People have often given me advice that having more options is good. Personally, I’ve always found that having just one option is better.
Long ago, when I was picking subjects or schools, I’d almost always pick only one out of maybe six to 10 options that they allow you to input. With my work, I almost always double down on one idea that I’m convicted about.
I do have firm opinions and know exactly what I want in most cases. But the other part of it is mindset – committing to a path and doing whatever it takes to make it work. You know how there’s this saying “100% is easier than 98%”? I’ve found hedging my bets to be exhausting and unproductive.
I’ve done my fair share of hedging, like trying a few disparate projects at a time and seeing what happens. Unfortunately, I usually realize pretty quickly that it’s a bad idea. Not only is it hard to divert resources in multiple directions, it’s usually hard to communicate with the team and is demotivating.
The better thing to do is to choose one direction and then iterate within that idea. It’s 100% on one idea, with multiple experiments and iterations trying to solve for it. Why do five mediocre things in place of one outstanding one, I say. (Will all PMs please clap for this? Lmao.)
All of this is to say, all in always. It’s easier to keep concerted effort going on one conviction, than scattered effort on several. No matter which part of my life I’m observing, going all in has been the ideal approach. As someone who loves novel things, this is truly challenging. But I’ve learned enough about focus that I know if I want to truly be good at something, then I have to commit. We can all go big and believe that we’re lucky!
September 15, 2021