- There's a really significant cost associated with spending time on something that you're not obsessed about. It's easy to talk about opportunity cost of time or knowing that you have a limited number of hours a week. You have a life to live, so while you're working on your business, you have other things that are going on, too, even if you're working 100 or 120 hours a week. The cost of not working on something that you're obsessed about is that you can't really put the time and energy into the thing that you're obsessed about.
It sounds kind of obvious, but it's actually really subtle. What happens is that over time, the energy that you have to put into your company as you're getting started increases, not decreases. It increases because the number of things that you're dealing with as you go from that initial seed of the idea to now a product, now customers, now the business continues to expand and expand. And so, the amount of things that are pulling at your attention get more and more broad, more and more diverse. In the context of that, if you're not working on something that you really care about, you're going to spend an increased amount of your time on a larger number of things that are irrelevant.
Your energy level for what you're doing will start to diminish. The best entrepreneurs are the ones who continue to stay focused on things that really matter to them as individuals in terms of where their business is going, and as a result, they don't get distracted by all of these other things. There's a syndrome that you see with a lot of entrepreneurs, which is bright shiny object syndrome. You're building your business, you're making some progress, and then there's this cool thing over here, and you go, oh, I want to do this! And then you get bored with that, oh, I want to do this! And as a result, your business never really continues to move forward because you're constantly chasing these random things.
Having clear focus on what it is that you want to go after is so key, because the cost of not having that clear focus is that you're endlessly distracted by stuff that just doesn't matter.
- Define “shiny object syndrome.”
- Identify your customer’s pain.
- Determine the scalability of a product.
- Recall the best time to initiate customer acquisition.
- Review the differences between a passionate employee and an obsessed employee.
- Recognize the benefits of domain experience when building a founding team.