I have switched between these two approaches so many times it’s not funny.

I will answer this straight up, when ever I’ve gone with the ‘Work on ONE project’ till completion approach, I’ve achieved it 9 times out of the 10.

Whenever I’ve gone with the ‘multiple projects approach’, it’s worked maybe 1 time out of 10.

There’s something that clicks in your mind when you start obsessing over the one goal. You develop habits, routines and rituals to make this happen. Your every thought starts to get you closer and closer to realising this goal and the whole world starts to shape itself for you to make this happen.

When I first started entrepreneuring, I’d work on so many projects at the same time it was just silly. It was too hard to let a good idea go but at the same time the progress was so slow that I’d get frustrated and move on to something else.

The moment I said that I want to achieve 150k in 2014, I worked everyday to make that happen. I ended the year off with 143k profit which is actually 160k+ in Aus $$.

This was the first time I had seen the power of what having ONE goal that you obsess over can do.

After 2014, I decided that every time I work on something. It will be my primary focus. I won’t spread time evenly between 3-10 projects. I’ve failed at doing that way too many times. Stick to the one project for 3 months and make sure it’s running 100%. Only if I have some spare time, I’ll dedicate it to my side projects. Eg, this blog.

This is why, when I was working with Teespring, I was doing so well. Dedicating my whole working routine to research, design, launch, repeat, over and over again for a whole year was the main reason I was able to make it work. If I had done it as a ‘side project’, there’s no way I would have earned anything close to that.

Don’t get me wrong, my mind still comes up with ideas on a daily basis that I’ll write down and get excited about. The only difference now is, I’ll only work on it once I’m finished with my current project.

I know friends that have gone through their whole life trying to make businesses work but they’ve never been able to make anything decent. Knowing what I know now, it’s clear that the main reason for their failure is a lack of focus. Doing too many things in a day that don’t contribute to that one obsession but still give you a false sense of satisfaction that your somehow closer to realising your goal. When you talk to them they’ll tell you about how they want their business to be huge and over take Google and once they’ve done that, they’ll overtake FaceBook with another idea and then Instagram and once that’s done, they’ll have something as big as Whatsapp blah blah blah.

I remember when watching Shark Tank, the Sharks would light up when they see entrepreneurs who are focussed on ONE thing and they could tell that this person was obsessed about making this work. As soon as entrepreneurs start talking about how they’re going to expand into this and that and this and that, Sharks lose interest because they know this guy/girl doesn’t know the importance of focus.

Focus can only come by fine tuning your head space. The more things in there, the less your mind can focus.

If you’re currently working on a core business idea, give it 3 full months of your 100% effort. Don’t work on or even think of ANY other business in this time, (unless you’ve finished all your core business tasks for the day).

Re-evaluate after this 3 month period. If you’re core business is killing it, great, scale it as far as it will go.

If you’re not happy, switch to something else and again, stick to it for 3 months straight at 100% effort.

Sooner or later you’ll realise that you can’t capitalise on every business idea/opportunity that comes your way. You WILL have to let some things pass by but just know that it’s for the better.

– Mateen


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Written by Mateen