I Hate The Question, “What’s The One Thing…”

There is no one thing or silver bullet that will change your life or business.

Over the last few years I’ve really started listening to podcasts.

One of my hobbies is hunting. I love the outdoors, nature and as a result I listen to a few hunting podcasts in the fall.

And in the spring and summer I listen to golf podcasts.

Sprinkled in throughout the year are other podcasts too. I’ve listened to Serial and other similar podcasts. I like listening to business podcasts and other podcasts about different aspects of life.

Many of the podcasts are interview-style. I really like that. Most of the interviews are great, but something comes up that always kind of irks me.

And I’m sure I’ve been guilty of it too.

“What’s the one thing…?”

Have you ever heard someone ask that question in an interview?

Recently I was listening to a hunting podcast and the question was asked. I think it was something like:

What’s the one tip you would give other hunters for hunting during this period of the season?

One thing?

It stuck out because before this question and after the question the expert had been giving some really good advice. He probably shared a half dozen or more tips for strategies to use during the hunting season.

And it happens in other areas of life.

I think the reason we ask that question is that we want things to be easy. We want success to come easy. We want new business to come easy. We want love, friendship, or whatever it might be to come easy.

Nothing Is Easy, Obviously

I think most of us realize that there isn’t one thing that can change our lives. When it comes to our businesses we know that most of the success will come in the long-term. There aren’t any quick fixes.

Even if there is a fix that is easy or obvious once you see it, the change can be made quickly, but usually the results will come over time and not right away.

And usually there isn’t one thing that will take your business to the next level or fix your business if things have been lagging.

Maybe there is one thing that stands out as the issue, but usually it’s not a quick fix. There will be a number of steps to take to rectify the issue and get things back on track.

Switching The Mindset

I think I first heard about this issue from Ramit Sethi a number of years ago.

I believe he would say that if anyone came to him and used the words, “What’s the one thing…” that he would immediately end the conversation or immediately delete the email or whatever the form of conversation was.

It seemed to drive him crazy and it made sense. He was saying that life is not about making one change. Or if it really is about one thing that it’s not an easy one thing to change.

It’s about switching the mindset and getting on board with thinking that we’re going to make changes for the long-term. We’re going to commit to something or multiple things and do something every day to make sure the change occurs.

I think if we continue to look for silver bullets that we’ll fall into the trap of lurching. This is when, in business, that you switch from strategy to strategy. Maybe you invest in email marketing for two months. Then you move on to social media marketing for two months. Then maybe you try PPC for two months.

You know the drill.


I do believe in the power of experimenting, but it’s different than lurching.

Lurching is when you do one thing that you feel will change your business. Then after a little while you’re disappointed with the results and you move on to the next thing that will change your business.

Good experimenting comes from investing some money into things; enough so that you give the effort a fair shake, but not so much so that if it doesn’t work that it will kill your business.

And it’s good to try multiple things in this manner. You want to give them enough effort and investment and time to see if they will become great strategies for your company.

In this sense, there might be one thing that will change your business or your life. But the way to find it is usually to try multiple things at once and to give them enough of a chance to succeed so you know either if it’s a winner or for sure that it’s not a fit for you.

Mentorship-Type Relationships

One last note here on this concept is the idea of looking for mentorship-type relationships in your life. I’m talking about people you can look at for inspiration. Maybe it’s someone at your local golf course that’s older than you or even your age or even younger. You can have conversations with them and just soak in the way they live their life. The lessons they’ve learned. The good and bad choices they’ve made.

You can get these in a number of ways. You don’t even have to know the person. You can read about someone. You can listen to interviews they give. You can pull information from their life that you can use in your own.

And the key is that you’ll probably see that it’s never one thing that made them a success. It’s a lifetime of effort that goes into it.


Don’t get caught int he trap that one thing can change your business. It’s rarely the case. In fact, it’s probably never the case. And even if there is one thing that could really change your business it’s probably not going to change things overnight.

Many successful people are great at looking at the long-term. They know that change doesn’t really happen overnight. It takes a good understanding of what has to change (which comes from experimenting) and then putting in the effort every day so that over time the change actually occurs.

That’s the way to approach life and business that will lead to success.

Did you enjoy this article? Get new articles weekly.