You’ve read the stories.
Man builds a business with Reddit and quits his job 3 days later.
Such stories sound great, don’t they? They’re inspirational. Exciting.
And perhaps you thought, ‘hey, that could be me.’
But what those success stories don’t tell you are the thousands of failures, false starts and tragedies.
In the U.S., 50% of small businesses fail within 5 years. And within 10 years, that number grows to 64%!
So if you start your business today, chances are high you might fail within a few years, too.
A few years ago, I made a big mistake
I went full time with my business.
We could survive on my wife’s income, and I would be able to focus on building my business.
But I didn’t have the habits of an entrepreneur. I had too much free time on my hands. I got caught up in shiny object syndrome. I attended webinars. I read blogs. I was ‘doing research’ and brainstorming.
Instead of working.
Without my job I lost the drive to make shit happen. I became distracted. Exploring rather than doing.
I played CEO planning my business. But, nobody was on the production floor building the business.
Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. – Thomas Edison
How Warren Buffet Gets Shit Done
In the business community, few people are more admired than Warren Buffet.
His down to earth approach to business has made him a shining example of a successful businessman.
But did you know that Warren Buffet is ruthless?
I do not mean that he is a cut-throat, win-at-all-cost capitalist looking to rule the planet.
Warren Buffet is ruthless with himself.
Like you and me, Warren Buffet has only so much time. He has obligations to his family and friends, his work, his community and to himself.
But Mr. Buffet chooses to be ruthless with his time.
The Avoid At All Cost List
Having a job demands making tough choices.
It challenges you to focus on the most important things.
If you think your day is busy, what do you think Mr. Buffet’s day is like?
He is one of the wealthiest, most sought-after business gurus in the world.
The key to Warren Buffet’s success is simple list:
- At the start of each year, he lists his top 30 goals
- He whittles his goals down to his top 5
- He lays out his plans for those 5 goals.
And his other 25 objectives?
He puts them on a Avoid At All Cost list (AAAC) until he has accomplished his 5 objectives.
This is the difference between one of the most successful men in business history and everybody else. He is ruthless with his time. Brutal with his focus. Mercilessly greedy with his energy.
The Blessings of Having a Job
If you’ve been working a job long enough, you can probably run more or less on automatic pilot. It doesn’t guzzle up all your energy. You know how to keep your boss off your back and not get fired.
Also, your job is paying the bills. You may not be living large. Traveling the world. Eating at your favorite restaurants.
But at least the bills get paid.
That’s not trivial.
Starting a business is much harder, if you are worrying about paying the bills. If peanut butter sandwiches are all you can afford to eat. If you might get kicked out of your house next month.
So, appreciate that your job pays the bills.
Why I made a mess of starting my business
When I first learned about the AAAC list, I thought about my Top 5 objectives.
I reviewed everything that was on my plate.
- Taking math & business classes
- Running work as a foreman
- Teaching 7 classes at my martial studio
- Training for my 3rd degree black belt
- Building my coaching business
- Being in a mastermind group
I realized I was all over the place. That’s why I wasn’t making any progress.
So, I narrowed my list down:
- Invest time with my wife and family
- Teach only 1 class a week
- Build my business by focusing on content marketing
- Stop working as a foreman
I stopped worrying about other goals. I became happier and more present for my wife and family. And I finally started making progress on my business.
- I made my website live, instead of hiding behind a “coming soon…” page
- I published my first few articles
- I scheduled my time to work on my business each and every day
What about you?
Put It On the Mat
Want to reach even a tiny percentage of Warren Buffett’s success?
Do not do any activities that take time away from your Top 5 objectives.
Take action today:
- What are your top 30 goals for the year?
- Prune your list down to your top 5.
- Avoid At All Cost your other goals.
Life changes and priorities can shift. So review your goals regularly.
But stay focused.
And be ruthless with your time.