“Give me a minute, let me check my Twitter feed.”
“Oh, one second, I got a new e-mail.”
“Hey, check out this new social network!”
Focus seems to have its drawbacks. It means going all-in on a few things; it seems risky. It is boring. It can grow monotonous. Unfortunately, focus is not an option; it is a prerequisite to success. Seth Godin is an example of this: he says in a previous interview with The Art Of why he doesn’t use Twitter -- if he did, he’d have to give something up: the question is what?
This makes sense. We only have so much time, energy, and willpower on any given day. The issue with having something outside of our focus is that it becomes an option, an irrelevant activity that we choose to keep busy with . A lot of us end up choosing to use Twitter, Facebook, and e-mail to kepps busy for a large part of the day, at the cost of making progress on our less appealing, but more important, long-term goals .
Seth Godin has spent more than a decade on his TypePad building his tribe, day in and day out. He doesn’t need a trend or a new platform to help him do this; despite the fact that a lot of his readers are on Twitter, he chose not to do it because he couldn’t afford to sacrifice his focus. Where would the time required to master this new social network come from?
Instead, Seth stuck with his old school strategy. Has it been successful?
Recently, he used his blog as a medium to generate awareness of his new book and corresponding crowdfunding project. He achieved his goal of raising $40,000 in 3.5 hours, and actually exceeded his goal by over six times the original amount. While crowdfunding a writer is not entirely unheard of, I’d love to see someone who has done it as quickly as Godin. He is blazing the trail for authors and journalists, and internet marketers.
How powerful would it be if you could get the funding you needed, without giving up any equity or control , whenever you needed it? BEFORE you had a product to sell? All based on a promise?
Focus is not an option. It is a necessity. It’s time for us to start picking our battles more carefully, and to be more thoughtful about embracing new trends. As Seth Godin succinctly explains, “I’ve disciplined myself not to use it so that I can force myself to do work that I wouldn’t be willing to do if I had something more fun to do, like check my Twitter feed.”