For quite some time now I’ve been on the quest to discover the truth… or should I say a “magic pill” or a “secret sauce” which distinguishes successful people from the rest of the crowd.
Here is the definition of success that I like: “Enough money coming in without having to work to finance your purpose in life”. Basically, the idea is to get to the point where you can focus on things that you love to do instead of treating work as a vehicle to earn a living.
In the process, I stumbled upon an ocean of clones and clowns who simply try to make money as fast as possible using and teaching the same tactics designed for today without thinking too much about the future.
But as I kept going and making notes I started to see patterns that showed up over and over again.
Today I’d like to talk about one of those patterns.
It helped me start and grow a successful an e-commerce store about 12 years ago without any external capital. The same pattern helped me to become a software engineer without any formal degree.
Are you ready to learn what that is?
Ok, here it goes. The pattern is called “Intense focus on one thing”.
See, when I started my company back in college, that was the only thing that occupied my thoughts. Not just for a day or a week, but for a number of years.
The same thing happened when I got my first job as the web developer. In addition to the normal work hours, I spent all my free time in front of the computer, trying to experiment and learn as much as I could.
In both cases, I put all my efforts into something that I truly enjoyed doing and the results followed.
As I grew older, things started to seem a bit repetitive. On top of that, I wanted faster growth trajectory in terms of income and ability to make the bigger impact in the world.
That’s why I started taking on more side projects.
Frist, I got into real estate thinking to build out my rental houses portfolio, then I switched to buying and selling websites on Flippa, then I bought an expensive SEO course from one of the top experts in the field and started building PBN networks hoping to master the process of ranking websites and either renting them out for a monthly fee or making money with the ppc ads, then I jumped into Facebook viral sites and later WordPress plugin business…
Those are just some of the things I tried over a period of several years.
While each one of those projects gave me a lot of initial excitement, it didn’t last for long.
We all know that it’s super fun to start something new, but then you put a month, two, a half a year into the process and suddenly it becomes quite challenging and emotionally painful, especially when you don’t see any results.
Then you give up and take on another new project…
That’s why I think the key is to pause the endless project jumping process, zoom out and identify your inner calling or your BIG ONE THING / purpose first.
For a long time, I knew there was something missing in my life, but I couldn’t quite figure out what it was. Instead of digging deeper into myself, I preferred to hide behind the myriad of different projects and mindless busywork. Most would fail, but even the ones that did succeed and brought in some money (my measure of success at the time) would only make me happy for a very short period of time.
About a week ago I finally came very close (I hope!) to experiencing my personal breakthrough. I was on the call with my mentor and coach Jim Bunch and I asked him to help me uncover my own ONE thing.
In the past, we’ve been focusing mostly on my businesses and the process of growing and taking them to the next level but on our last call, I finally felt like I had to ask a bigger question.
Why these seemingly random businesses even matter to me (an online e-commerce store selling products for women?), how do they connect to my purpose (do they?), why do I do what I do and what’s Sergey’s big mission and one thing?
Jim thought for a bit and then told me to grab a piece of paper and draw a circle in the middle for myself and then add all my businesses and projects I was involved with as separate circles around the main one.
The next step was to populate mission/vision for each outside circle and see how/if they connect back to me.
As I was going through the exercise I felt a strange sense of relief, a mental “click” of some sort. I realized that pretty much everything that I do (and visualize in the future) was tied to one thing – hidden desire to inspire people and show them (and myself?) that everything is possible.
It goes way back to my childhood years and can be seen in my early williness to step outside of my comfort zone: joining a soccer school when I was considered “too old” by the conventional standards, which helped me grow up, gain confidence and get to know a lot of people over the years (and led to a spot on the college soccer team), starting a business without any prior tech knowledge or capital, immigrating to another country, building my community of engineers, writing these very words every week…
It all makes sense now.
Do I regret all the time that I spent running in different directions? Absolutely not! It was necessary to remove potential what ifs in the future, plus it helped me to unstuck and break free from my geeky tool-oriented mindset.
It’s much easier to cut through the noise and focus on projects aligned with your inner calling instead of looking solely at the financial potential.
That was the main reason I turned down a million dollar partnership in the crypto space as well as some other projects that I was seriously considering.
See, my life was so much simpler back then when I was focusing on one thing and I’m working hard to get back to that point.
Multitasking sucks as the conext switch cost is extremely high. Forget about your to-do list packed with lost of random things, say NO to potential opportunities if you have no spare capacity. Drop the ball here in there and don’t be afraid of the chaos.
Prioritise things that really matter, hide from the ocean of distractions and start making ripples.