Like most entrepreneurs, I struggled through my first year of building a business.
I launched my first product without having any idea who I would sell it to. (Big surprise, nobody bought it.) I reached out to important people, mismanaged expectations, made stupid mistakes, and essentially ruined the chance to build good relationships with people I respected. I attempted to teach myself how to code, made one change to my website, and deleted everything I had done during the previous three months.
To put it simply, I didn’t know what I was doing.
During my Year of Many Errors I received a good piece of advice: “Try things until something comes easily.” I took the advice to heart and tried four or five different business ideas over the next 18 months. I’d give each one a shot for two or three months, mix in a little bit of freelance work so I could continue scraping by and paying the bills, and repeat the process.
Eventually, I found “something that came easily” and I was able to focus on building one business rather than trying to find an idea. In other words, I was able to simplify.
This was the first thing I discovered about figuring out what to focus on. If you want to master and deeply understand the core fundamentals of a task you may, paradoxically, need to start by casting a very wide net. By trying many different things, you can get a sense of what comes more easily to you and set yourself up for success. It is much easier to focus on something that’s working than struggle along with a bad idea.