Applying The ONE Thing

I recently read The One Thing by Keller and Papasan. I recommend it, but the current VP of The ONE Thing was on an episode of Afford Anything, and it’s a very good introduction to the concept, if you want something quicker to digest.

The crux is that the authors ask you to focus on one question:

What’s the ONE Thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?

In a “five-why” fashion, you could start with your big goals and work backwards until you have the very first thing you need to do. They recommend dedicating a huge chunk of your time to that one thing, accomplishing it, and then moving on to the next ONE thing … ONE thing at a time.

For example, you might start with a goal to “Lose 10 pounds”, but end up with a ONE Thing like — learn how to cook five healthy, low calorie density, one-pot, bulk meals.

Don’t stop there, though. They want you to keep going—what is the one thing that would make that easier? Maybe you can find a local chef to come to your house and make them with you for the first three weeks. Perhaps you can get four friends to each learn one and teach the others (or swap freezer bags each week).

When I finished the book, I thought that my current ONE thing was to build up the number of tutorials on App-o-Mat, so I have been doing that. The eventual goal with App-o-Mat is to sell some kind of product there, but before that I need an audience, and you can’t get an audience unless you have useful content.

But, I am supposed to keep digging.

What is the The ONE Thing I could do to make making tutorials on App-o-Mat easier. One thing that has helped is having Sprint-o-Mat, because I just take code out of it as a basis for the tutorial. If I didn’t have that, making the app might be important.

But, if I break it down to something like this: I want 100 more articles on App-o-Mat by the end of July, then I see that I can only write about 25 of them at my current pace. What would make that easier?

Obviously, more writers. But 75 articles would cost about $15,000. So, is the real next ONE thing to get $15,000 of revenue? Or at least $5,000 in May?

I’m still working through this. If App-o-Mat were a serious business, investing $15,000 would be a no-brainer, but honestly, it’s not. Right now, I want to have the experience of writing, and I don’t want to manage and edit a bunch of writers.

But, I do think that a trickle of articles by others would be ok, so I will explore that. I also think that if I doubled-down on the time I spend writing articles, I could do a lot more, which means dropping some other things or just getting more disciplined.

Keller would say to break down “getting more disciplined” first because he’s kind of annoying that way.

So, to do that, I am going to make my One thing to come up with article series ideas that could each have many articles in them. Because then, I’d at least have a checklist I could work from and could put them on a schedule. I think I’d see the possibility of outsourcing better as well.