In a world filled with increasing complexity, the solution to growing you and/or your business isn’t to keep adding more and more stuff/complexity to your plate. The solution is simplicity.
And the simplest way to simplify your life and your work is to ask the one thing question. So what is the one thing question? Well, there are actually two forms of the one thing question—based on whether or not the one thing is related to a project/one-time issue or an ongoing issue. The two forms are
- What is the one thing, that if you did it on a consistent basis, would change everything for you (or your business)? OR
- What is the one thing, that if you accomplished it, would change everything for you (or your business)?
Let’s look at these two questions a little bit closer.
1. What is the one thing, that if you did it on a consistent basis, would change everything for you (or your business)?
In other words, is there something in your life (or your business) that you’d like to change? If there is, then chances are that to change it, you’ll have to do something over and over again in order to create a positive change in that area.
For example, you might respond with something like,
- If I stopped checking email first thing in the morning and instead started by focusing on my top priority for the day
- If I followed up with X number of leads per day
- If I wrote at least one hour per day
- If I encouraged at least three of my employees per day
- If I started using block time and took at least one hour per day to close the door and just worked on my priorities
- If I spent at least thirty minutes a day learning something new
- If I stayed in touch with one of my top 30 prospects each day
- If I cast a more compelling vision to someone everyday
In other words, rather than being overwhelmed with the 647 items on your “to do” list, why don’t you make it far simpler than that? Since no one gets everything done, why don’t you reduce your priorities down to your one thing?
Note: This doesn’t mean you can’t do other things. All it means is that focusing on the one thing and making sure that it gets done every day will get you farther in the long run than focusing on 50 things and not getting any of them done (other than moving them from “to do “list to “to do” list :-).
2. What is the one thing, that if you accomplished it, would change everything for you (or your business)?
On the other hand, sometimes the item that might change everything for your business, is a one-time event or experience or project.
For example, you might answer this question with one of the following
- If I hired a superstar sales person
- If I hired an administrative helper for me (or virtual assistant)
- If I launched a new product or service
- If I re-branded or re-positioned my business so that it was more unique and different
- If I wrote a best-selling book
- If I found an Oprah for my business (i.e. got mass exposure)
- If I learned how to delegate well and got more things off my plate
- If I designed my business so it wasn’t so dependent upon me
- If I could land a national account with XYZ company
- If I learned how to confidently sell high-priced services to C-Suite office holders
You get the idea.
So, as you look at your life right now, what is the one thing that would change everything for you? If you were to narrow everything down to just one thing and get just that one thing done (either on a daily basis or on a one-time basis), what would that one thing be?
Note: Don’t get overwhelmed with trying to find the perfect one thing—that would kind of negate this whole process :-). The idea is that nothing changes until something changes. You have to take action. So just pick one thing and then focus on it.
In addition, you can use this same question/principle based on different time frames. For example,
- What’s the one thing I must get done today?
- What’s the one thing that must get done this week?
- What’s the one thing that must get done this month?
- What’s the one thing that must get done this quarter?
- What’s the one thing that must get done this year?
In the midst of increasing complexity, the solution is not more complexity, it’s more simplicity. So, to grow you and/or your business, what is your one thing for this month?
To your accelerated success!
P.S. If you’d like to learn how to be a better delegator, click here
P.P.S. My one thing is to get my first book out this month. So pay attention. You should be seeing an announcement in the next few weeks!
P.P.S.S. If you have any other ideas about how to simplify the life of a business owner or service provider, make sure you add your thoughts in the comments section below (or click here if you’re reading this by RSS or email)