The principle I discuss in this video was something I discovered in 2013 when my business was beginning to get some traction. I don’t claim to be the first person to discover this principle, but when I applied it in my life, my business’s revenue and my personal income doubled every year for three consecutive years… I went from making a solid upper-middle-class income to a truly exceptional income when I began to implement this one principle in my life.
Prefer to read instead of watch? Here’s a rough script I used for this video.
In this video, I’d like to share with you a fundamental principle that I believe about business. This principle was something I discovered in 2013 when my business was beginning to get some traction. I don’t claim to be the first person to discover this principle, but when I applied it in my life, my business’s revenue and my personal income doubled every year for three consecutive years.. I went from making a solid upper-middle-class income to a truly exceptional income when I began to implement this one principle in my life. I’m sure you’re thinking by now, okay Matt, enough with the hype, what’s the principle? Well, this principle is quite simple, but it’s also incredibly powerful and I don’t want you to underestimate what this principle can do for your life and your business.
The principle I’ve been alluding to is that if you want to make more, you have to do less. If you’re a business owner and you want to make dramatically more money than you do today, paradoxically you have to do fewer things. You have to focus on the things that you are the best in the world at and let other things go, even if they make you money. The marketplace will compensate you better when you become better at something better than anyone else and focus solely on that one thing. You have to put all of your efforts and focus on the one single thing that you are the best at or you can become the best at.
When you try to do too many things at once, you can become moderately successful. Michael Jordan was moderately successful when he played baseball, but there’s no athlete that’s an NFL quarterback that also makes the MLB All-Star Team. There’s just not enough hours in the day to become the best in the world at multiple things, so when you try to do a bunch of different stuff, you end up being “just okay” at a lot of different stuff.
In 2012, I was running MarketBeat. We called the business Analyst Ratings Network back then. I also still had a day job and a bunch of different other internet businesses I was trying to get going. I had a press release distribution business called Lightning Releases. I had a network of personal finance blogs. I had a WordPress optimization service. I operated a small web development consultancy. MarketBeat was really the bread-winner of all of my small business projects, but I still had to put in 40 hours a week at my day job and a bunch of time into my other projects as well. My day job and all of my other businesses were distracting me from focusing on the one thing that I was the best at. I remember not getting back to a handful of advertisers because I was too busy trying to fix some urgent issue with much smaller businesses.
When my son Micah was born in September 2012, I finally realized I didn’t have enough time to do everything. The first thing to go was my day job because it took up the most time and was responsible for 1/3rd to 1/4th of my income. In early 2013, I had developed a new normal and MarketBeat continued to be the standout business. Soon after that, I stopped doing web design consulting and focused exclusively on my product businesses. My business revenue and personal income grew because I had more time to focus on the one business I had the chance to be the best at. Over the next two years, I went through a process of selling and unwinding all of my other little Internet businesses. to put all of my operational time into MarketBeat. My business revenue doubled in 2013, again in 2014 and again in 2015, and I believe that putting all of my best energy into the one business that was going to go the distance was the key driver of this.
Now, I won’t even consider being involved in another business as an operating partner. I certainly invest in other businesses and have launched some pro-bono projects like Startup Sioux Falls, but I would actually make less money if I became an operating partner where I was responsible for running another business. Because if I’m running another business, I am not putting my best mental energy and effort into growing MarketBeat and that will cost me money. Let’s say, If I want to make an extra $100,000 this year, I just need to grow MarketBeat’s revenue by 1.1%. To do that, honestly, I would really only need one good optimization or business improvement idea. If I wanted to make $100,000 on a brand new business from the ground up, I’d probably have to put in 20 hours a week into that business for a couple of years. And I can almost guarantee that if I’m putting 20 hours a week in effort into a new business, that I’m missing out on several 1% improvement and optimization ideas at MarketBeat. So to stay focused on the one thing that I do better than anyone else, I won’t even entertain the idea of starting a new business with someone else because it will inevitably cost me money.
So, that’s the principle. If you want to make more, you have to do less. You have to focus on the one thing in the world that you can be the best at and not let other things become distractions to you if you want to make more money in your business. There’s a true opportunity cost with your time. If you’re putting time into a bunch of side projects or new ideas, you are not putting your best effort into the one business that will go the distance for you. Focus on the one project, business or idea that’s doing the best for you and the marketplace will reward you for it. If you want to make more, you have to do less. That’s the principle. Thanks for watching!