Rookie Mistakes 101: Too Many Priorities

When I started CCAW I was still working full time at EY. I was traveling every week, so I spent my evenings working on CCAW in my hotel room. Once I gained traction, that wasn’t enough. I began handling some things during work hours too. Over time I found myself working two full-time jobs. It pretty much sucked. I definitely wasn’t aiming for that, but that’s where I landed. I never heard any complaints from my superiors at EY, but I’m pretty sure they noticed. It took me longer to complete assignments. I was always taking phone calls. My focus just wasn’t there. I was running on fumes. I eventually went full time at CCAW when I couldn’t take it anymore.  

Over the years, the theme of focus resurfaced in different ways. I learned that focus was important not only for me but also for the entire team. I spent lots of time developing the company vision and identifying the single thing we should all be focused on at any given time to make that vision a reality. When we focused, we were a well-oiled machine that accomplished amazing things. When we weren’t, we weren’t as effective and didn’t achieve our goals.

Why? It’s pretty simple. There are schools of thought that encourage multitasking, but in my opinion people aren’t great at focusing on multiple things at once. It can be done, but the result is less than ideal.

Starting a company is hard. A lot of things outside your control have to go right for you to be successful. Focus is something you can control that increases your chances of being successful!