A better question to ask
Posted in Thoughts
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Lately there a quite a few people who ask for my advice. I don’t know how good my answers are but I find that most of the time they are asking what they should do. “What should I do next to grow my business?”. “What should I do to raise money?” etc… They all seem good questions. And they are. But most important I think is to ask …. yourself: “What should I stop doing?”

We do a lot of stupid things. And we do them almost daily. But instead of tracking them and eliminating we focus on the next thing. You may say that in the end is about the same thing. Improving some aspects of your life/business by changing something. Because you change either by asking yourself what to do or what not to do. And you may be right. But this shift in the way you think of it I believe is fundamental. Here are some reasons:

1. You’ll focus more on the core problem rather that asking: “What next?”. And focus is something that a lot of us talk about but very few know what it truly means. As Steve Jobs puts it:

People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.

2. It is better to perfect something that is rather than adding something new on top of a shabby foundation. The question is not what to add but what to leave out. During Seedcamp we listened to a lot of people asking us for tons of features at uberVU. We started to work on features like crazy. We were all over the place. What we discovered pretty soon is that we did a superficial/lousy job in almost all the new areas. Now we are regrouping and working on eliminating all the features that are not working great or that don’t add a lot of value.

3. You will increase or develop your analytical skills. Because you will need to measure your results before deciding what you should stop doing.

4. It will force you to re-evaluate yourself and look in the mirror form time to time. One thing that I discovered this way s that collecting business cards is not the same thing as expanding your network. More about this in another post.

Next time when you want to move to the next level try asking yourself this question.

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