Do the Hard Thing

Seth Godin in his Startup School podcast keeps telling us to ‘Do the hard thing.’ The easy thing is the work that you want to spend time on, and where a whole afternoon could fly by without you noticing. The easy things seem to be important, and they are – but if you don’t do the hard stuff, the easy things don’t matter.

For example, It might feel effortless for me to develop a product. I can do some coding, and make a lot of progress. I can look at my company and say that I have moved my company forward. But I haven’t done the hard thing, so my company isn’t going anywhere.

The ‘hard thing’ for me is to find a significant enough group who wants to hear about my idea. I know that there are people out there with whom I resonate. There are people with whom I have amazing conversations about business and making an impact. There are people who will go out of their way to connect with me so that we can discuss a specific business problem. From experience, it seems like what I can help people with is helpful.

But for now, it is a small group. Now I need to find a way to connect with a big group. First I need to communicate with a huge group. Some people will hate my approach and thoughts. Some people won’t understand. And some people will resonate, benefit from, my experience and what I have to share. And, best of all, there will be an even smaller group that will contribute their experience to make me even better.

The ‘hard thing’ for me is to find who the largest group that I can start to talk to is. I need to find the really-big group that I can begin to share my message. I need to find out how to contact them. How can I let people know about who I am, and what I can offer to change the world? If I had the answer to this, then it wouldn’t be the hard thing. It would only be a work problem. Doing the hard job for me means finding out who I should be telling about my product — and then telling them.

Building the product or solving the problem is the natural thing for me. Finding the biggest group to fit into my funnel is going to be the hardest part for me.