Once in awhile, I run across something that is almost word for word what is on my my mind at the moment. I had this idea in my head about the power of focus and I was going to write this very short, but powerful post on how focusing is the most powerful thing you can do, yada yada yada. Then I read Leo Babauta’s post on Zen Habits last week and he said it so well I couldn’t even try to put it into my own words. One really amazing thing about Leo is that all of his writing is free of copyright. He gives you full permission to take any of it or all of it. He doesn’t even ask for credit. He’s giving away his product, and making a good living at it. That’s a whole different article idea I might just have to write (unless Leo beats me to it again). For this week, though, listen to Leo.
Do One Thing Well
by Leo Babauta, author of the wildly successful blog, Zen Habits
I’m often asked how you can start doing work you love — how you can make a living doing something you’re passionate about.
I don’t profess to have all the answers, but the answer for me has been fairly simple:
Do one thing really well.
People want a more comprehensive answer than that, but in my experience, if you learn to do this, the rest will follow.
I write about simplicity. That’s all I do. Over the last 4 1/2 years of writing Zen Habits I’ve found success by focusing on that alone, and stripping away everything else that gets in the way. I’ve removed comments, I don’t do much social media (except for fun), I don’t do much email, I don’t sell ads, I don’t do consulting. I write about simplicity.
By doing this one thing over and over, I’ve gotten much better at it. Good enough, anyway, for people to want to read my work, and as the audience for my work has grown, so have the opportunities to make a living in a non-spammy way. The ways I monetize (print books, ebooks, online courses) are less important than how I’ve grown the audience.
Do one thing well.
It’s really that simple. Narrow down what you do, and do it repeatedly. Learn, grow, improve, read, watch, do it some more. When you’re really good at that one thing, people will want to pay you for it, or to learn how you do it.
It takes a lot of focus and practice to get good at doing one thing, but I’ve found that if you truly love it, it’s not really work. It’s play. And I never complain about playing at something I love.