In fact, many entrepreneurs love saying how no two days look the same. That's true to a certain extent. After all, entrepreneurship is a rollercoaster, right?
But over the years, I have learned that smart people shun shiny objects like the devil. They go for focus and consistency. In other words, they keep it simple, boring even. But they get the results that most people can only dream of. Steve Jobs might have had way more fun if he created and launched 100 products. Instead, he simply doubled down on a few core products, like the iPhone.
Look, a lot of cool new things are not as important as you think they are. They usually don't help you achieve the few important things you want in life: a profitable business, a successful project, and so on. The worst thing you can do is to allow yourself being distracted by them, and kill any momentum you might have.
So, if you want to build a great business, or to achieve anything, be 'boring' at the following few fundamental things:
1. Say no to the next big thing
If your core business isn't pumping out money yet, forget about doing anything else. Say no to diversifying into new markets or new segments. In fact, say no to any kind of pivoting without good reason. Yes, you might feel restless when things aren't quite working out. But for anything huge to happen, you need to keep working away on that one thing. In other words, focus on your core business.
To rein yourself in, make sure you play devil's advocate first, and think through the risks. Or get someone you trust to provide check and balance. For me, I get my team to remind me when I go off on a tangent.
2. Climb one mountain at a time
There are a hundred different ways to climb any mountain (i.e. to achieve any one goal.) But the point is, you can only climb one mountain per trip. It doesn't matter how productive you are, and how little sleep you require. You're only one person. You have 24 hours. So stay crazy focused on one single goal, and hit it out of the park.
I use a marker pen to write down my one business goal -- to hit $100 million in revenue by 2020 -- on my washroom mirror, so I am reminded of it every single morning. When you're thinking of your goal, work backwards to figure out the steps you need to take to get to your goal. Then, execute.
3. Pick up the phone and pen
Fancy networking events can be great (I love the buzz myself.) But when you go on a networking binge, all you might get is a bunch of name cards from people you only said hi and bye to. There are better ways to reach out and build relationships. For one, nothing beats a direct real-time conversation: I love picking up the phone and calling someone in my network.
Alternatively, write thank you notes. Even a few words like "I like you" or "You're awesome" makes a huge impact. A phone call or a handwritten card takes a bit more effort, but people will remember you a lot better for either. After all, it sure is better than having your email buried in a contact's inbox.
4. Stop choosing the color of your socks.
Sticking to one kind of clothing (think Mark Zuckerberg and his hoodie) doesn't just help you get out of the door faster in the morning. It also helps you make better decisions. Every decision you make will drain you mentally -- regardless of how small it is. So, save your thinking cap for your most important tasks at hand.
For me, I stick to wearing only black or white socks. It doesn't have to be about clothing, even. Just think about one area of your life that you can narrow down your choices. For example, If you spend too much time figuring out where to eat next, pick your three favorite places, and make them your default choices.
As humans, we all love getting excited. But getting excited doesn't quite equate with becoming successful. Now, I still get swept up by that genius business idea. But I have learned over the years to keep my eyes on the prize, because that's how I win. You will benefit by doing the same.