Did you just answer 20 emails and got to inbox 0?
Did you finish your presentation for yet another random keynote you are giving?
Did you spend yet another hour in a meeting about your company’s social media, sales, or product strategy?
Did you finish to write a 2,000 words article or audio-edited another of podcast episode?
What can be the issue with these results?
They might not matter.
I consistently blogged every day (on my personal blog) and weekly on StartupGeist.com for two months and even started the StartupGeist podcast.
I felt busy and a sense of achievement. With StartupGeist, I blog, do a podcast, and try to leverage all social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, G+). I haven’t used Linked and Snapchat.
I created a lot of content. I felt good about myself.
The good thing? I got stuff done. Unlike most people online, I am creating. I learned to stick to a routine. I followed through on my commitment.
The bad thing? I am not sure if my actions lead to business success because I am following path most blogger ‘walk’. All my activities and work results don’t matter if they don’t help me to achieve my business goals and stay in line with my values.
My business goals are to learn, be financially independent and free (work remotely, live where I want). My personal goals are to know myself and act accordingly.
My values are to fearlessly love, mindfully act and personally grow and always be radical honest to myself. That allows me to be honest with all people around me.
Why do goals (a ‘why’ in your life) and values need to be aligned?
I learned early on that our goals and values must be aligned to push hard for a very long time. Otherwise, we are chasing goals with the wrong approach and for the wrong reason.
In my case, it led to unhappiness, boredom, and loss of energy.
After leaving my first startup as part of the original co-founding team, I promised myself to only engage in stuff I love, I can be proud of and makes some kind of difference. I am not talking about a HUGE difference, but a difference for me.
Why it’s important to have ONE THING?
Eve though I stayed in line with my goals and worked on something I am extremely passionate about, I realized that my activities are too cluttered.
I wanted to achieve too much too quickly — and I still want to achieve too much too quickly because it’s hard to get rid of this work and life approach.
Like most entrepreneurs and people, I am not patient. I am bad at investing in something that might take years. I am hoping for overnight success.
And this leads to a dissatisfying approach to my work.
It becomes about ‘just doing’ and ‘just creating’ without a clear strategy in mind and without business systems in place.
I started to talk to friends and realized a powerful difference between the successful entrepreneurs (who make $50k per month) and less successful entrepreneurs (who make not more than $2k per month).
The successful entrepreneurs focus on ONE thing. I haven’t experienced the power of the ONE thing but already feel its power.
For instance, I’d like to help people with productivity, focus, and organization in a digital manner to be more successful in their business and daily life.
But I haven’t worked on it. Instead, I published articles about startups (what is a startup? why they matter? what startup life? how to prepare? how to start a startup? and many more …)
I even did this in German till last December. It’s when I realized that I only write in English for an international audience. OMG — so many learnings. My mind feels blocked. My drive feels lost for a moment.
And that’s why I am writing about it here to keep note.
So what happened? Why do I feel this way?
A few weeks ago, I started to actively follow Ramit Sethi’s course Zero to Launch. I bought this online course last August. And I haven’t looked into it for many many months. I thought I knew I was doing.
I thought how writing powerful content works.
I thought how SEO and blogging works.
I thought that I knew my reader.
I guessed but didn’t really search for answers. I kept pushing. I kept being busy without strategizing.
When I finally started the course and went through the system, I realized that I know NOTHING. I got it all wrong.
You know how it feels when you work for a year and realize that your work results suck and aren’t focused? NOT BAD. I didn’t cry. I wasn’t even close to it. I might have had cried a few years ago.
Now, I felt angry. And thankful that I realized now and that I am open to change direction and improve my approach to work and my work focus itself.
What is my business model?
Since 18 months, I have been thinking about product ideas to build. Shortly speaking, there are five:
- Your digital brain, Evernote. (Never lose an idea or thought again. No paper required but you can.)
- 80/20ies — Summaries of Best Practices and Knowledge around (1) Online Marketing, (2) Online Sales, (3) B2B, SaaS Startups, and (4) Organization and Productivity.
- Getting Things Done, simplified (Set up in minutes, not hours)
- CRM (get contacts and follow up and maintain relationships!)
- Focus & Attention (Morning routine, practice, One Thing, Mood tracking)
I validated them in my work as a startup coach with entrepreneurs in Berlin and Silicon Valley, and as a digital nomad being in Chiang Mai and Bali.
I even received coaching clients who paid me monthly to help them with productivity, organization, and focus — yet I dismissed building digital products and focusing my content of StartupGeist around these topics.
There might be many reasons: self-sabotage, fear of success, fear of failure, …
In the end, it doesn’t matter for me what the reasons are as long as I realize that I am on the ‘wrong’ track and as long as I am willing to change my direction.
That’s what I am doing now.
I focus on MY ONE THING and stop blogging every day on my personal blog. I question my content approach with StartupGeist. I think it’s bad to ‘just publish weekly’. It must have a business goal if I want to become an entrepreneur. Which I WANT!
What is my ONE THING?
I build and sell digital products — mostly video online learning courses.
With these products, I aim to help ONE MILLION people with focus, productivity and organization in their daily chaos through technology AND mindfulness to achieve calm and well-being.
How to overcome self-sabotage?
I don’t know. My emotional pain and financial pressure got so big that I couldn’t any longer not look at not making money from StartupGeist. It’s nice to have a blog. It’s nice to have a podcast.
But it’s not enough — for me.
My business goal is to be financially independent. I chose the entrepreneur journey to achieve this. So, I need to become an entrepreneur. I chose digital products (online courses) to build a business. It’s not about being an entrepreneur.
It’s about solving someone’s pain and offering a great solution.
That’s my ONE thing now.
I entirely focus on building online courses around organization, productivity, and focus.