What would you do differently if you had to do it all over again?

One of my favorite questions I hear interviewers ask wildly successful people is this…

“What would you do differently if you had to do it all over again?”

I think we as humans love this question because it requires someone to be somewhat critical of themselves and reflect on what they could have done differently.

Let me preface this by saying that I don’t consider myself wildly successful and I doubt at this point in time, I would be asked that question by any interviewer.

But here is what I would do differently if I had the knowledge I have now.

I would have skipped all of the formal education I have. Which is an associate’s degree in electronics, a bachelors degree and a masters degree in business. Additionally, I am certified trainer in three curriculums for Dale Carnegie Training. A real estate license, a certified coach for Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching.

Instead I would have picked one specific niche and went all in on that. One of the best quotes i heard many years ago was this “There are riches in the niches”.

The guy who told me this ran an aeronautical college.

I think at the time I heard this I was thinking more specifically about higher education and really specialized programs and how profitable they can be by being focused on one or two programs versus a big university with 100’s of programs.

But now over a decade later since hearing that quote I have a different idea about how valuable this little statement actually was.

When you are focused on one or maybe two things that are compatible with each other, you have the advantage to really focus on getting really good at whatever that is. You don’t have any distractions.

You also become the expert on whatever that is, which the marketplace highly values.

You dont clutter your mind with things that dont have to do with whatever you’re focused on. So the effort you put forth which is limited gets your best attention. When you focus on too many things one of those things will always not get the best you. Because our energy is not infinite. Our clarity and intelligence can’t be totally committed to the one thing. And it must be to get great at it.

In real estate most brokers don’t do commercial and residential. They do one or the other. Because it is too much to learn to try and do both. Engineers usually don’t do mechanical and electrical. They may understand both, but they are experts in one or the other. The top actors in the world only act. The tops athletes don’t do multiple sports, usually by the age of 10 they are focused on one sport.

A guy I really like a lot who is wildly successful and retired before he was 40. Was asked the question. I loved his response.

He said that he would become an expert on trucks. The larger trucks like F250’s and bigger. He said that in a short amount of time that he gave his attention to it. He was able to make about $2000 dollars per trade buying and selling trucks. All of this is possible because of the internet.

But he says you have to understand the marketplace on those trucks. How much they can sell for. How much the comparables are in certain areas around the country. But he said while he did it, with some help from his brother who was an expert on it he could easily hit the $2000 a day mark 4 times a week on average.

I don’t regret my path by the way. None of us would be where we are today without our uniques paths. I wouldn’t have the insight I have today without my path. However, I share this with the hopes I reach people on their unique paths and help them find the right path and a bonus would be reaching someone who is at a point in time in their life trying to figure out what their path could be.

Regardless of what you choose. The point is going all in on one particular thing. Being a jack of all trades doesn’t pay well. But if you are an expert in one particular thing you can charge a premium.

The good things is if you are smart enough to read this, you still have the opportunity to commit to one thing and you have the time to become the expert in it. And so do I. Let’s do it!

Go all in on something.

To your success and your future.

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