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“So figure out your epicenter. Which part of your equation can’t be removed? If you can continue to get by without this thing or that thing, then those things aren’t the epicenter. When you find it you’ll know. Then focus all your energy on making it the best it can be. Everything else depends on that foundation.” - Rework, Jason Fried

I wrote about this some for my talk at ECHO and then yesterday when Adam Lehman commented, I thought I should dig a little deeper.

On Monday I wrote about how we should distill our work until we just have the core. But the question Adam was asking was, what if you never had a core to begin with?

Oftentimes our organizations move so fast we need to decide on the “what,” or the “how,” before we’ve taken the appropriate time to figure out the “why.”

I’m not naive enough to think that we should never take action until we fully know the direction we’re headed or all the “why’s” before beginning this venture or that. However, I do know the painful reality all too well of having to reverse engineer a core value only after the “what’s” and “how’s” are all in place.

The solution?

Whenever possible, begin at the center. Begin at the core. Find that thing that moves you deeply and work out from that place. Start with the essential bits first and you’ll save yourself a ton of head and heartache. Doing so will ensure that when you do begin the work of distilling you’ll actually reveal a lovely piece of work, instead of an empty table.

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