Mark Blasini


Focus vs. effort


The biggest mistake you can make is to think you need more, more, more in order to achieve anything: more time, more money, more effort.

Rather, what you really need is focus. Consistent, concentrated effort at key things is much more effective than more resources thrown at a problem or goal.

For example, let's say you want to create a blog with lots of readers. One strategy is to spend hours writing the perfect blog post, then doing everything you can to promote this post to your readers as the best solution/strategy/insight ever.

This may work, but what happens if it doesn't? You've just wasted hours trying to craft and promote a post that doesn't work.

A much more effective strategy is to concentrate your efforts on writing short posts on a consistent basis (daily, twice a week, weekly, etc.). In addition to getting quicker feedback from readers, it also allows you to build up a body of content in a relatively short amount of time.

We'll take another example. Let's say you're trying to lose weight via dieting. One strategy would be to start a new diet (a la paleo, slow-carb, keto, etc.).

Huge changes, however, require huge effort. Which means it's going to be harder to sustain that change over time. It may work if you see results quickly and are motivated, but often times a huge change to your diet leads to incremental changes in weight.

A more effective strategy would be to ask yourself: "What is one simple change I can make to my diet that will allow me to see improvement relatively quickly?"

For some people, this may mean cutting out soda, drinking less alcohol, or reducing sugar consumption. Or it may mean eating more, adding more vegetables or protein in your diet. Just make one easy, little change and maintain that change consistently. You'll start to see results soon.

The same principle goes for business. Most startups want to compete with the big players in their market. The more effective strategy is to choose one little, but pestering problem - one annoying inefficiency - and focus all your efforts on solving it. Be known for solving that one little problem.

To be consistent in concentrating is almost inhuman, despite the fact that it really doesn't take too much effort. But if you're striving to live strategically, it's a prerequisite.