now we are building a fourth. So didn’t you just contradicted what you actually live day-to-day and your real life?
[Time – 3:00]
Tracy: Actually no I didn’t. Because I said, concentrate on one thing at a time. Warren Buffett gave the guy five things.
Now I started my first business. And I have to admit it with somewhat all over the board. We have a web development business and we did a little bit of everything for everybody. And as time progresses we realized that’s not efficient, so we’re now focused on a very specific niche, we work with a very specific platform and language. That’s all we do and we have systems in place. A new client comes on board everybody knows exactly what to do you know.
Pamela: Yeah, so it’s systematized.
Tracy: Yeah, it’s all systematized. It’s not that I have to be involved in every little bity aspect of everything, so there’s a system.
Well and then you know started the e-commerce business with Kelly. But Kelly’s idea, Kelly’s concept. All I did was provide the technical and the marketing. She handles most of the day-to-day operations.
[Time – 4:03]
Pamela: But were you doing those two businesses at the same time, though?
Tracy: Well, the e-commerce business came several years after the other one was running really efficiently.
Pamela: Okay, got it.
Tracy: So you know and today, Yes, you know, I concentrated a tremendous amount of effort right in the beginning to build the website, to create the marketing, and now everything systematized. Orders coming in and boom, boom, boom, everything happens. Honestly, there is a very little human input into delivering the product to the customer. It’s all a system. Yes, it took me a while to build that system and it took my concentrated effort during that time I set for it.
Pamela: Right, but you did that one at a time?
Tracy: I did those one at a time.
Tracy: And you know and even like the coaching consulting business, I don’t even know if I could say I worked on a business because that was more a case of people coming to me asking me if I would coach or consult.
Pamela: Right so they found you.
Tracy: So I kind of… It started out like almost like freelance and developed into a business. So I don’t even know if you can count that one. It’s a default. It’s a default.
[Time – 5:16]
Pamela: Just because people can be you doesn’t mean that you didn’t at some point start building up your practice which I know you did. And that’s how I met Tracy in the first place.
Tracy: Yeah, so it’s it was one at a time. I concentrated on one thing at a time until I got efficient at it and it was profitable.
Pamela: So we’re not saying that you can’t have multiple businesses going and Tracy’s a fine example of that. But you need to focus on one, get it successful, get it to where it doesn’t need your constant involvement, and then you go on to the next.
Tracy: Yeah and when I first met Pam she had just left the corporate world. She was trying to start three businesses. It’s like I told her, what let’s throw 10 darts at the board see if we score decently.
Pamela: That was my approach.
[Time – 6:00]
Tracy: Rather than throwing one well-skilled dart at the bullseye. And she joined… How we met, she joined a mastermind group that I was involved in and what was the first thing the mastermind group said to you?
Pamela: Well after Tracy scolded me she said that I needed to focus on one thing and pick one. I need to pick one, focus on it and she didn’t care which one it was. She wanted me to pick the one that was most you know, that was most passionate about or whatever my criteria were. But I needed to pick one and work on it.
And I will say looking back; I mean it’s so clear to me now right, looking back my approach was completely wrong, completely counterproductive. But at the time, I really was thinking I do need to throw a bunch of darts at the board because who knows which one will stick and I need something to stick now because I just left corporate. I had no income anymore. I was living off of my savings and I was really desperate to get something to fly ASAP. And I thought erroneously that my best chances of making that happen were to be in multiple places at the same time. And so one of these is going to have to work out right? But I was robbing each one of my full attention and focus. So it’s no wonder I didn’t do anything with it.
[Time – 7:12]
Tracy: So you got mediocre results with all three and nothing that really created the business you want.
Pamela: They really didn’t turn into full-fledged businesses. I just got frustrated and then… but I did what you asked eventually. I did actually pick one and I can’t even tell you like the difference in my mindset now is amazing because I have such clarity and such purpose and I know exactly what I want to do, why I want to do it. I know how much focus it’s going to take. I know how to divide my time. I’m not all over the board anymore.
Tracy: Yeah well it’s funny I’m at coaching; right now I’m coaching a client that’s been in business for 20-some years. He’s a karate instructor and he developed his own martial art.
Pamela: Oh interesting.
[Time – 8:00]
Tracy: Yeah but he’s got three very specific markets. Children and in education that way, and then he’s got a market to the parents to get the kids there in the first place because the parents kind of have to prove that. But then he also has other martial artists because he’s got this new martial art he can teach to people.
Pamela: Right, he can teach to them and they can go teach it.
Tracy: And so he was just … just everywhere. It was I could do this, I could do this, I could do this, I could do this. I need to do this market, I need to do this, how do I get in front of these people?
And I am like dude, whoa. Take one of these ideas. Just one of them, and give it two weeks of your hardest effort and let’s see if you get somewhere.
Pamela: Yeah two weeks is nothing. Not a lot of time at all.
Tracy: Well you know what one of his ideas was “I need to package this thing where I can put it out…” He works with a lot of what I call home school and private school associations because his karate has a religious leaning. Basically, he wanted to put this curriculum together and build a course. And he thought this is just this daunting thing and I’m like why is daunting? You’ve already created the videos working with your classes everything. I said just sit down and give it two weeks, just two weeks of solid effort.
Two weeks later we had a 17 chapter course outlined and half of the content created because he actually realizes, I can repurpose and all this stuff I’ve already done, all these blog posts I’ve already done and everything like that.
So, when you really put concentrated effort into something is amazing how far you can get.
Pamela: I agree.
Tracy: You know but if I’m spending and how all this thing and an hour on that thing… and sometimes you have to set the other things aside and give the important thing focused attention.
[Time – 10:00]
Pamela: So we hope we have helped you realize that you cannot do it all at least not all the same time. You have to be productive, you have to be disciplined, and you have to be focused which will lead you to get measurable results in your business.
Tracy: And if you’re watching this on YouTube be sure to leave a comment and if you’re listening on a podcast be sure to leave us a review or head on over to the website at How Business Really Works and leave us a comment there
Tracy: Thank you. We really like getting your comments and your questions. It helps us come up with more content for the show.
Pamela: Yeah so don’t forget to like this video and share it if this helped you and subscribe and we’ll see you on the next one.