One of the books I finished not long ago was Napoleon by Andrew Roberts.

I like to read biographies of famous/successful people in order to learn what they did to become so successful so that I might copy what they did and emulate their success.

Napoleon, like many “great” men, seems to have been a professional success (until his decline) but somewhat of a failure in his personal life. He cheated on his wives and didn’t seem to be a very good dad.

I did have at least one good takeaway lesson from the book. Napoleon had a number of “military maxims” as I remember it, and one of them stated that you should concentrate all your forces in one place instead of dividing them. I think this is a good rule. Once in a while I remember a certain friend of mine who has something like three different businesses. Last I heard, not one of those three businesses was successful. It would probably be better just to focus on one business and make that one successful.

I have two businesses by necessity. One, Ben Franklin Labs, provides income now but can’t provide long-term wealth. The other, Snip, can provide long-term wealth but doesn’t yet have much income. I don’t want to make things any more complicated than this. I often have ideas for other businesses or projects, and in fact I’ve worked on other projects in addition to BFL and Snip, but it’s probably not a good idea.

I can also think of how the “concentrate your forces” rule could apply inside a single business. There have been times in the past when I’ve spun up a Google AdWords campaign on Snip, only to get cold feet and pause the campaign shortly after starting it, truncating any positive effect it might have had. I’ve also had stretches of time where I would dabble in several different areas of Snip – coding on the product, tweaking the website, interviewing industry influencers, etc. – rather than focusing on just one area at a time. Focusing on just one area at a time is probably best. Thanks, Napoleon.

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