When you decide on a goal, do you go all out and do everything you can to achieve this goal?

I'm not talking about allocating budget to your project, or staying up till 2 A.M. to work on it. Dedicating yourself to your goal goes beyond that -- you should also abandon all the other great ideas you have, and commit yourself to this one goal.

The late Steve Jobs explained this concept back in 1997, when he was speaking at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). As Steve Jobs puts it, in order to succeed at a goal, you need to learn to turn down the smart, interesting work that distracts you from your priorities. Simply put, you've got to have focus, and say no to the 1,000 other good ideas that you have.

Why Steve Jobs Let Apple Abandon Thousands of Great Ideas

Back in 1997, Apple underwent a major restructuring. Their previous year's holidays sales were unexpectedly low, so they had to go back to the drawing board, and evaluate everything they had on their portfolio.

According to Steve Jobs, the one biggest challenge that the company faced was that while their engineers were doing interesting work, that work sent the company in "18 different directions". Apple's employees had an amazing ability to execute -- but this resulted in them executing "wonderfully" on many wrong things.

To fix this, Steve Jobs did a complete overhaul of Apple's operations, killing thousands of great ideas in the process. After Jobs simplified Apple's product lineup, Apple quickly rebounded from its financial problems, and the company went on to create some of the most innovative products that we've seen in history.

How to Gain Clarity and Focus as an Entrepreneur

If you're struggling with having clarity and focus, you're not alone. I'll be the first to admit -- I had the same problem when I first started my company. I used to try and do several things at once, and I was easily distracted by all the new shiny objects, projects, or initiatives that popped up.

Obviously, this overwhelmed me -- but what I didn't see at that time was that it was also affecting my team. One day, I met a successful entrepreneur who told me, "Put all your eggs in one basket, and that basket will give you more eggs than you've ever seen." That made a ton of sense to me, and it gave me the determination I needed to abandon all my other ideas, and focus on a single goal.

So, here's the key to being focused: resist the urge to chase each new ideas that you come up with -- regardless of how brilliant you think that idea is.

You can apply this to every aspect of your business -- don't explore new marketing tactics before you nail your existing strategy. Don't launch new services or features before you build a single, amazing service that your customers love. Don't try to reach to several audiences before you have one loyal, highly engaged audience that can't live without your business. In other words, stay focused, and everything else will fall into place.

Published on: Nov 9, 2018