Only One Thing To Share- And It’s Brilliant!!
Much of my time is spent advising others how to grow their businesses. Yet it took a client to give me the answer on how to grow mine. Magical advice. Powerful for business and life. Here it is.
Education industry leader and thought leader Ryan Trainor grabbed my arm when I told him I was ‘drowning’ – that my little business was over-flowing with opportunity – too much to do, too little time to do it. “Wait here,” he said as he sprinted upstairs to bring me a book. I read it on the plane. It has changed everything. It’s advice I give clients. But had to hear it myself before I took my own medicine. Quite simply, that advice is this:
Be absolutely single-minded about the ‘one thing’ that will underpin your success.
“Focus. Focus Focus., If I had a dog, I’d call it Focus.” Edge’s Geoff Campbell told me that. And it fits with Ryan’s book gift, The One Thing by Gary Keller. Before explaining its key message, a powerful story told to me by Tom Moult when I mentioned Keller’s book.
Sir Peter Blake is the brilliant New Zealander who led that country to its amazing America’s Cup yachting triumph in the 1980s. When preparing for that competition, as he was introduced to various people who would join the team – a carpenter, a PR person, an accountant, etc – he asked them all this one very simple question: ”How will you help the boat go faster?” He knew his ‘one thing’, and worked with a total sense of priority around how he spent his time, and the decisions he made – all shaped around that ‘one thing.’
Gary Keller calls it ‘niching.’ Narrow the focus. Do a few things well. Do fewer things for more effect. Successful companies, he suggests, ask themselves: “What’s our one thing?” Then they drive with single-minded focus for the one thing on which they have decided.
So- in your lives right now, whether this relates to your career, business or just YOU, here’s my ask:
Pause to determine what matters the most right now for you to achieve progress and success. Then give it a clear sense of priority. Give it all the time it deserves.
The majority of what you want will come from the minority of what you do. Keller says a focus on the ‘one thing’ creates a domino effect in our lives. We just need to find that lead domino.
The ‘one thing’ concept has sharpened the focus of the financial PR firm I’m launching with two industry leaders in two months – our focus is unashamedly around helping clients grow. That’s it. If what we are doing is not adding immediate value to growth, we won’t do it.
And in my life, that ‘one thing’ is getting my health back on track- diet, exercise, weight. A big job. But I’ve made a start, knowing it’s the lead domino that will create a tsunami of positive impacts in all aspects of my life.
So- pause and reflect.
Too much going on in your life and job? Overwhelmed a little. If so, read this post again. Get its core message. “How can you help the boat go faster?” What is that ‘one thing’ for you – that one, biggest priority that if you put the right amount of focus on it, every day, would have the biggest impact on your career, business, life, happiness.
Find it. Choose what matters most and give it all the time it demands. Most importantly – get started! I have – and it’s making a wonderful difference.
Thanks to the very talented Guy Downes for the cartoon below. Guy Downes is an illustrator who helps individuals and organisations connect with the audiences that matter to them using a range of visual techniques such as cartoons, illustrations, doodles, graphic recording, strategy maps and video scribe animations. For more information on Guy and his work, please visit Guy Downes and Office Guy Cartoons.