You Can’t Do Everything

December 4, 2015By
Dayne Shuda

It takes discipline to not do things in life.

I’m not usually a fan of the word “can’t”.

In fact, I went back and forth about including it in this title.

I finally came to the conclusion that it belonged here for the main point.

It seems that entrepreneurs are wired a certain way. They have this drive in their makeup that almost forces them to always look to be doing something.

And to be fair, it’s not just entrepreneurs. A lot of people in life are driven to accomplish things. I know people that have dreams to do great things. They want to be great at many things. They even do many things.

And I think a well-rounded life is important, but if you expect to be great at something I don’t know if you can spread yourself thin like that.

Not at once at least.

Getting Back To “Can’t”

One person (of about 15) that I follow on Twitter is Hank Haney. He’s one of the most successful golf coaches of all time. He’s worked with pros, celebrities and amateurs.

The last pro he worked with was Tiger Woods. Since then he’s focused on helping the masses learn to play better golf.

On Twitter, Hank often gets people asking him about their swings. These golfers will tell Hank things like, I can’t hit a draw or I can’t chip.

Hank will usually respond with: What’s can’t?

I love that response.

In the right context, “can’t”, doesn’t exist.

The context here is that there are no rules against doing anything in life.

If you want to improve at golf. You can. It will take work, but you certainly can.

If you want to write songs. You can. Will it be easy? Probably not. But you can.

If you want to run a business. You can. There is nothing worthwhile stopping you.

You Can’t Do Everything

I guess it gets back to the quote that goes:

You can do anything, but you can’t do everything.

That’s where we are for this article.

I’ve been rereading Great By Choice by Jim Collins recently. I remember quite a bit from the book from the first time I read it, but I’m learning more the second time.

One of the lessons in that book is that successful entrepreneurs know when to make changes. They try a lot of things looking for what will work before they take risks and make big changes.

That’s an example that a business can do anything, but if it tried to do everything at once it likely wouldn’t succeed.

That’s true with attempting to offer too many services too. If you focus on too many things you’ll spread yourself too thin and you will offer a lot to a lot of people, but none of it will likely be any good.

I used to work for this great company that had a good approach to new projects. They had employees working on all kinds of side projects all the time. Most of the time these projects would stay in the experimental stage, but only a few would get moved into implementation phase.

The company realized that they didn’t have the resources to commit to too many things.

I see it in social media marketing too.

Companies get on board with social media and signup for the five big networks or whatever. They try to have an employee use 10% of their time to manage all five of those channels.

It won’t work.

It’s a full-time job to properly manage one social media channel.

Even in our personal lives I think many of us get dragged into too many things. I know I have to catch myself all the time.

You start watching a show on Netflix. You watch all the episodes. That’s fine.

But then you hear about another show and another show and pretty soon you’ve got five shows that you have to watch and you’re struggling to keep up. And it takes away your energy from other things like reading, taking walks, etc.

There just isn’t enough time in the day for it all.

Final Lesson: Discipline

I guess the final takeaway here is discipline.

It’s necessary to have the discipline to not try to do everything. It’s not easy and that’s why many of us struggle with it and I think especially entrepreneurs. We want to please people. That’s part of the reason that we started businesses. But that same desire to please people makes it difficult to not do things.

Sure, we can do anything we want to do, but we can’t do everything.

It’s really a key to success in life.