Last week I celebrated being in business for 30 years.
Here is lesson 2 of the 10 biggest lessons I’ve learned from being in business for 30 years.
Transcribe of “Top 10 lessons from being in business 30 years – Lesson 2”
– Hi guys, Neil Waterhouse. Today, I want to share with you my number two lesson I’ve learned from being in business for over 30 years. This lesson is called PFI, and it stands for Primary Field of Interest.
Primary Field of Interest
Now, this lesson has completely changed my life, but not just in business, but also very, very much in my personal life, and also very much so with my hobbies. Now, PFI, or primary field of interest, means narrowing down exactly which fields you want to specialize in life, in all aspects of your life, not just in business. It also means getting rid of all those other distractions in life that stop you from focusing on those PFIs, or those primary fields of interest.
“Life doesn’t reward us of being a jack of all trades. “Life rewards us for what we master.”
I want to share with you a few places I’ve used PFI in my life to radically improve my businesses and also my personal life. There’s the old saying, “Life doesn’t reward us of being a jack of all trades. “Life rewards us for what we master.” And this is PFI in action. For the last 20 years, since 1998, since the dark ages of when the Internet started evolving, I’ve just focused on selling online on three platforms only: eBay, Amazon, and my own websites.
And that’s it. Because I’ve focused on just these three platforms only, I’ve been able to allocate my available time to these three platforms, whereas if I chased after every other new online marketplace that’s appeared in the last 20 years, I would have had far less time to work on those three platforms. It’s the same with everything in life. You want to get good at, say, a hobby, and you wish to allocate, say, two hours a week to your new hobby, then it’s impossible to get good at every hobby in the world. Especially with the limited amount of time each of us got left on this planet.
One at a time
But if you just chose one hobby, you quickly get better and better at that one hobby. You need to choose your primary focus of interest and then keep doing it till you’re good at it. Take another example: learning a language. Let’s say you were willing to allocate one hour a week to learning a new language. If you use this one hour a week to learn ten different languages at the same time, your progress with each language would be extremely slow. Instead, if you chose your primary focus to be one language, let’s say, Italian, your progress would be much faster than the average human being who is jumping from one language to the next.
Take another example: gardening. Let’s say you’re able to allocate one hour a week to gardening. Well, to learning gardening. If you were to buy a big book on gardening to try and learn everything in the book, most people get very frustrated with their slow results trying to put everything in place.
Power of PFI
But if you choose just, say, growing vegetables, or even better still, down even more to just growing tomatoes, or even more just growing, say, Roma tomatoes, you get very, very good at growing Roma tomatoes in a relatively short amount of time. In fact, your friends and family will be probably absolutely amazed at your ability to grow Roma tomatoes.
And this is the power of PFI, or primary field of interest. As anybody who’s known me for a while would know, my biggest hobby in my life is building and flying radio control planes. And I used to have over 30 different models until one day I realized I could radically improve my flying skills by using the PFI principle. I fly my models twice a week: on Wednesdays and Sunday mornings. I figured it out that if I flew one of my 30 different planes each week, I’d only get to fly the same model twice every year, which means, of course, I’d never get very good at flying each model. As soon as I realized this, I immediately started selling off two thirds of my models.
I realized if I flew the same models every time I go out, I’d get better and better. When I fly my models, I really enjoy flying jets and aerobatics. Before adopting PFI to my flying, I was always trying to get good at all the mainstream aerobatic maneuvers. And there’s close to 40 of the mainstream aerobatic maneuvers.
Choose your primary field of interest in each aspect of your life
Today, I practice just eight of these aerobatic maneuvers, and like everybody who practices the same thing over and over, I keep getting better and better at these eight maneuvers. So the big lesson today is: Choose your primary field of interest in each aspect of your life. Write them down. Do more of those primary fields of interest, and just importantly, get rid of all those other distractions. That’s all for this week. Please scroll down, leave me a comment below, and till next week, list more sell more. This is Neil Waterhouse.
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Top 10 lessons from being in business 30 years – Lesson 3