#154: Double Down on What's Working

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This is a podcast episode titled, #154: Double Down on What's Working. The summary for this episode is: As an eternal optimist, DC believes in the power of ideas. Which is one reason he’s always jumping to that next ‘shiny object’. In this week’s episode, DC and Adam talk about how to avoid shiny object syndrome (spoiler alert, you’ve got to sleep on it) and instead double down on what’s working. Plus, DC shares what he’s doubling down on right now. Like this episode? Be sure to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review and share the pod with your friends. You can connect with DC and his co-host, Adam Schoenfeld, on Twitter @dcancel @schoeny @HYPERGROWTH_Pod

DC: So we're back. We're going to talk about one of the lessons that I keep failing to really learn. I know it, and I try to implement it and I often fail. And that lesson is about doubling down on what's working and not getting distracted until it stops working. That's a simple thing, but it's a very, very, very, very difficult thing to pull off.

Speaker 2: So let's just go right into the pain of that. What's a time when you lost sight of this and what was the impact of that?

DC: Every day at Drift. Every damn day at Drift-

Speaker 2: Yesterday, today, tomorrow

DC: Every single day and Adam and I work together so he knows this. I'm constantly someone who is chasing the next shiny object and thinking about it. I'm an internal optimist you should say, and I always think that the next great, awesome thing is just around the corner. I believe in the power of ideas, in the power of manifesting those ideas. I have no shortage of ideas and, you have no shortage of ideas and, all the people around us have no shortage of them. So we're constantly being bombarded by ideas and they always sound better and sound more compelling and easier than to continue doing what we know has worked. And often we go off chasing those new ideas and forgetting the things that got us here, and then to continue to work and over time tested and those things often suffer because of it.

Speaker 2: That Oh Shiny Syndrome. My grandpa has a thing about this that he always said. He said in business, when he had a great idea, every time he would just make sure he went to bed, slept on it and then put it back in the top of his mind the next morning and asked himself if he still thought it was a great idea.

DC: Your grandpa was a wise man.

Speaker 2: You love Oshodi. You love it when I bring oshodi wisdom.

DC: I love Oshodi, But I love it. It's so wise. I think I tried to do that and, we did a podcast on that a long time ago. When it comes to doing interviews, meaning in hiring interviews and recruiting people, that I needed to sleep on things. I had this rule, the sleep on it rule where I would not react good or bad and give any feedback until I had the time to sleep on it. And then I would come back to it and see if it was a good idea. Most of the time, those shiny object ideas, once you sleep on them and you give yourself a day or a week or a month, you never go back to them again. They sounded so good and you're so excited about them, but you often don't revisit them. You move on to the next shiny idea.

Speaker 2: So let's say we have the willpower to avoid the shiny new things. Then the next question I have on this is. You got to double down on what's working. How do you know what's working? And how do you avoid confirmation bias or other interference with those tricks?

DC: Yeah. In terms of business, it's a little bit easier because you can measure those things. Right? And so I think it's as simple as whatever your goal is, whether it's personal or professional, is that thing or things that you're doing, helping you get there, no matter how slowly and how can you get there, how incremental it may feel in the day or the hour, are you actually making progress, forward progress? And sometimes it's hard to see that if your horizon is too short, if you look at it within the day, within the week, within the month, sometimes within the year, you can see it, but sometimes you need to zoom out to a larger horizon and, then you start to see the trends and, you start to see that things are working. So I think with most things, they're measurable. If you set a goal and even if those things are relationship- wise, you can set a goal for what you want, or you envision these things to look like, and you can see, am I starting to get there? And no matter how anecdotal we haven't been in sales, you can start to see forward progress. But I think the two hard things are setting the goal in the first place. And if you can set a goal and then you can start to see incremental progress there, whether it's anecdotal or easy to measure. And then the second is choosing the right horizon to look at in order to see that progress each day. So I think it's easier than it sounds. I think we all can convince ourselves that, oh, it's too hard. I don't know if it's working. And then one of the tricks to that is to run it by disinterested third party, someone who has now no skin in the game and show them or explain to them or have that conversation. And you talked to a couple of people you'll, you'll see that they can often see where they're good or bad if you're making progress towards that thing or not. I think as often than not, I think we often are good at repeating things that don't get us to our goal. And that's why the goal setting is so important. The obvious example here is we want to lose weight, but we keep eating the same things that we eat each day. Wondering why we were not losing weight? If you were, to be honest with yourself, zoom out you would see it's actually pretty simple, even though we can't see it.

Speaker 2: Yeah. Hard to see it. Sometimes it's simpler. It's staring you right in the face. If you're me, right? What I'm always over analyzing, over complicating, sometimes it's a feel or you just know. So then when you decide to double down for you personally, what happens next? Like what does doubling down look like and feel like for DC

DC: I would say one it's painful. I more like to chase shiny objects than I do repeating things. It's one of the hardest things. It's extremely painful to repeat the same thing. So they have to do with, again, setting that goal, setting a way to measure it, focusing on the measurement and the activity versus how long it's taking or the new desired state you may have for that day, which may be different than your original goal. And just staying focused on the goals that you set or deciding that you have a new goal. And this is no longer the goal, right? But often at least for myself, What I'll end up doing is setting a goal, making progress towards it, finding something that's making good progress or good distraction on a new shiny object. And then convincing myself that the old goal doesn't make any sense that I have this new goal, but I keep doing both the things right. Instead of killing the old goal. And so I think that's something that's common, that's a pattern that we all do. And so I think you just have to be honest about the goal that you got after, and you have to be clear and you have to be willing to change that goal. If there is something compelling you towards the new activity,

Speaker 2: How do you know when that's happening? What are the clues that it stopped working, or you need to change the goals.

DC: It goes back to the measurement is that you set the goal. If you're not making any, you look at it at different horizons, we talked about. And no matter what horizon I look at, I'm not seeing progress towards that goal. Instead, things are staying the same or in some cases getting worse. And in that case, you have to be honest with yourself to either change the goal or more likely to change the habit, the tactic that's causing you to stay there.

Speaker 2: So it could be the right goal, but the methods aren't working to make progress, or it could be the goal needs to change.

DC: Yeah. But often I think at least for myself, what happens is that right goal, the tactics or the actions aren't getting me to the goal. I still want to the goal. I may add another action on top of the action I'm already doing and trying to get towards that goal versus being honest and removing the action or activities that aren't getting to that goal. Right. It's kind of like hedging, continue to hedge on top of another hedge on top of another head. And then it's unclear if you do make any movement, what is actually having the effect and you end up doing all the things,

Speaker 2: Right? You kind of, don't double down you sort of 1. 1 times crosstalk or maybe point seven.

DC: Add more work or you diffuse your effort amongst lots of different activities

Speaker 2: As a leader, I'm curious how you've thought about building this principle into Drifts culture. I know we have some leadership principles that kind of drive at this, but especially with you having struggles yourself with the shiny object problem and then doubling down on what's working. How have you thought about building this into our culture?

DC: I think it's easier now that we're, we have more people. So it was really hard in the beginning because there was no one that could prevent me from interfering or getting into it, getting us distracted. And my technique once we had enough people was to basically give it to someone else to own and have them own it so that I couldn't distract it or put it into, or give it a half effort. And so I've kind of relied on Facebook, relied on other people to help me prevent myself from harming myself.

Speaker 2: Love that. Just as a closing thought, what are you doubling down on right now?

DC: I'm doubling down on a topic that we did on the last podcast. And I hope you all listened to, which was reading massive love of reading. And I always talk about reading and right now I'm really doubling down on that, but in a very different way, in a way that giving myself permission to not read or read things that I didn't think were worthy in the past. And so I'm doubling down on that. I'm doubling down on simplifying, simplifying, simplifying our mantra at Drift this year has been simplified focus, repeat. So I'm just repeating that over and over to myself, hoping that it sticks and helps me through this time.

Speaker 2: Simplify Focus Repeat is pretty much the definition of double down on what's working and don't stop, right?

DC: Exactly.

Speaker 2: That's our mantra for the year. Love it! All right. For people who are enjoying the show, what should they do DC?

DC: They should know that they are listening to the world's only actually it might be the only one in the universe. Universe's only six star only podcast. And so they should head over to their podcast app of choice on which they're listening to this or the YouTube, as they say, and leave a six star rating, leave the maximum rating that you can usually a five star rating and then leave an extra star in the rating description itself and send us a message. We read every single one of those messages. And we thank everyone in the community for coming back and let's take over the chart. Six stars only 20,20

Speaker 2: Double down on six stars. That's what's working, that's it.


As an eternal optimist, DC believes in the power of ideas. Which is one reason he’s always jumping to that next ‘shiny object’. In this week’s episode, DC and Adam talk about how to avoid shiny object syndrome (spoiler alert, you’ve got to sleep on it) and instead double down on what’s working. Plus, DC shares what he’s doubling down on right now. Like this episode? Be sure to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review and share the pod with your friends. You can connect with DC and his co-host, Adam Schoenfeld, on Twitter @dcancel @schoeny @HYPERGROWTH_Pod