Do One Thing Well

Lately I’ve been doing too many things at once, and as a result not feeling like I’m doing any of them very well! It’s not a good feeling, and I should know better. Making tough priority calls is never easy because it means saying “no” to some things I’d really like to do, but in the end, being choiceful yields better results.

With that as context, when I came across this post by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits, I thought I’d share it with you. It’s a powerful idea. What one thing will YOU do well today?

Do One Thing Well

Guest post by Leo Babauta.

I’m often asked how you can start doing work you love — how you can make a living doing something you’re passionate about.

I don’t profess to have all the answers, but the answer for me has been fairly simple:

Do one thing really well.

People want a more comprehensive answer than that, but in my experience, if you learn to do this, the rest will follow.

I write about simplicity. That’s all I do. Over the last 4 1/2 years of writing Zen Habits I’ve found success by focusing on that alone, and stripping away everything else that gets in the way. I’ve removed comments, I don’t do much social media (except for fun), I don’t do much email, I don’t sell ads, I don’t do consulting. I write about simplicity.

By doing this one thing over and over, I’ve gotten much better at it. Good enough, anyway, for people to want to read my work, and as the audience for my work has grown, so have the opportunities to make a living in a non-spammy way. The ways I monetize (print books, ebooks, online courses) are less important than how I’ve grown the audience.

Do one thing well.

It’s really that simple. Narrow down what you do, and do it repeatedly. Learn, grow, improve, read, watch, do it some more. When you’re really good at that one thing, people will want to pay you for it, or to learn how you do it.

It takes a lot of focus and practice to get good at doing one thing, but I’ve found that if you truly love it, it’s not really work. It’s play. And I never complain about playing at something I love.


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