Here’s the thing, I don’t really like writing clickbait titles like what I just used BUT what I wrote there, well, it’s the truth.
There’s this ONE thing that has defined successful startups over the course of history.
I’ve personally experienced this with my own work. It’s the real deal and if you are kind of wavering/doubting yourself and your startup now, then please read on.
This might make or break your startup. I’m not scaring you.
I’m just keeping it real.
Now, let me ask you a question. Do you see anything similar with these 2 wildly popular companies?
Do you see what those 2 have in common with these other companies?
You see it, don’t you?
Successful startups all have one thing in common.
Let me re-phrase that, they are all incredibly focused.
In the startup phase, success is defined by what we say “no” to and not the other way around.
- You need a Strong Vision
- More often than not, you need to Stick to the Plan
- Only change when you see something is not working
People, and often, investors, will tell you that you need to be in Hong Kong, you need to be in Japan, Australia, everywhere!
NO! You don’t!
You need to be uber (no pun) successful in where you are right now and CRUSH IT.
Crush it first in your location and expand. By doing so, you can grow incredibly fast.
If you win just doing that, you don’t need to race to China, you don’t need to race to Canada, you don’t need to jump in a plane and try to convince people in South-east Asia or wherever.
Stop chasing those shiny objects.
I know how hard it is.
Being an entrepreneur, it’s easy to see the golden snitch and feel the need to chase it.
- You’d want to try “this new thing” for your startup.
- You’d like to use this new tool.
- You’d like to add this feature and this new feature that you saw from this other app.
Stop spreading yourself too thin.
Stop chasing the shiny objects and have a strong conviction to stay the course.
Get out of the office and talk to your customers. Use data you have to prove something before you actually act on it.
Sure, your gut feel is great and all, but it shouldn’t distract you from your main focus, which is at this point, should already have been proven with your MVP.
Stop saying Yes to everything.
FOCUS now and reap the rewards sooner, rather than later.
My Recent Experience
I’ve moved on from my old businesses and just fully focused on this new one. We’re at a very young stage right now but here’s a small example from my current startup, SeriousMD.
If we listened to every single request from users, then we won’t have enough time to actually release anything, let alone fix existing bugs.
If we went ahead and partnered with the different people that contacted us, then our original idea would be messed up, the core functions will be changed, users will be neglected and the overall focus would be scattered.
If we didn’t know how to filter and process the feedback we get, then we’d just be chasing one thing after another only to fix it again, then do it again. It’s a really bad cycle to be in.
If we didn’t have a schedule in place, then we we’d be lost and jump into doing the next shiny object that comes along, never actually finishing something.
Sure, we can get distracted by certain things that needs immediate attention BUT we don’t lose focus.
The management in place should be responsible and should keep the boat moving forward.
As hard as it is to say no, you will have to and those NO’s will define your success.
Now, take a look at the rockstar startups that you see everywhere today.
Heck, take a look at the startups that are growing consistently without the blockbuster press coverage.
See the trend? You see it now, don’t cha?
As a founder, there are just a couple things that you need to remember when it comes to identifying where you need to “focus” on.
- You need to FORCE yourself to have a defined strategy.
- You need to be CLEAR as to why THAT strategy is working or why it’s successful.
Knowing those will make it easy for you to answer why what you are doing is better for your customers as well as your investors.
Remember, it’s not ok to change things without the data or information to back you up.
You have to always keep in mind that you have a limit in what you and your team can do. With that management bandwidth limit already in place, you don’t want to add to your overall workload without proper reasoning.
You’ll be spreading yourself too thinly across a bunch of things and that’s never wise.
Instead, you need to focus.
Go deep, conquer the markets that you can and win at the things that actually matter.
Now, go and take a broad look at your startup. Check out what you are doing and see which tasks or projects that are actually hurting your progress.
Tell me about what you’ve found and tell me what happened after you’ve applied some of these tips.
Snap them over to me or comment below. I’d love to hear from you!