Unbelievably, ramarketing turned ten this month. And whilst I’m still trying to get over the euphoria and pride that still lingers following our birthday party, I find myself feeling rather reflective about what I have learnt on this unexpected journey…

You see, what started as a side project to earn a few extra quid to see the world has gone on to transform my life in so many ways over the last decade.

35 people in the UK, Europe and the US rely on income from my ramarketing. Our customers span the width of the world, from the Far East to the West Coast. My family and I now live in Boston, and I run our US operations from Cambridge, MA. And quite frankly, I have earned more money than I ever thought was possible in a career in marketing.

For those that know me, you know this is not me showing off. Don’t forget, I’m also the guy that transferred £100,000 to the wrong bank account. This is more of a ‘pinch me’ moment. How has this happened? Luck? Yes. Hard work? Yes. Creativity? Yes. Good looks? Erm, nope.

Even now I am so very reluctant to call me or ramarketing a success, because I’ve seen how things can come tumbling down without notice. That’s why I place so much emphasis on learning and growing. Complacency is the devil. I guarantee that the bald, 2029 version of Raman will scoff at the balding, 2019 version of Raman in the same way I do now of the full-haired 2009 version of Raman.

So in honour of our 10th birthday, I’ve been thinking about what has made this all possible. What is the one word I can share with you that may help in your career, business journey or life.

And the word? Focus.

This word works on so many levels and I believe is responsible for the success that I and ramarketing have been able to enjoy over the last decade. And interestingly, lots of our failures and mistakes I can label as a lack of focus. Or simply distraction. So how do you make this word work for you at a practical level? I’ve broken this down into how I think it can be an enabler for any business professional at a few different levels…

  1. Individual – focus as in productivity and effectiveness. Plan, prioritise and stay laser focused on the big, important stuff. Concentrate on one thing at a time and avoid distractions. If you’re at the start of your career, this skill will make you stand out a mile compared to most twenty-somethings. Turn off those social notifications and stay tuned to your work. Your output will be much better. Multi-tasking is for idiots. Read The One Thing, Essentialism and Deep Work to learn more.
  2. Business – focus on your niche audience. Unless you’re Google or Amazon, I suspect ‘the world’ is not your target. So focus on your audience and make something that is simply irresistible for them to ignore. This will give you immense clarity and also keep you from chasing the wrong type of customers and again, getting distracted. Believe me, I’ve learned this the hard way. Trying to be everything to everyone will lead you nowhere. Read or listen to anything by Seth Godin or Ian Altman to help in this area.
  3. Outside work – focus on anything but work. Whether that’s your partner, your children, your parents, siblings, friends or whatever it is that you’re doing. Be in the moment and focus on whatever it is you’re doing. When you do this, time slows down, things you’d otherwise miss appear as if by magic and life quite frankly is so much better. This requires immense discipline and is something I struggle with on a daily basis. But on the days I get it right, my life is better and I don’t regret it for a second. Read anything by Derek Sivers or try the Headspace app to help here.

Now go do it. Or keep doing it. Focus. Focus. Focus. And make your life better in so many ways.

Thank you for your support over the last ten years and helping me create a reality that I never dared to dream of in the first place.