Over the last two years I’ve learned a lot about the power of focus. Rewind three years ago and I was a guy who had a lot of “projects” going on all the time. When people asked what I did I would usually say, “My full time job is at Sonos but I also run a lot of websites, broker domain names, build software to appraise website sales, speak at conferences, oh and I write books.”
I thought this sounded impressive, I was wrong.
Fast forward to today and I have no projects, I am completely focused on our startup, Fashion Metric, and that focus has been incredibly valuable both for our company and our lives. While I still write my personal blog I see writing as something that I have always planned to do forever, I see it as my creative outlet and I spend no more than twenty minutes a day on it.
I love writing and I have always seen it as a way of life and a practice that many other startup founders like Danielle Morrill (my current favorite founder blog) and investors like Mark Suster (my current favorite investor blog) also enjoy while being singularly focused on what they do.
Both Daina (our CEO) and I spend all day, every day focused on Fashion Metric. We’re up at around 6AM, are usually at work before 8AM and it’s rare for us to leave before 7PM. We don’t do this because we have to, we do it because we absolutely love it, this has been our dream and we know we couldn’t do what we are doing now without incredible focus.
I have also learned that being focused means saying “No” a lot more.
I used to have a big problem with no. People would invite me to grab coffee with them and I would always say yes without thinking about how that would impact my day. Everything my friends did I wanted to do with them. Now I’ve learned that I can’t say yes to everything and still maintain the level of focus that I need, I had to get better at saying no. The good news is, true friends will understand and those who aren’t might not.
It’s an amazing transformation I’ve gone through over the last three years and an incredible realization that you (or at least for me) can’t have a day job and do a bunch of “projects” without spreading yourself too thin and not giving enough focus to something that really matters. I can understand why the old adage “do what you love” still rings true today because when you focus and do what you truly enjoy all those projects disappear and life, while more intense than ever, becomes more fulfilling.
So ask yourself, “Am I that person who is doing a million projects?” And if that is you, imagine what you could accomplish with a bit more focus.
This article was originally posted on my personal blog at http://morganlinton.com/focus/