Steve Jobs simple strategy for better focus

by BrandonClark22. Posted on Sep 17, 2020    975    131


Steve Jobs was famous for his extreme focus.

This was his philosophy:

Deciding what NOT to do, is as important as deciding what to do.

Focus is not just saying NO to distractions. It’s also saying NO to opportunities.

There are a million things you could be doing, but there are only 1-2 things that you should be doing.

Here's a snippet from Steve Jobs' biography.

Jobs would stand in front of a whiteboard and ask ‘What are the ten things we should be doing next?’ People would fight to get their suggestions on the list. Jobs would write them down, and then cross off the ones he decreed dumb. After much jockeying, the group would come up with a list of ten. Then Jobs would slash the bottom seven and announce, ‘We can only do three.’

***

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Comments

JoeyEngland 2

Write down 10 things you want most out of life in order of importance from top to bottom. Draw a line between 3 & 4. From now on, you will only be doing things that contribute to 1,2, & 3. Forget about everything else.

NagasaiManda 2

Setting priorities is the only way to get the most out of your time

LittleDuke 2

"Solve your today problems"

That's my advice to founders and entrepreneurs who are worried about things so remote from their "next step". Like picking out drapes and flooring in a mansion they hope to one day live in.

Two tricks: Is this thing you're concerned over:


  1. Important?
  2. Urgent?

    If it is not both then it's not a today problem.
  BrandonClark22 1

Love this. Thank you

_veebuv 2

This applies to everything in business in general. What you say no to matters just as much as what you say yes to

Plays on the pareto principles

-AMARYANA- 2

Learning this right now. Also learning how to consolidate ideas together to 'do more with less'.

megskellas 2

It takes a strong person to say no to opportunity. The spaghetti ideology makes people more comfortable for some reason but really is likely holding you back.

KashyapVartika 2

I think i totally agree with this philosophy :

Deciding what NOT to do, is as important as deciding what to do.

It is really difficult sometimes to decide what to do and what not to do. We just have to make our priorities set.

fotofixation 2

in other words, a lot of us have a tough time prioritize things in personal and professional life.

It may look like we are doing good have are priorities set but the true results often take a few years before know what we were doing!

ZaurbekStark 2

Jack Dorsey (co-founder and CEO of Twitter) does something similar. Every day he makes a list of things to do and things not to do. He writes it down on one page with 2 columns.

People usually only make to do lists, but he said that specifically writing down the things not to do helps him focus during the day.

  BrandonClark22 2

I love that. I may incorporate that into my daily routine.

mokeormook 2

Yes! Staying focused means saying no to even good ideas.

lachlan283 2

Actually quiet an interesting insight into such a famous man. Believe that it would've been quiet hard for him in such a quick moving industry

lawdofthelight 2

Reminds me of the Pareto principal.

firecrotch33 2

Reminds me of this video I saw about being an artist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6NsEDwHHiE

It's a video directed towards artist but the advice is relatable to a lot of different scenarios. Long story short, basically the video talks about how you should stop focusing on multiple projects, multiple jobs, multiple styles, multiple things that you want to do and just focus on 1 job, mastering that 1 skill, and you will be a lot more successful in the long run.

  BrandonClark22 2

Yes exactly. Great video too

smh12345678910 2

Great post. I read a golf book that said to aim at a leaf/branch on a tree in the distance...the smaller the better to increase your focus and determination...kind of like aim small miss small I suppose...it helped my golf swing...a little anyway. :-)

wind_dude 2

Man, I feel this, there's hundreds of thousands of things I want to be doing.

pete_codes 2

Yeah, I was speaking to a founder today and they said they choose 3 things each week. It's easy to get overwhelmed otherwise!

DontoDusk 2

One of my mottoes is “don’t try to be everything to everyone. Aim to be THE BEST DAMN THING to the RIGHT ones” (yes you can steal this comment lol)

  BrandonClark22 1

Love that motto

rao_aditya 2

There's a good book called Essentialism. Do check it out. Author outlines how you should say NO more often, align/evaluate your priorities etc.

  BrandonClark22 2

Thanks, I'm looking it up right now

rodlandey 2

Really like the site man, clean and simple

  BrandonClark22 1

Thanks man, I appreciate it.

JustusRamming 2

This is super interesting thanks for sharing

relentless_pma 3

Thank you for this post. I am really trying to improve and 'level up' my productivity and stop delaying and procrastinate. I am looking into the way I work, reading about it in various threads on reddit, think of ideas and look for tools to help.

One of the problems I have are wanting to do too much and a strange result is that I hardly do anything at all from the things I want to do. i think people can relate to this and has to do with deciding what to do and indeed deciding what not to do.

  BrandonClark22 1

Yeah exactly, it’s something we all struggle with. Good luck.

dbx99 3

I run a T-shirt company. It’s important for us to release ONE great print and design. We could release 5 middle of the road ones but having one hit is much more profitable than a bunch of mediocre ones that don’t move people to purchase. It’s like the music industry or publishing. You have to make something really good to get people to the stage of being willing to part with their money to own the thing you’re offering.

satvikpendem 6

There's a whole book about this concept: Insanely Simple by Ken Segall. Segall worked for Chiat Day which made the Think Different ads and he was the one who put the "i" in iMac which continued on the iPod, iPhone, iPad and so on.

The book talks about the power of simplicity in business and shows how Apple embodies this concept.

  BrandonClark22 1

Oh, that's really cool. I'm honestly not surprised theirs a full book written on this topic because it is so important. Thanks for sharing, checking it out right now.

satvikpendem 4

Yeah it's some really great stuff, probably one of the highest-leverage books I've ever read.

monsieurpommefrites 2

What is highest leverage?

hellvetican 7

Imagine you have a window and a crowbar. The only way the crowbar works is if there is a frame to create leverage between the crowbar and the window. If you have no crowbar, you have no leverage. The bigger your crowbar, the more powerful your leverage and the easier it is to open the window. This is a book that helps you open many windows easily.

CalvinsStuffedTiger 3

The author should write a follow up book about how Apple is going down the exact same path that nearly killed their company in the 80s/90s until Steve Jobs came back and slashed all their SKUs

The last 3 years of Jobs tenure (and life)
iPhone, IPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c

The last 3 years of Cooks tenure
8, 8 plus, X, XR, XS, XS Max, 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, SE 2,

And there’s still the entire 2020 fall lineup to be introduced lol

And that’s just phones. Their entire product lineup is a mess like this.

atomic_cow 5

Agreed. Me personally a huge red flag is when they removed Mag Safe plugs off MacBooks. Like seriously? Thats been flag ship MacBook feature, and it was removed for no good reason.

cocarossa 1

THIS.

watchspaceman 4

I always think of this when people say "Oh I work 12 hours a day". I do marketing for these people, I see their revenue and how it is impossible they are actually working 12 hours. Theyre spending it doing non important tasks because they want to be busy.


They would accomplish the same amount in a day just doing 6 hours of proper work rather than 12 hours of bullshit

  BrandonClark22 1

Exactly

IniNew 4

What the hell is a micro-case study lol

  BrandonClark22 2

I made it up haha. It's just a super short case study.

IniNew

So a case study... is usually the exact opposite of short. It's a detailed analysis of how a change affected an outcome.

Anyway, semantics. Wouldn't be the first time the Start Up culture took something and bastardized it until it wasn't recognizable anymore.

Good luck!

  BrandonClark22 2

Noted, thanks for the info haha

anhnhat0016

Sorry for disturbing but if you have any qs about Amazon stuffs, check out next level ninjas.

SteveJobsIdiotCousin

Steve’s ideas were actually cliche and really overrated. Everyone thinks he was sooooo talented.

Chabubu 1

Now which 7 things do I get to tell my boss I’m not going to do because I’m focused on the top 3?

Harry123guide 1

Legend Steve

BlackEric 1

#GENIUS! 🙄

MoWglimyman 1

I am my own role model.

makba 1

Ah so thats why I am not a billionaire genius inventor

HammadNS 1

What to focus on?

AjaxFC1900 7

Steve Jobs pure luck in being friends with Woz who was the only one knowing what he was even talking about it

Steve Jobs pure luck when he was fired and avoided owning the mess he created

Steve Jobs pure luck in being called back

Steve Jobs pure luck when the DOJ decided to pursue Microsoft because beurocrats were jelous of Bill Gates becoming too rich and too young. Microsoft (a company which doesn't even try to stop the little guy from pirating their OS, not now, nor back then)

Steve Jobs pure luck when Microsoft lawyers advised Bill Gates to step down to throw a bone to the DOJ

Steve Jobs pure luck when Microsoft lawyers advised Microsoft to save Apple from bankruptcy in order to, again, throw a bone to the DOJ.

Steve Jobs pure luck in being able to afford the best medical care (but choosing to try and cure cancer with vegetables instead)

Overrated guy if I've seen one. Nothing good will come out in trying and copying what he did. That is..if you are not extremely lucky as he was.

laughterwithans

100%


People here worship this guy at the expense of all the hardworking people that are actually responsible for Apple.


Billionaire worship is the easiest way to tell if someone has potential as an entrepreneur or not. If you're heros as these guys, than you're hoping you get to be part of the luckies people in history.


Your heros should be small local businesses that have operated for 30 years- those are the real geniuses.

atomic_cow 1

A lot of success is about luck. The thing about luck is you can create more luck for yourself by being prepared, working hard and always putting yourself out there. Being in a position to jump on an opportunity is key.

If you put in the time to get good at something your factor of 'luck' goes up exponentially. There will always be people who seem to already have it all made. There will always be people who "know some one". But there is always room for one more good one. The more you fail the closer you get to success.

drdr3ad 1

>Steve Jobs pure luck in being able to afford the best medical care (but choosing to try and cure cancer with vegetables instead)

It was fruit... not that that's any better

SveXteZ 2

Luck = right skills + right time.

rockinghigh 3

Luck is always a factor to success. Steve has built and then rebuilt what is now the most valuable company. Watch this video from him in 1997 and tell me he's overrated.

His insights on how to run a business, manage developers, and pick areas to invest in are extraordinary. Like many Silicon Valley founders, he had major personality flaws, including a lack of empathy, but you'd have a hard time finding someone who worked for him and would call him overrated.

AjaxFC1900

Watch this video of Michael Jordan when he was 3 and tell me if it’s not obvious that he’d become the goat

Lots of people made the very exact video and it’s not all over the place because they didn’t have any luck and did not make it

rockinghigh 9

The video I shared with you was 20 years after Apple had been created. I'm guessing you have not actually worked and managed people in a large company. You can't absolutely dismiss someone like Steve Jobs.

AjaxFC1900 1

That video is after he ran the company into the ground once and in the process of doing it again had not been for the DOJ going after Microsoft

Let’s be real now

rockinghigh 2

He had left Apple 12 years before. He was the CEO of Next when this happened.

bombastica 2

So... try to do 10 things? Not really sure what your point is.

AjaxFC1900

People on this sub won’t accept that stuff is mostly outside of their control and try to look for patterns in the lives and careers of who made it

They teach you fractions in 2nd grade

Nobody ever stops at analysing the denominator made up of those who didn’t make it ...everybody focuses on the shiny numerator .

Actually not even focusing , they put a piece of paper on the denominator to pretend it’s not there, because it’s comforting to believe you’d be the numerator and not part of the bigger denominator

PersonalBrowser 4

If you're lucky all those times in a row, you probably are doing something write. It's like the quote "fortune favors the bold," sure, you need luck, but you also need to take steps to be open to the work of luck.

AjaxFC1900

You should familiarize with the concept of survivorship bias.

It's exactly the thing you mentioned.

Thinking someone was/is special just because it arrived somewhere.

preheatpeshwari 3

There's very little that exists in anyone's life that isn't a result of pure luck, both good and bad. It's more useful to judge someone on the quality of their decisions rather than the outcomes.

AjaxFC1900 1

In order to do that, taking heads would have to know the odds .

Too bad nobody knows that and it’s even harder to retroactively calculate them .

So talking heads would not get a “we don’t know” for an answer and would proceed to evaluate based on outcomes anyways and on top of that missing macro episodes and just jump to the inevitable fairy tale ending because surprises of surprises nobody ever wastes any time analysing the life and decisions of the losers

preheatpeshwari 1

Who cares what talking heads think? Anyone with a real interest in something will delve deep into the activities of those who were successful and those who weren't . I'm not talking about decision quality in terms of probability. The odds can't generally be known to any reasonable degree. But there are decisions that can be looked upon retrospectively as being brilliant or terrible regardless of the outcome. Plus, the reason the majority of people don't analyse the lives of the losers is because they probably can't see the benefit in doing so and as a result are likely to make the same mistakes. Hence why the majority of people will never reach this level. There are a few stand out winners from time to time and I'd bet a high proportion of them studied the losers in depth. It's their ability to assimilate vast amounts of information and use it at the right time, in an insightful way to generate outstanding results. Enough of these high quality insights, decisions and brilliant executipn over time, plus a lot of luck = massive success.

jaesung2061 13

You can say "pure luck" to anything about literally any successful businessman. This is a pretty bad case of being a "hater" IMO. Let's see how you justify how businessmen you're a fan of did it through pure grit and hard work, but not Steve Jobs.

Steve Jobs is a once in a generation businessman, and had anyone else been in his shoes, they would achieve nothing close to what he has.

AjaxFC1900

Jobs performed piss poorly on a risk adjusted basis .

I’m not a fan of anybody but I admire the work of Bill gates and Jim Simons .

Choose an era and a place and they’d be the most successful person in a 50 mile radius. Not even once under this mark.

Because they performed greatly on a risk adjusted basis .

I understand that people in this sub will spit on being the most successful person in a 50 Mile radius . But doing it consistently across so many cultures and many epochs , for sure trumps the lucky Jobs who hit a HR while blinded by the sun .

If somebody were to ask me the best compliment I’d ever given or hoping to receive would be exactly this :

“Choose an epoch and a place and you’d be the most successful person in a 50 Mile radius at minimum”

[deleted] 1

[deleted]

AjaxFC1900

Go and learn fractions.

I_Am_Vladimir_Putin 2

Bill wasn’t a very nice person when he was young. He changed his ways much later in life.

He wasn’t a kind and caring leader when they built Microsoft.

charlie_pony 8

I agree.

Bill Gates has also admitted to his situation being pure luck, too.

He was in one of the VERY small number of schools that had access to computers. If he did not have access to a computer, Microsoft never would have happened. Pure luck. And, his words, not mine.

Furthermore, his mother, Mary Gates, was on the nonprofit organization United Way of King County (Seattle). There, she met the late John Opel, then-chairman of IBM, who also was a member of the United Way board. In 1980, Microsoft was a small, five-year-old firm and Mary saw an opportunity to help her son’s fledgling company by speaking with Opel about Bill's business, and helped Bill Gates with the IBM deal that propelled his company to the top. Without IBM, the pre-eminent tech company at the time, odds are it would be like all the other thousands of small tech companies. Mary Gates was later appointed to the board of the United Way of America, the national parent organization. In 1983, she became the first woman to lead it. Anyways, Opel mentioned Gates to some of his fellow IBM executives, according to some accounts, and the company decided to “take a chance” with Microsoft. For the first time in IBM’s then 70-year history, the company outsourced help with Bill Gates. They did also speak to Digital Research company, but without Mary, would never have talked to Microsoft.

Bill Gates father, Bill Gates, Senior, was a pre-eminenent buseiss attorney, with the law firm Preston, Gates & Ellis. See the second name? Yeah, that is Bill Gates, Senior. He was a "name partner." So, Bill Gates got Grade A, top notch legal advice that would cost any other company tens of thousands of dollars, and he got it for free, from his father. I'm sure his father was the one that did the licensing - MS-DOS was non-exclusive to IBM, it became one of Microsoft’s most profitable products ever.

Now, you could say that Bill Gates just took advantage of the opportunities that were there for him, but all opportunities are NOT the same. He was there on the ground floor of the tech revolution, at the precise moment. Tech has grown from almost zero when he started to the most sales. I think just Microsoft company alone has $1 trillion in sales. If you compare this to the movie and film industry, the entire industry grosses about $100 billion per year (pre-covid, of course). But people think the movie industry is big. It is but is dwarfed by tech. So, there's no way that all opportunities are equal. That's all I'm saying. Yeah, there are opportunities, but not all opportunities are equal. And, as Bill Gates said, it was pure luck on his part. Not just opportunity. So if you disagree, call and talk to him, not me.

AjaxFC1900

Smart people know that they are lucky and don’t try to pretend they are not

Actually even if it was not classic luck it would have been luck anyways

We don’t even know how we form thoughts and ideas . They spur into existence form the meta verse for all we know


Jobs , musk , trump , Holmes , madoff , eike Batista won’t ever admit that , they are so ignorant or in denial about their own life or lying through their teeth ... how can somebody look up to them is beyond me

How can people spend time and analyse their moves and choices is even more beyond me .

I guess there’s a market for everything and they are just trying to give people insight into the person who survived the selection

Survivorship bias that is

charlie_pony

Yeah. Now, I am not denying that they all are smart and work hard. But so do people working in the coal mines, too. And, working in the coal mines is (was) honorable work. Nothing wrong with being a coal miner at all.

But, again, not all opportunities are the same, that is the main thing. No matter how hard and smart and how well someone executes, they are not going to become a billionaire by selling bullwhips or thermometers for frogs or crazy shit like that. You can hire a Fortune 500 CEO and spend a billion on marketing and perfect execution, there will never be a market for shit sandwiches - actual shit sandwiches - as opposed to metaphorical shit sandwiches, which have an infinite market for. Haha.

Tangentially, nobody does it alone. This is important. Bill Gates had all that help from his parents, but also by others in his fledgling organization. Same with Steve Jobs as you mentioned. Nobody does it alone. Now, there are leaders, and they do get all the credit and money. I've been a leader and really it is a fraud to be a leader, all the people who helped me were so much more knowlegeable. But, I was in the right place at the right time. I didn't even ask, the shit just fell in my lap. I remember once I had someone call me up and literally scream at the top of their lungs at me that they were better, more knowledgeable, involved for much longer time than me. And it was 100% true. Why didn't they get the job instead of me? This was a situation of "who you know, not what you know."

I don't know. What the hell am I even talking about?

SveXteZ

> He was in one of the VERY small number of schools that had access to computers. If he did not have access to a computer, Microsoft never would have happened. Pure luck

He didn't join that school by having luck, but by choosing to do so. It's not luck.

charlie_pony 2

You don't read so well. I wrote that it was one of the VERY small number of schools that had access to computers, at all. In the entire country. I wrote this down directly from what I read from what Bill Gates himself wrote.

You're not going to get that computer access in 1974 (or whenever it was), in the south side of Chicago or East St Louis or Compton.

He went to the private Lakeside School. This year, it costs $38,000 per year for tuition.

Bill Gates father was name partner at Preston Gates, and Ellis. He was making some bank, my friend.

Bill Gates had super great luck just to get his daddy's sperm and mom's egg. He won the genetic lottery, perhaps the best luck of all. Pure random luck. What would have happened if Bill Gates Senior, and Mary Gates did the same thing and took the embryo and planted it into a dirt dick poor black single mother who was a prostitute and crack addict living in the worst part of Detroit? Bill Gates probably would be dead from a liquor store holdup that went wrong and he and his partner would have been gunned down by a pissed of liquor store owner.

Not sure how you're not seeing this.

And again, to repeat, to re-edify, this is what Bill Gates has said, so if you have an argument, send him an email and tell him how he is wrong and you are right. Well, he said it was pure luck, he didn't talk about the poor black woman who was a prostitute and crack addict, that was all me. But I bet you a billion dollars if I said that to him, he would agree.

SveXteZ

hahahaha

charlie_pony

glad you liked my little story.

[deleted] 1

[deleted]

charlie_pony 1

I disagree. There was no way to tell that the computer industry would evolve into the largest industry on earth. He did not look around as an 8th grader and do some kind of SWOT analysis and look for venture capitalists. He just liked computers. I didn't say there didn't have to be some aptitude. That's like saying why isn't every basketball player in the NBA. They don't recognize the opportunity? No, it is because they don't have the talent.

Everything you are saying is ancillary. Sure, he had to execute. I've executed before and wrote computer programs but I don't have a billion dollars in my bank account, and neither do 99.99999999% of the other companies that create code. That is because, as I said above, all opportunities are not the same.

> it's absolutely horse shit to pretend he just fell into it as a stroke of "luck".

Dude. Why don't you email Bill Gates and tell him that. I heard it out of his mouth. On a video, but still his own mouth.

He went to a special school that happened to have computers there. f it didn't have computers, likely he would never have started Microsoft, or got the head start.

I'm not sure why you are so vitriolic against the idea of luck. What is your personal issue that is making you angry, or at least sound that way to me? I mean, if you just would have explained it to me logically, that would be one thing, but there's this undertone of anger. What is the anger about? Like, are you mad that I am saying it is luck, because you are starting your own company, and are angry at me because you think that you are one of those geniuses and are going to make $100 billion dollars in the next 2 years, and I'm raining on your parade? Like, because I said they have luck, I'm jinxing you and now you are never going to make $100 billion?

I know I have heard Bill Gates go into how lucky he was and is before. {I did look it up and here he says it.](https://youtu.be/UGSb_2OPgGU?t=18) He admits right there that he was lucky. I've seen other more thorough interviews in the past where he says the same thing at greater length, but I don't have a lot of time to search every video of him every made.

Look, I'm not saying he was not smart or dedicated. But I've known a lot of other smart and dedicated people in my time, with just as great execution. But they are not worth $100 billion.

Because there is only so much market space. For example, if Bill Gates decided instead of building Microsoft, he was going to sell shit sandwiches - actual shit sandwiches - he would not be a success, no matter how smart or dedicated he is or was. That's because smart or dedicated doesn't matter. The market matters and there's no market for shit sandwiches.

Nobody is going to be able to directly complete with Microsoft, because the investment is too huge. And by investment, I don't mean by Microsoft, but by all the corporations why have trillions of dollars invested in training for their workforce in Microsoft products. The only way to compete is by changing the paradigm. But it is so expensive now, only the hugest companies can do it. For example, Chrome browser could do it, but Google is not a 10 person company like Microsoft was when it first started. They had to get all the Androids going, migrate it to the desktop, get google sheets and docs going. And they still are not unthroning Microsoft as the king of the corporations. Does it happen? Sure. IBM used to be the best tech company, now it is not.

Again, not saying Gates was not brilliant or driven, he was. But he had no real competition. Not like there is today. They teach entire university classes on competition. One cannot discount competition. And the competition is VASTLY greater than in the 1970s.

[deleted] 1

[deleted]

charlie_pony 1

Um, was that you that I responded to above and now the response is deleted?

pseudocultist 16

Another word for that is opportunistic. Everyone has opportunities, some seize on them, some don't. Some don't even see them. He saw opportunities all around him. I'm not deifying him but it was a mixture of privilege and opportunism, not luck.

AjaxFC1900

No. He was already giving 100% when he fucked up, it's not like he was saving energies or lifting the foot of the gas to then floor it when the DOJ went after Microsoft.

Steve Jobs made the same mistakes in his 20s as in his 50s. Perhaps worse, at least when you ruin a company you just ruin a company...when you decide you are going to cure cancer with vegetables you are headed to the cemetery. As he did.

I_Am_Vladimir_Putin 4

You’re right, a man led a company that eventually became the first one valued at 1 TRILLION, and it was all thanks to luck.

You really don’t think there’s a some flaw in this logic?

DoctorProfessorTaco 1

Come on, which do you think is more likely, that he had a long series of extremely lucky events happen to him purely by chance that lead to the foundation, growth, and success of Apple, or that he was a good CEO?

robertOlson 2

When you talk about saying no to opportunities you also mean that if right now I'm working in a project and another project is presented to me with a different set of people should I not focus on that and keep my first project only?

Or both can be going in parallel, but each on one project should only be focusing in 1-3 jobs each?

  BrandonClark22 1

That's really up to you to decide. If you think you can handle both projects in parallel than go for it.

The point of this post is to remind people not too spread themselves to thin. If you are spreading your time against so many different things than none of them will be successful. It's better to focus your energy on 1-3 things (whether that be projects or jobs - up to you to decide) so you have a higher chance of being successful.

[deleted] 2

[deleted]

  BrandonClark22 1

I completely agree. I have limited my social media usage and saw instant benefits.

charlie_pony 5

I agree with this. I'm confronted by many opportunities every day. I'm in sales and spend all day talking to new opportunties. Finding opportunities is my formal job.

The first thing I do is not to qualify but to disqualify. I look at the reasons that I do NOT want to do business with someone. The first thing is their revenue stream. If they don't make over a certain amount of money per month (or week or quarter or year, whatever), then there's no use continuing the conversation and I gracefully leave. There's a million variables you have to learn, but usually there are 2-4 key things that will immediately disqualify them. As another example, in one business a while ago, there were about 100 different competing apps. I could work with about 70 of them. The other 30 I could not work with. So that was also one of my first 3 questions - what software app are you using? If it was one of the 30, why continue on with the conversation and ask all kinds of other questions. Because asking questions takes up 30 minutes or more, if they are not disqualified.

Maybe for some people, "qualifying" means what I just said above, but I think "disqualifying" would be the better term, then. And ask those 1 or 2 or 5 questions that quickly disqualify first. Don't ask the 100 other questions.

For example, one of the qualifying questions might be if they have the decision-making authority. Well, if they don't have enough revenue, or uses one of the 30 software apps that I can't work with, who gives a fuck if they have decision-making authority, right?

Maybe what I said is a slightly different take or angle on what you said, but it is essentially the same thing.

However, throwing the ideas on the board is very important, even if they suck. Same with me. I still have to call 100 leads for every sale. And sometimes they give me referrals. I just can't do business with them. And they are not mad, they get it.

  BrandonClark22 1

That was a great read thank you. You're disqualifying strategy is sound. I'm sure it saves you a ton of time each day.

charlie_pony 4

Yeah, it is what Steve Jobs was doing. Disqualifying first. Don't do wild goose chases, just because they sound good. Look to say no first. Don't look for yeses, or maybes. Always first seek out to say no. It is the first thing everybody should do with everything in life.

When seeking a boyfriend/girlfriend, first look to say no. Know what the "no" is. For me, my no's include: no spendthrifts, no incessant talkers, no drug users (recreational) at all, no major insecurities like needing to look at my phone all the time and that shit (and we all have some insecurities, I just don't want that super insecure person), no physically violent people. Someone who treats you badly of looks down on you. There's more, of course, for me. They all just get a solid no. I'm not going to even bother looking at their "good" traits, because fuck that.

Always disqualify first. Know what instantly disqualifies a person or company from anything you do. Not just business, but everything. But business, too.

BurdenofPain 5

Focus is so important. The ultimate competitive advantage.

rayanhiron 5

I've subscribed to your newsletter, looking forward for gold nuggets like this

  BrandonClark22 3

Great! Glad you subscribed

Marmite20 10

I love your website theme! what theme did you use to create it?

agree-with-you 4

I love you both

agray47 3

I agree with you

  BrandonClark22 5

Thanks. I coded it with html/css. It didn't turn out 100% exactly how I'd like but it is close enough.

GloriousEmu99

You shouldn't have launched with only one post. Also, the text is hard to read, which is a problem considering your post is only a few paragraphs long.

  BrandonClark22 1

Are you visiting website on computer or mobile? Also what browser are you using?

GloriousEmu99 2

Mac Desktop, Firefox

potatochemist 2

I like it man, looks good. Keep it up!

sierrajon 37

I use an Eisenhower Decision Matrix, or prioritization matrix, for my daily task list and for weekly, monthly and yearly goal setting. I recommend others do this as well. It is amazing how much falls into the "waste of time" quadrant that I initially thought was worth doing or even consider doing.

Putrid-Excitement 2

source of outcome or source of power seems to be the right way to go about things. Identifying what things can bring tremendous outcome, and doing that more times than not. So that can mean copying/getting inspiration from others aka steve jobs copying all his ideas from market research and putting it into one product. and overall just understanding how to make the best marketing outcome, best product, best brand. A person is just trying to figure out the best possible way of doing things. Then getting the right people to do them.

is this sort of how you go about it? You just figure out the optimal outcome then you figure out the optimal strategy, and optimal way to perform. It's always outcome oriented, no ego, no style.

sierrajon 1

So I tend to stick with important v urgent tasks, though moving to other "why" questions, especially in goal settings seems like good advice. For the tasks, I begin by listing everything I need to do today or this week. After this, I go through that list and put them into 1 of the 4 quadrants of the matrix, this determines what I do. Now what quadrant they go into is still open to interpretation, and is based on where I want to go with myself and career. Basically asking micro type questions with a macro type view, managing tactics from strategy. Otherwise, at my 100 foot view everything will seem important, or every tactic will look equally appealing.

For marketing, I guess what is best is determine by strategy so what you want to make sure with this matrix, as you are determining tasks, is that those tasks align with the higher level strategy. If not, dont do it.

Halostar 3

I have been needing something like this - thank you for introducing it to me.

  BrandonClark22 3

Good advice. I'm going to look into that

hellvetican 10

There’s a load of different criteria you can use too. Cost vs Effort, Risk vs Reward. Good resource: https://www.workshoptactics.com/pages/priority-map

sierrajon 5

I like that. I'm always on urgent vs. Important. But will try some changes. Thanks!

dank7574 126

Loved this. Super interesting read. Not many people realize that you shouldn’t focus on everything, only the most important parts.

nanotothemoon 1

I realize it. I just can't seem to change it

MyFinanceName 24

It is a good read. It made me a little sad knowing that he was not the nicest person to his employees.

pete_codes 2

He was indeed not. Made a deal with Microsoft to stop anyone switching as I recall.

PrexThis 14

Yeah that's true. To be fair though most billionaire CEO's have this problem to some extent.

Student8528 19

I never liked that either but the dude was a mad genius and would have never accomplished as much as he did if he wasn’t the way he was.

blessing-to-your-day 20

He would have accomplish more. People want to help you even more when they like you.
Kindness is extremely powerful. Never underestimate that

Student8528 16

Even his own employees have said he got more out of them than they even thought was possible so I have to disagree with you. I’m a boss myself and that’s not my management style but I’m also not producing the greatest new technologies with some of the most brilliant minds either

monsieurpommefrites 16

I can go the rest of my life if my business makes under $500,000 a year.

Kindness is a major value to me, so if I can reach that goal WHILE being kind, I can forgo all those millions.

everettmarm 2

Not every person building a business knows their value system and can make decisions in alignment with it. Sincerely, this is a good quality.

Student8528 8

You also won’t be the next Steve Jobs and neither will I

monsieurpommefrites 1

That’s fine. The world already has a Steve Jobs.

I want to have a good business run by a good man.

atomic_cow 6

Yeah I got into an argument about this with my friends, believe it or not. We were watching a clip from the movie Jobs. My friends thought Steve should have been nicer to everyone and things would have been better by him being nicer. I argued he got the results because he was an a** and he would have had completely different results if he was nicer, there is no way to know if it would have been better results.

Personally in my life I've learned the most from the people who are the "mean", no slack, call you out on your bullshit, act annoyed when ask dumb questions kind of teachers. But I also don't take things so personally. I know people who hated the teachers that I loved.

therespectablejc 17

Reminds me of an old general manager I had. Guy would literally be writing purchase orders for office supplies. Like dude, focus up.

pclabhardware 1

My division manager orders office supplies to relax on the job.

obviouslybait 12

I know a lot of people in business like this.

pattydee43 309

Stop aiming at everything and shooting at nothing. Harder than it sounds.

NakedAndBehindYou 2

Confucius say: man who chases two rabbits catches neither.

thetaiton 9

It‘s my biggest problem. Having too many ideas and opportunities, that I can‘t decide what is best and what to focus on

grues_tech 18

I needed this the past two weeks. I realize I’ve been focused on being busy instead of working.

  BrandonClark22 32

I definitely agree, it's not easy. It takes a conscious effort to do so.

kickah 9

Iron sky 2019 Steve Jobs religion. Enjoy https://youtu.be/t0MIFA3QZA4