In January, I took a huge risk.
I submitted notice to leave my contract because I was going on a one-way trip to Europe. After doing so, I began to methodically remove every single source of income I had.
I sold my personal finance blog, which was a huge income-generator for me.
I halted the biggest income stream on another website I ran. I stopped working with my freelance writing clients, and I put the Etsy shop on vacation mode.
Not only did I pull the plug on the one big income source in my life (my contract), I then consciously decided to stop making money altogether.
You may be thinking I’m crazy right now.
Wasn’t I concerned about paying the mortgage? About staying afloat while I was traveling? About not being able to put food on the table without a job or any other source of income?
Trust me, I was nervous.
My stomach was in knots when I pressed the “send” button on my emails to my clients, explaining I couldn’t write for them anymore.
I buckled down into ultra-frugality mode when I sat down with the director of my contract to tell her I’d be leaving.
But, I had a plan.
I did all of this because I knew if I focused on just one specific thing, I wouldn’t have to worry.
When Unsettle first launched back in January, I was hyper-focused on building my email list. I was so focused, in fact, I specifically did not want to make money.
If I earned money from Unsettle, it would pull my focus away from building my email list toward the pursuit of money.
In Europe, my friend Marissa and I would be on a Eurail train — going between Portugal and Spain, or on our way from Marseille to Florence — and Marissa would ask me what my game plan was.
I think she was a bit nervous for me. The risks I took are not ones many people would be comfortable taking.
Marissa would remind me, “Unsettle is not a business unless you’re earning money from it.
You need to think about your game plan for when you do want to monetize it.”
She was right, of course, but I stayed focused. I maintained I would not monetize until I reached 1,000 subscribers. When I reached that initial 1,000 quite quickly, I bumped that number up.
I turned down Unsettlers who wanted to pay me for coaching. (Though, I did some for free).
I ignored opportunities to earn affiliate marketing income. I filed away opportunities to consult with brands and companies.
I focused on building that email list because I knew one thing: If I built my email list, the money would come.
I wouldn’t have to pursue it. I wouldn’t have to develop elaborate pitches.
I wouldn’t have to desperately try to sell whatever product I came up with to strangers who didn’t know me.
My email list was my results driver.
When I did finally open up some time in my schedule to take a few select coaching clients, I didn’t have to hit the pavement and hassle people to sign up. I didn’t have to work for less than I was worth initially.
I didn’t have to “sell” to people. I had a group of people I was already helping through my email list, who were eager to snap up those coaching slots.
By focusing on one thing (the driver), I achieved awesome results in not only one thing (building relationships through email with people who “get” me), but also a whole other aspect of my business (my income).
What is your results driver?
What is one thing you can hyper-focus on in your business or your life to achieve not only one goal, but the goals on the periphery, as well?
Think about it:
If you had a goal of networking more for your business, going to conferences and meet-ups help you meet more people and book more clients
Building an email list helps you grow your list, it build connections with your audience and it earns you more money
If you’re trying to lose weight, working out in the morning and eating healthier during the rest of the day helps you get fit.
So, what is your results driver? What one thing can you focus on exclusively that will bring you abundance in a related area?
That’s where you need to focus.
If you could put $1 into a machine and be guaranteed to get $2 out, how much money would you put in the machine? My guess is you’d put in as much as you could.
You probably wouldn’t wander away from the machine after a few goes and try betting on horse races.
Think of your results driver like that machine. You want to spend all of your energy and effort plugging those $1 bills into that machine because it duplicates your results.
Focus on your results drivers, and they’ll do the same thing.
Write a mission statement about focusing on the drivers: “I will focus on (result driver) and only (result driver) until I reach (result).”
For me, my mission statement would have been this: “I will focus on building my email list and only building my email list until I reach 1,000 people receiving my emails.”
Write it down. Post it on your mirror and your steering wheel. Set a reminder on your phone. Do not stray from that driver.
Find it. Focus on it.
This article was originally published on Unsettle.org.