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August 5, 2019
Word of the Week: Focus
As an entrepreneur, one of the most vital skills to cultivate is focus. To be able to discern what’s important vs. what’s a distraction. There’s so much noise out there about how to do this or that that it takes an incredible amount of focus to stay true to your mission + vision. I am obsessed with understanding why some entrepreneurs “succeed” and some “fail” and after a lot of soul-searching, Fast Company reading, and hours listening to “How I Built This” With Guy Raz, I have come to believe this simple truth: success comes from relentlessly following your gut.
I am constantly sifting through a sea of other people’s opinions, ideas, and “truisms” trying to figure out the best way for me to bring my ideas into the world:
I can spin for hours and hours wondering what path I “should” take. Sometimes things seem so overwhelming that I just want to throw in the towel altogether. I get flooded with self-doubt and think to myself: Would anyone care if I just stopped doing this work? Does any of this matter? What if I just went back to a 9-5 and called it a day? A lot of people call this natural phase of the entrepreneur journey “the trough of sorrow.”
The truth is, there are endless ways to bring ideas into the world. The trick is figuring out which path is meant for you. The only way to do this is to try a lot of different things, suck at a few of them, hate the majority of them, and slowly but surely find your way to the sweet spot where what you love = what you are good at = what the world needs = what you can get paid for.
The Japanese call this Ikagai:
What works for someone else, won’t necessarily work for you. We all have a dharma, or soul’s purpose, and it takes an insane amount of focus, “no’s”, and refinement to figure out what that is.
You don’t have to come up with the *best* idea. You just have to quiet the noise so you can hear the idea that you are uniquely meant to pay attention to.
Ask Yourself: How easily are you swayed by the opinions of others? Do you get filled with self-doubt or can you tune them out and stay the course? What helps you to discern what’s important vs. what’s a distraction?
Weekly Mantra: I trust my instincts.