Generally, I’m not a big fan of dissecting what “successful people” do.
The promise implicit in “doing what they do” is that you’ll become successful too.
I think the road to success, however you choose to define it, is more complicated than that. A path taken by one person may not be the right path for you.
So let me qualify my headline by saying, “When I find myself dabbling, it’s a sure sign I’ve wandered off my own path to success.”
In other words, this is what’s true for me. It may or may not be true for you. (But I suspect it might be.)
I have found my own success through writing for the web, and teaching others what I know.
That’s it. That’s what I do. Nothing too complicated.
To become more successful, I simply need to focus on those two things and do them better. I just have to become a better online writer, and a better teacher.
But I often find myself distracted. I find myself dabbling in other stuff.
Occasionally I have to go on an “unsubscribe” binge, because I find I have signed up for a bunch of newsletters and service subscriptions that really have nothing to do with the core competencies that make me successful.
I defend my behavior by telling myself that a broad and varied knowledge base is a good thing. But I’m pretty sure I’m just kidding myself.
I think the truth is that I use “dabbling” as an excuse to put off what I should be doing. Dabbling becomes a crutch.
Maybe you do this too. Or something like it.
Maybe instead of getting real clarity about what drives your own success, you dabble too much.
Maybe dabbling becomes and excuse and a crutch for you too.
“Before I get down to doing what I really should be doing, I need to learn this one new thing. Take this one extra course. Sign up for one more newsletter. Buy one more book. Learn how to use one more piece of software.”
Now let’s go back to my headline: Successful people don’t dabble.
Like I said, I can’t speak for other people.
But I don’t think I’m far off in thinking that one of the markers of success is to focus on what you do well, and what works for you.
Become an expert at one or two things. Not an amateur at many things.
Don’t waste so much time on stuff that doesn’t matter. Focus on what does.
If you want to be successful, don’t dabble.
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