Catching fire

its why most entrepreneurs fail

I've worked with dozens of entrepreneurs, with businesses ranging from startups to 7 figure enterprises.

No matter their level, there is one critical mistake I see over and over.

Here’s a hint:

Have you ever caught a leaf on fire using nothing but sunlight and a magnifying glass?

Have you ever tried to catch a leaf on fire by shining a flashlight on it?


What’s the difference?


Without getting too deep into physics in the middle of a holiday week, let’s just say that the first example exploits focused intensity.

All of the sunlight hitting the magnifying glass is focused onto a single point.

When all of that energy is brought to bear on a very small area, it can do some real damage in a very short amount of time.

However, most entrepreneurs are trying to start a bonfire with a flashlight.

They point their light at a large pile of leaves, first focusing on the left side, then the right, then the bottom, then the top. 

Don’t want to miss the leaf that’s most likely to catch fire, right?

When it doesn’t work, they rake in even more leaves. They try a different flashlight.

Still, nothing.

Even if we construct the flashlight to shine with the same amount of energy as the sun, it will never catch a leaf on fire.

Because it lacks focus.

Same energy, different result.


The number one mistake I see people make all the time is losing focus, or not having it to begin with.

It’s especially tempting when things are moving slowly, or not at all.

“But how do I know when to focus and when to pivot?”

Great question.

It’s worth it’s own email, maybe even several.

But would you want that?

Let me know before I put in all that effort:

Would you like a decision framework to help choose between focusing and pivoting?

When to double down or call it quits

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Back tomorrow,


P.S. Did you know that the 12 Days of Christmas start with Christmas? This means I’ve still got some goodies to give to some of you. Keep an eye on those emails this week, even if you lose track of what day it is.

Join the conversation

or to participate.