I believe that the success of my startup comes down to my success in building two patterns that I have done consistently for months now. These are:
a) Improve the product every day
b) Write every day
That’s it. That all it took. But doing it every single day. No matter what, I had my first break in my daily writing spree after a month yesterday, and that feels weird.
My real asset is that I never fail to do those things. So I am always chugging along. The more time passes, the better off I am, the more I ‘accumulate’ both of those things and the more they pay off. But I don’t need to worry about how or how much they pay off as well. Neither do I have to optimize them. The simplicity and lack of bells and histels is its power.
I see many startup founders that have a massive list of things they give themselves to worry about as founders. I was like that in my previous, failed startups.
Here are things I thought I needed to do to build a startup.
a) Writing blog posts
b) Distributing them
c) Social media posts and engagement every day
d) Guest posts
e) Link building
g) A/B tests
h) Funnel optimization
i) Send emails
j) Make videos
k) Reach out to potential customers on LinkedIn
l) Post in startup directories
m) Post link site in comments of other people’s articles
n) Reach out to journalists
Then I would set out to do them in full gusto. After a month of doing these, I have done nothing substantial in each of them to make a dent and give me any results. Then I conclude this startup idea doesn’t work, so I either abandon it or ‘pivot’ on it starting the process all over again.
But here is the point, at the end of the month, I have not built a single habit. All of these tasks are still equally difficult. It’s like trying to walk, run, do yoga, do martial arts, gym, and aerobics and hike all at the same time. It’s humanly impossible to call any a habit even if you end up doing them all for a few days.
Now, let’s go back to my two singular areas of focus.
a) Improve the product every day.
b) Write every day.
It can be made into a habit. If not…
a) I am distracted by every article on marketing I come across.
b) I don’t try to optimize every piece of the effort to its maximum potential
c) Insist on measuring and analyzing data and results every single day
d) I don’t want to leave any money on the table
e) I approach everything with this perfectionist attitude
All I have to do is build those two habits, and the rest will take care of itself. I can turn my attention to the rest of them once I have them firmly established as my daily routines. If there is any hint of a doubt that any extra activity might disrupt these two habits, then don’t do it yet. Give it at least 100 days to build these habits, and then you can slowly introduce other activities into your routine. Even then, it’s ideal if you look to develop them as habits in addition to these two.
The author is the founder of Proxies API, a proxy rotation API service.