The following is a true story.
30 years ago, when Microsoft was a small, fast-growing company, Bill Gates was on a mission.
He was totally dedicated to building Microsoft into a truly great company.
One day he was driving a young journalist, Michael Moritz, to the airport.
Moritz looked at the car’s dashboard and saw that the radio was completely missing. There was just a hole there.
“Hey Bill, did somebody steal your radio?” asked Moritz.
“No, I had it taken out myself.” replied Gates.
“Why would you do that?”
“Well, I realized that if I had the radio there, I would be tempted to turn it on and start listening to music. And that would mean I’d stop thinking about Microsoft. So I removed it.”
Amazing. Extreme. Some may say ridiculous.
But is it any wonder that with a focus like that, Bill Gates eventually became the richest person in the world?
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting you rip your car radio out.
But merely to ask yourself this question:
“Am I thinking about my company intensely enough?”
You see, you can be very good at what you do, and you can have a good product to sell, and still not do very well in business.
If you don’t give it everything you’ve got- if you are half-hearted, or even three quarter hearted about it.
A fiery, highly motivated, intense focus is also needed.
Thinking incessantly and obsessively about how to improve your company (and your own performance in it).
Maybe you could improve in this area.
It’s worth considering.
And by the way, that young journalist, Michael Moritz? He was pretty focused too.
He’s now a billionaire and one of the world’s greatest venture capitalists.
How did he become so successful in selecting young companies to invest in?
Well, he learned from that day in the car with Bill Gates.
One of his main criteria for picking companies to invest in is whether the founder is obsessively focused on their company.