On attention, ventures, and execution

On attention Today, you released your very first book. I can only imagine that you are somewhat excited, and that is excellent—you should be. However, I will already caution you to not allow any of the praise, attention, or gain that you might receive from this venture go to your head. The book that you’ve released doesn’t change you one bit as a person. Perhaps as a business entity, you are more credible because you are an “author”, and maybe you are a better writer because of the large project that you undertook. However, that does not make you as a person any different.

On ventures There are so many good ideas and so many things to execute on. You know this, because you create so many of these good ideas in your own mind, and then bring some of them to fruition. Here’s the key: You must focus more on execution than an your ideas themselves. This is not to say that you should value action more than your education, but that you should very strongly value action. Most people have plenty of ideas—ideas for a new startup, a new way to market or promote their idea, new way to do something, but they completely fail because they simply do not execute on any of the ideas.

On execution One thing that seems to be working extremely well with you is the practice of setting out tree tasks for the next day during your reflections on the previous day the night before. There are a couple reasons this is so beneficial.

You are already thinking about future results and your desired future state as you go to sleep. In this way, your mind gets to chew on the problem for a couple hours before the next day comes and you are forced to actually deal with the problems you have set out for yourself to solve.

It increases accountability. By having the goal written down on paper and being able to visually see whether it has been crossed out or if it will remain on a task list, you are holding yourself accountable to the expectation you set for yourself.

Actionable items are inherently small enough to be small items that can be completed in a day or less. This way, you are taking much larger tasks that you want to achieve, for example, in planning a podcast, and breaking down the task into smaller pieces. Because of the first two reasons listed above, you are fairly sure that these smaller tasks will be completed. Soon enough, you are reaching much larger goals.

On simplicity Information overload, though probably a good problem to have, is detrimental to your efficacy and industriousness. Just like you chunk down the execution portion of your life into easier to digest pieces that can be made immediately actionable within the day, you should do the same with your plans and knowledge in general. Rather than try to imbibe every ounce of information you need, and take notes on each and every subject that comes up in a given conversation or talk, simplify. Simplify your business plan when it becomes too convoluted to understand easily. Simplify all of your plans until they are made easy enough to understand both to you and any outsider. In this way, you are creating a system that others could come and operate (which makes your business more scalable), but you are also making your plan easier to execute. In the end, that is all that matters. The best plan is the one you are able to execute.

Diego Segura