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One Trick Pony

MTF

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Bump for 2016. Make it the year of eliminating distractions, improving focus, and narrowing down your direction, guys. It works like nothing else. @SteveO knows what he's talking about.
 
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Imgal

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But I want to do EEEEEEEEEVERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRYTHING.

That's basically what's in my head a lot of the time... and I've tried it. It is a awesome way to fail spectacularly. The truth is I can do everything and if I really want it I can achieve it. I don't though really want something if I'm trying to do 15 other things all the just in case one of them doesn't work.

On another subject have I mentioned how much I adore the wisdom of @SteveO recently... because I do!
 

Andy Black

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Bump for 2016. Make it the year of eliminating distractions, improving focus, and narrowing down your direction, guys. It works like nothing else. @SteveO knows what he's talking about.
@MTF

What's improved for you as an entrepreneur by staying with the one pony?
 

MikeAU

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I've definitely tried to do everything in the past and as well as becoming ridiculously stressed it led me to make bad hires and absolutely hate what I was doing.

I'm not saying it can't be done, but damn there is easier ways to do things and customers definitely appreciate specific in depth knowledge rather than half assed broad knowledge. They can tell a lot of the time when your 'making it up' on the fly!

2016 for me is going to be focused on my strengths IF that's what the market wants. If not a change will be made.

Happy New Year people.

Cheers


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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MTF

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@Andy Black, short version: everything.

Longer version:
  • I dig much deeper, and therefore uncover much more potential in a business I thought was severely limited. The deeper I dig, the more new routes I see for growth.
  • I get more specialized in one thing, which makes me a true expert.
  • I focus more on what I'm doing and approach it from the long-term point of view, and therefore refine my processes to make them work better with less effort.
  • I have more energy to grow my business because I don't have to waste it learning something new I don't understand and can instead spend it improving what's already working. One small improvement (say, a 10% one) in a business that's already generating income can increase your revenue by $1000+ almost overnight. I think it's easier (and requires much less work) to make such small improvements and take a business generating $10,000 a month to, say, $20,000 and beyond than start a new business from zero and grow it to $20,000 quickly (because you usually need at least a few months to gain momentum you otherwise already have if you focus on just one business).
  • I discover hidden profit centers that are only visible and available once you spend a year or two with the same business. With one pony you just put more focus on squeezing the most out of it, and not just scratching the surface as you do if you keep starting new businesses.
 

MikeAU

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Thanks @MTF that puts things into perspective. I love the part about digging deeper and finding problems that are not at the top of the pile but can add significant value to your offering if you go deep enough to find them.

You already have the business and digging deeper allows for all sorts of new add ons that increase the customer value for you as the business owner and the client who never even new they had the problem.

Awesome stuff!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

MJ DeMarco

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Thread marked GOLD.

This thread was referenced as part of the inspiration behind one of the INSIDE success stories.

https://www.thefastlaneforum.com/community/threads/building-an-online-publishing-company.54315/
(INSIDERS thread, no public access)

User @MTF wanted to create a publishing company and his goal was $5K/mo in revenue. (Which is mostly all profit in eBook publishing.)

As of his last post, he's at $23,000 a month.

Incredible what a "one trick pony" focus can mean.

Or, he could have chosen the alternative....

10 businesses each making $50 a month.

What do you want? One strong business kills ten mediocre ones.
 
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MTF

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Well-deserved gold status for this one.

One strong business kills ten mediocre ones.

So true. Took me a very long time to finally drive it home.
 

SteveO

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I was talking to one of the senior employees and one of the very young ones at the golf course today. There is an ongoing discussion about all the different things that I have done in the past. The elder one said Jack of all trades and master of none. I did correct him with "master of many". I really meant that too. As long as I have access to Google.... :)

This story sounds like it contradicts the whole idea of "one trick". But in reality all the skills built up to a point and allowed me to move forward with the real estate game. I treated that game as the purchase of broken businesses that needed to be fixed.

Thanks for making this gold.
 
Last edited:

MTF

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This post is very fitting for this thread: https://sivers.org/switch

Especially this part:

Then when you notice that one thing is extra-rewarding, it’s time to switch strategies. Double-down and focus all of your considerable capacity on this one thing. Be a freak, and go above and beyond all expectations, to master this niche with everything you’ve got. Timing is crucial. Don’t be leisurely. Strike while it’s hot. You don’t get extreme results without extreme actions.
 
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Andy Black

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This post is very fitting for this thread: https://sivers.org/switch

Especially this part:
100%

I've recently noticed something about myself.

Sometimes I think I'm walking down the center of the road, until someone points out I'm actually walking well to the left of the center.

When that happens, I don't recalibrate so I'm walking down the center just like everyone else. Instead, now that I know my natural tendencies are to walk to the left, I veer even sharper to the left.

It's not (just) the contrarian in me. It's also that I've been given an inkling of where my natural talents and abilities lie. These are hard to discern as they come natural to you.

I didn't realise I posted quite so much till someone pointed it out. Then I decided to double down on it, and post even more content.

I didn't realise it was "wrong" of me to spend so much time talking to people for free, till someone pointed it out. Then I resolved to do it even more.

I've found that good things happen from going all-in on strengths and natural tendencies.

I've also found those strengths and natural tendencies are typically what everyone is telling you NOT to do.

Go figure...
 

Torobaro

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"You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks"

Winston Churchill

That´s why I find this forum has to be used carefully. It´s full of invaluable information but if you get to excited on a post that´s not related to your business you might lose focus.

There is nothing as exciting as reading about a new business opportunity or progress another fastlaner is making with his business but at the end of the day one has to stick with his idea and keep on pushing.
 

Marquin Brewer

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Sometimes I wonder if people are looking too many directions to try and figure out a path to take. Not that it isn't important to evaluate the options but, at some point the direction needs to narrow down.

It did not take long for me to get into the fastlane once I had decided to invest in apartments. I focused all my effort and research on defining how I could maximize my returns and continued to refine this process as I went along.

Where I ran into difficulties was when I thought the grass might be greener and went in different directions. The problem was not that there was no money in the other options, it was just a distraction that took me away from my original plan.

I tried my hand at development a few years ago. Property was purchased across the street from a site where a new hospital was going to be developed. It was zoned for medical office (and general as well). I teamed up with a CCIM from the area and we worked with a builder on the project. We thought we could finish the buildings in 4 months and lease them up. It took 1.5 years with delays from the city all along the way. I had to carry the loan during the entire process.

Money was still made on this deal but the amount of time and other resources that went into this were a major distraction for me.

I also thought that rehabbing apartments might be a good thing to try. There were some rundown units in Palm Springs, CA. that were in the foreclosure process. They had many violations on them that were in need of correction. Again, money was made but the amount of time that was absorbed by this was unreal. I could not afford to pay contractor prices so my partners and I did most of the work. Pouring concrete diveways in 105 degrees was not fun either. :smxD:

If I had stayed on this path, I would have had to drop down to a slower lane. :fastlane:

Fortunately, these just solidified the fact that my original plan was working. When I went back to refining the original plan, the speed picked back up. :driving:

My point is that finding a workable plan to move ahead at a fast rate of speed is important. Development and Rehab are both very lucrative. I am not suggesting that there is less money in doing either one of those. The problem was with the distractions and chasing something without a fully understood plan of attack. Had I initially targeted development, the effort that I had put into it would have been different and the amount of time and path forward would have been very different.

Make your plans to move forward based on a carefully thought out plan that will take you where you want to go. If it isn't working... adjust... If it works... refine and move forward.
Thanks for the wisdom Steve
 

Greg R

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2017 Bump to focusing on ONE THING. +REP
 
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A-Mat-Zing

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Awesome thread!

Reminds me of the lessons of a great book that I read last year called "Essentialism" by Greg McKeown.
Focusing on fewer things and doing these better instead. This mindset shift helps in all areas of life, especially when your disposable time, mental bandwidth and other resources are limited next to family and a (still neccessary) slowlane job.
 

MTF

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This single idea alone has changed my life. It needs another bump.
 
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MTF

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This post is over 9 years old. Lots has happened during that time. The Unscripted life is like a rodeo... :)

I'd love to hear more. Any new important lessons? Realizations? Changes you've made? New plans for the future?
 

dgr

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This ONE thing was always my main issue. I bought into the idea of "Digital Renaicentist" but clearly it has not working for me. I have enjoyed doing a lot of different things, but I have never become really good in nothing. Well, except I'm now really good at learning new things really fast. Since this summer I'm more focused in my hobbies and my (new) career, but still struggling to choose a field to focus on as a fastlane business.

BTW, I like the Shivers idea of trying a lot of things at first and stick to the ONE that works.

This thread has been awesome for me, thanks for sharing your experiencies. I'd also love to hear more :)
 
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BrooklynHustle

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Great post!

On this topic, highly recommend this book for any entrepreneur: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C1BHQXK/?tag=tff-amazonparser-20

They also have some useful free resources on their website: https://www.the1thing.com/resources/

Sometimes I wonder if people are looking too many directions to try and figure out a path to take. Not that it isn't important to evaluate the options but, at some point the direction needs to narrow down.

It did not take long for me to get into the fastlane once I had decided to invest in apartments. I focused all my effort and research on defining how I could maximize my returns and continued to refine this process as I went along.

Where I ran into difficulties was when I thought the grass might be greener and went in different directions. The problem was not that there was no money in the other options, it was just a distraction that took me away from my original plan.

I tried my hand at development a few years ago. Property was purchased across the street from a site where a new hospital was going to be developed. It was zoned for medical office (and general as well). I teamed up with a CCIM from the area and we worked with a builder on the project. We thought we could finish the buildings in 4 months and lease them up. It took 1.5 years with delays from the city all along the way. I had to carry the loan during the entire process.

Money was still made on this deal but the amount of time and other resources that went into this were a major distraction for me.

I also thought that rehabbing apartments might be a good thing to try. There were some rundown units in Palm Springs, CA. that were in the foreclosure process. They had many violations on them that were in need of correction. Again, money was made but the amount of time that was absorbed by this was unreal. I could not afford to pay contractor prices so my partners and I did most of the work. Pouring concrete diveways in 105 degrees was not fun either. :smxD:

If I had stayed on this path, I would have had to drop down to a slower lane. :fastlane:

Fortunately, these just solidified the fact that my original plan was working. When I went back to refining the original plan, the speed picked back up. :driving:

My point is that finding a workable plan to move ahead at a fast rate of speed is important. Development and Rehab are both very lucrative. I am not suggesting that there is less money in doing either one of those. The problem was with the distractions and chasing something without a fully understood plan of attack. Had I initially targeted development, the effort that I had put into it would have been different and the amount of time and path forward would have been very different.

Make your plans to move forward based on a carefully thought out plan that will take you where you want to go. If it isn't working... adjust... If it works... refine and move forward.
 

Iammelissamoore

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Absolutely Profound, I know this is the basis of building a successful Fastlane biz, in my failures, I calculated this hoppity-hop (past) persona I had, I am learning the importance of winning with one thing, and as you've rightly stated @SteveO - if something isn't working within the business, look at that one particular thing and adjust, in my current journey, I am learning and adapting accordingly with that, absolutely love and respect that.
 

dgr

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Great post!

On this topic, highly recommend this book for any entrepreneur: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C1BHQXK/?tag=tff-amazonparser-20

They also have some useful free resources on their website: https://www.the1thing.com/resources/

That book is a great complement to TMF , IMO, along with Darren Hardy's The Compound Effect. Yeah, I know, the title sounds Slowlane, but the system really works if you are stuck and need to create intertia in your new habits.

I think The One Thing fits perfectly in the TMF mentallity, and maybe it can help to boost your results. The main premise is to apply this question to whatever areas in your life you want to improve:

What’s the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?

It has a lot of good advice. The chapter about balance blown my mind. We have been sold with the idea of a balanced life, but magic happens in the extremes. If you want greatness, or a solid financial future, you can't pursue a totally balanced life. As it said, you need focus.
 
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SteveO

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I'd love to hear more. Any new important lessons? Realizations? Changes you've made? New plans for the future?
Ride the wave when it feels strong. Rest while the break is not to your liking. Enjoy life.

I'm done doing deals. The future includes lots of rv time on the beach and making a stronger connection with family.
 

mom

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Sometimes I wonder if people are looking too many directions to try and figure out a path to take. Not that it isn't important to evaluate the options but, at some point the direction needs to narrow down.

It did not take long for me to get into the fastlane once I had decided to invest in apartments. I focused all my effort and research on defining how I could maximize my returns and continued to refine this process as I went along.

Where I ran into difficulties was when I thought the grass might be greener and went in different directions. The problem was not that there was no money in the other options, it was just a distraction that took me away from my original plan.

I tried my hand at development a few years ago. Property was purchased across the street from a site where a new hospital was going to be developed. It was zoned for medical office (and general as well). I teamed up with a CCIM from the area and we worked with a builder on the project. We thought we could finish the buildings in 4 months and lease them up. It took 1.5 years with delays from the city all along the way. I had to carry the loan during the entire process.

Money was still made on this deal but the amount of time and other resources that went into this were a major distraction for me.

I also thought that rehabbing apartments might be a good thing to try. There were some rundown units in Palm Springs, CA. that were in the foreclosure process. They had many violations on them that were in need of correction. Again, money was made but the amount of time that was absorbed by this was unreal. I could not afford to pay contractor prices so my partners and I did most of the work. Pouring concrete diveways in 105 degrees was not fun either. :smxD:

If I had stayed on this path, I would have had to drop down to a slower lane. :fastlane:

Fortunately, these just solidified the fact that my original plan was working. When I went back to refining the original plan, the speed picked back up. :driving:

My point is that finding a workable plan to move ahead at a fast rate of speed is important. Development and Rehab are both very lucrative. I am not suggesting that there is less money in doing either one of those. The problem was with the distractions and chasing something without a fully understood plan of attack. Had I initially targeted development, the effort that I had put into it would have been different and the amount of time and path forward would have been very different.

Make your plans to move forward based on a carefully thought out plan that will take you where you want to go. If it isn't working... adjust... If it works... refine and move forward.

Ok I get being focused and pushing through barriers etc...but when do you realize you are at the end and you simply have to close up shop and re-start? It's great being persistent but when does that become deluded? It can be a fine line?
 

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