How You Do One Thing Is How You Do Everything

How You Do One Thing Is How You Do Everything


Early in my career I noticed a pattern...

I’d build things up to a certain point, then I'd break them down to a certain point. 

For every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction:

A destructive action creates a destructive reaction, and a constructive action creates a constructive reaction. Pretty simple.

The pattern of somebody's existence in one aspect of life, big or small, will be present in their existence in everything else.  It doesn't matter how small something is, it will be present in the largest thing that person does. You can't have a breech in a tiny thing and not expect it to show up in something massive. It reflects everywhere.

Realizing this makes you take everything a lot more seriously. If somebody isn't committed to their business and their success, that lack of commitment will show up everywhere in their life. 

The cool thing is that you're not stuck this way. I think this is the mistake a lot of people make. They think that once they identify the pattern and cause and effect, they think that that's who they are, and they're stuck like that forever. That's not true at all. 

Here's what we cover:

  • How to identify the fractals of a persons existence by observing actions
  • Optimising the connection between supply and demand in the current marketplace 
  • Why knowing what to learn is more important than learning everything
  • Why Sam doesn't personally text, use Snapchat, or Instagram
  • Identifying problems in your life and finding the underlying reasons behind them

Check out the video and let me know what you think in the comments section below.

To your success!

-Sam Ovens & the team at

Further Reading: What Is Consulting? Learn Consulting's Definition & TRUE Meaning


Hey, everyone. It’s Sam Ovens here. … and Nick Fischer. Welcome to Consulting TV. On this channel, we discuss everything to do with business success, financial success and also like your own psychology in yourself and how really to achieve anything in life, you really need a combination of these two things. In today’s topic, we’re going to discuss the way you do one thing is the way you do everything. It’s a fascinating topic. If you have any area of your life which you want to improve or make better, then this video is really going to give you a totally different way to look at it and solve problems. I’m sure it’s going to help a lot of people. That’s the question. Is how you do one thing how you do everything? Some people would say no. They’d say you can still have these certain things that you can do but you can still be good at this even if you have these certain habits. Is that true? I would say how you do one thing most of the time is how you do everything most of the time because people can have one-off events. Sometimes, a person who wakes up at 4 a.m. every single day might have a few days where they sleep in till like seven, 8 a.m. so you couldn’t freeze on that moment in time and say the way that guy woke up at 8 a.m., therefore, he always wakes up at 8 a.m. It’s the rolling average of a certain amount of time. I definitely believe that the ways … If you track someone for like 30 days, the way they do one thing at most of that time is the way they will do everything in their entire life. If someone’s apartment is dirty on average most of the time, then everything’s going to be dirty in their apartment most of the time. Also, their car is probably dirty most of the time. Their computer desktop is dirty most of the time. Their e-mail inbox is disorganized and probably in their mind, they’re totally disorganized and fumbling things. A mentor told me once that when you're hiring someone, go out and look at their car because he said the way they keep their car will tell you a lot about what type of person that is. I don’t mean what model of car it is. I mean just how they care for it, if it’s clean or if it’s just totally beaten up and just messed everywhere because if someone has a totally messed up car like fast food wrappers everywhere, it hasn’t been washed in forever, then that probably says a lot about that person. Yeah. Then, you told me you’re moving to New York and then it became much harder for you to actually do that. Yeah. No one has a car here so … Exactly. I never actually did that because I never really had the opportunity to go out and look at someone’s car when I was hiring them but it did make me look at … You can read a lot about a person by just how they do one thing. One thing I noticed a lot is that people who don’t finish anything will never finish anything. I’ll give you examples to make scenes of this. If someone always listens to a little bit of a song, so if someone’s always that person in the car who’s like playing in iPod or an iPhone and then they listen to a bit of a song, then they change and they listen to that and then they change or they’re flicking between radio stations, if someone’s like in one lane out into another lane and then they’re sometimes going to this gym, then a different gym or they think they’re going to do this, then that or they dress this way for a while and then they dress like that for a while and sometimes they’re an early riser, sometimes they’re this. The way someone … If someone’s just like that with like changing songs, then they’re highly likely to be like that with everything else in their entire life. It’s like I have observed that the pattern of someone’s existence in any one isolated area will … It’s like fractal. If you can isolate someone’s existence in just how they play a song on an iPod, you can make a pretty accurate prediction of their existence in everything else in their entire life. Yeah. That’s fascinating. I wouldn’t have thought about that with people but some people are chronic song skippers when you're with them and how that could translate to the rest of their life. These days, people are like really ADD. Very much so. It’s more of a problem now than it seems than ever before just from what we’ve observed. It’s because there’s too much supply. What’s happened in the industrial revolution, there was a massive amount of demand and not much supply. That’s how the industrial revolution came about when everyone started, when people started supplying things. It was about supplying steel, supplying concrete, supplying all of these industrial things or supplying cars like Henry Ford and the T-Model Ford. It was all about production, because there was so much demand and people were so hungry for production and supply that that’s what the massive raise was. Now, things have flipped. Now, we have moved into like the information age out of the industrial revolution. Now, it’s not a supply game anymore. People will just supply a lot of widgets. They find themselves with a lot of widgets and they need a way to sell them. It’s no longer about supplying. It’s about being able to connect supply with demand because there’s a surplus of supply and there’s not enough demand. That’s what the game is these days. The game has become optimization, not production. Got it. We see companies like Uber. It doesn’t own cars, yet it out-supplies like yellow cabs in taxi companies. We see companies like They make way more money than actual airlines. These airlines own all of the jets. They own all of the pilots and everything. This airline is just a clicking website. I mean the is just a website but it makes more money because it’s doing the optimization of the supply. In the modern world, it’s more about what to sell than how much you can sell. It’s an optimization problem. That’s why I called it like the information age because with information, we can optimize and find what is the thing to sell. This is why a lot of people are ADD these days. It’s because there’s so much information out there and there’s so much supply out there that we don’t know what to choose. Really, in the modern day, it’s more about what you ignore than what you pay attention to. The best way to win in this new era is really to just block out as much as possible. Back in the industrial revolution, it was to take on as much as possible because there wasn’t much knowledge, there wasn’t much information. You wanted to be like a sponge and take on everything, right? Also, like American households were acquiring a lot of stuff. They were buying multiple cars, bigger homes and more like different houses. Then, we saw that crash and like, “Oh, wait.” Now, really, the way to win is to really minimize and optimize. It’s to find one thing which you really like and have less things so that you can focus on other areas. I think that’s true. It’s the information age but there’s been so much information now that like the connection economy of people like Uber and Airbnb and all these guys are coming in and that’s the benefit, right, is because they’re facilitating what’s actually good and what’s not. I've always said that learning isn’t hard. The art of learning is very easy. If someone tells you to learn something, it’s really easy to do. You pick up some books on it. You read it. You take some notes. Then, you start to understand it. Learning isn’t hard but knowing what to learn is hard. That’s the real problem. It’s knowing what to learn because if you know what to learn, then you can easily learn it but that’s the real problem we have right now. We don’t know what to learn and there’s too many things to possibly learn. That’s the problem everyone’s faced with. Right. Is there a good solution to that problem? That’s a tricky question. It takes a long time to figure out your optimization algorithm to find out what to learn. I've got one for myself and like in my day-to-day business and problems and everything but if I was to give a recommendation to most people, it’s to figure out what you want. You have to look at what you want and then you have to look at what you have right now and where you are right now. You really have to stop and just do an accurate audit of your life and yourself like who you are now, what you want to achieve, what you're good at, what you're bad at and just get real honest with it. Then, once you've done that, then you can see what you need to acquire in terms of knowledge and everything to achieve this future that you want. Then, once you know that, now you can go out and learn and acquire that knowledge to achieve that thing. That’s how you really have to learn how to optimize information to achieve what you want to achieve but if you don’t know what you want to achieve, then you don’t know what you should learn. That would be hard. That’s what universities become. It’s basically, “I don't know what I want to do.” Someone’s like, “Oh, you should go to a university and just learn some things.” Then, you learn a whole bunch of things. You're like, “Hey, wait. I’m supposed to be smart. I've got a degree. How come I still don’t know anything?” It’s because you have to have something which you’re optimizing for to know what to learn. Right. What are some things you've said no to then recently? If there is all these things you want to do and all these potential avenues, what have you learned to say no to because you know there are certain things that … Right. There’s thousands of things but like … What are some of the biggest- New technologies, I would say, is mostly what I don’t do. I don’t have Snapchat, don’t have the app, don’t have an account. I don’t have an Instagram. I barely post on Facebook. I don’t use Facebook messages at all. I have one e-mail account. That’s it. I don’t text anyone. If someone texts me, I don’t text them back. I pretty much give no one my phone number. I try and take away all of these things because I notice when I observe most people, that’s all they do. They tell me they don’t have any time to learn something and then I look at why they don’t have any time and it’s because they’re trying to manage eight social media platforms. I’m like, “Okay, well this is why.” I’m like, “Well, maybe you should just delete them all.” They’re like, “Oh, no. That’s not what you're supposed to do.” I’m like, “Okay, well then, just put up with what you have because that’s all you're ever going to get.” Yeah. No, that makes sense. I've noticed that especially when you're jumping from platform to platform too, that’s just one more … It’s not incremental in the amount of time you have to think about it. You're getting pulled from one thing to another and you have to completely reset and think about another platform now in a different way than you are on the first one. It kind of compounds too on top of it. Yeah. For most people, what they want to achieve in their life, I don't think a social network plays any part in it. I think people are using social media because that’s what everyone is doing. When everyone is doing something, I tend to not do it because it’s eventual that everyone will be wrong. Right. Yeah, especially for us kind of as marketers too, is that people expect you to be on social because how could you market on it if you're not on it and using it yourself, like how are you going to learn to be able to monetize. How do you feel about that? Maybe if you're not on some of those profiles, how do you still maintain- I feel like I know how to do it better because I’m not on it. Explain. If I’m on it and looking at what other people are doing, then I’m only going to do what they’re doing because that’s how I’m being conditioned. When I never look at what anyone else is doing and then decide to do it, then I can conduct my own analysis without any bias and then decide what I want to do regardless of what everyone is doing. Yeah. Then, as far as the drain on people’s resources and how they’re doing one thing, that certainly contributes, right, is that how they’re doing one thing is how you do everything. If you do everything and you're trying to learn all these different platforms, you can’t possibly do a good job in whatever you've decided to make as your goal. Why do you think millennials and people who like job skipping around like they can never settle down? It’s because that’s what they like on their phones. They’re on Facebook. Then, they’re on Snapchat. Then, they’re on like … I don't know what these other things are. There’s tons of them and they’re getting them texted like their computer is popping up here, their iPod’s popping up over there. It’s craziness. If we observe that pattern of existence with social media, that’s the same pattern of existence they have when it comes to their job. We also observed that’s their pattern of existence when they become an entrepreneur. They have shiny object syndrome. They’re like, “Oh, it’s this. Oh, it’s that. Oh, it’s this thing. It’s e-commerce.” They’re pinging around like a pinball machine because if we look at everything they’re doing, how they’re doing one thing is how they’re everything, right? The modern day, it’s people are ADD because there’s too much stuff and so that’s how they’re behaving in everything. Really, the answer to the problem is to stop doing a whole bunch of stuff. Really start focusing. I have a competition with my girlfriend about who can have the least apps on their phone. I’m sure most people have competitions about who’s got the most. I got one e-mail. I got no social media. I don’t text anyone and I take pride in that. I also just like having as little as possible because then, the things I choose to be good at, I can be great in whereas everyone else ends up kind of averaging a lot. Right. Yeah. No, that’s a bigger problem. It seems to be getting worse now and it goes back to the amount of information out there, is people are just looking at everything and they’re wanting to jump from thing to thing. It’s really easy to stop. The easiest one I think is to observe how someone rides a bike or goes to the gym. If someone likes to go to the gym for like two weeks, then they drop off, then they’ll probably like doing everything for two weeks and dropping off. If someone has been an avid marathon runner for a long time, that person’s going to be so reliable. They’re going to be extremely reliable at stuff. A very good way to gauge how someone works out and how someone lives is a very good way to gauge how that person is going to be in other areas of their life. I’m not judging people and saying that’s who they are forever. That’s who they are at a moment in time but you can change it. You want to think about like if you want to make an improvement to yourself, you want to think about how do I do one thing? Am I someone who always starts things but never finishes them? If you watched a bit of a movie or a bit of a TV program and then don’t finish it, if you read a few pages of a book and then don’t finish it, if you do all these things but don’t finish them, then you really need to become a finisher. You should even look at every meal like, okay, I want to finish this meal. Okay, I've got this glass of water. I want to finish it and I want to … If I’m doing a workout, I want to finish it. If I’m going to start writing an e-mail, I’m going to finish it. You need to become a finisher if you're constantly getting stuck halfway. However, if you're someone that has only done one thing for a very long period of time and never done anything else and been ignorant to everything else, then you probably want to start doing a little bit of other things, right? It’s a very easy way to analyze yourself and see why things are the way they are for you. You can just take any one area of your life and observe it and then you know why everything else is like that too. Got it. For you, when you decided … Was that ever an issue where you weren’t finishing things beforehand, before you started cutting them out? Of course, yeah. I figured as much just from kind of the action you took. That’s how I know about it, by making the mistake. Exactly. How did you quit these things? Was it cold turkey? Did you have to work your way up? Did you start finishing glasses of water and then meals and then you worked yourself up to bigger things? Often, it’s the … If you find that you're not committed in business, you don’t want to try and become committed in business. You want to look for other areas of your life where you're not committed and then become committed there. It’s often too hard to attack the one problem just isolated. You want to look for other areas where it’s appearing. If someone isn’t committed in business, then they should look where in their personal life they’re not committed. If they’re not waking up at consistent times or going to bed at consistent times, fix that. If they do some things and drop off or if their apartment gets like messy all the time, they should solve those things. It’s incredible how once you solve those, it just solves here but if you try and solve it here while ignoring these things, it doesn’t happen. That’s how people get stuck all the time. You can’t … People don’t have business problems or finance problems. They have life problems which reflect in their business and so, in order to solve the business problem, you have to solve the life problem. What’s your morning routine like right now on a weekday? Weekday is, so I wake up at 4 a.m. and then it takes me precisely 10 minutes to get onto the cross trainer, get changed, get onto the cross trainer. I go on that for 45 minutes, get off, come upstairs, make a smoothie and then, I sit on the balcony. I call it like moon bathing. I love that. I sit there and I drink the smoothie and the moon’s still there. It’s 4:45 or it’s like 4:55, almost 5 a.m. It’s pitch black and the moon’s right up. I drink my smoothie and moon bathing. Then, I have a shower and everything, get ready and then I’m at the office by 5:30. It hasn’t always been that way. That’s the way I've got it now but there’s been times where I … I've definitely had times where I've been lazy and slept until like 2 p.m. Sure. I've had bad habits but right now, I have a good habit when it comes to waking up and everything. The key there is just to … If you do decide to have that routine, at least have it for a certain amount of time, right? You can’t just say you're doing it for a week and then shift to a different routine and then you're walking up- It’s not a routine if you do it for a week. Yeah. How long is- It’s only a routine if you do it, I think, 31 days. Thirty-one. Yeah, because everyone has a different number. I've heard 21. I've heard a month. I've heard 90. If you can stop drinking for 31 days, you’re pretty much ... you will find all of a sudden that you don’t want to drink anything. Growing up, I always used to drink on the weekends because it was just what everyone did in New Zealand. Then, I moved to America and then I was like, “People don’t do that here.” It went just 30 … Thirty days went by and then, all of a sudden, I was like, “I don’t even want to drink anything.” Now, I haven’t had anything to drink for like a year and a half. I used to think I’m not a morning person but then when I stopped drinking, it was very easy to be a morning person. People think they are this thing and they … It’s just a choice. If you're not a morning person, it’s because you think that you're not a morning person. You can just change your mid. Got it. The key there is with any sort of business goal, if they want to make more money, if they want to do something, if they want to meet a certain person, often, it’s easiest just to change one thing in your life if you can. Change yourself. If you experience any problem in business or any problem with your finances, think about what that problem is. Is it inconsistency? Is it chaotic? How would you describe that problem? Then, look for where else in your life that problem is showing up. If you're not looking after your business, then you probably aren’t looking after yourself. If your business is in bad shape like bad financial health, if financial was not done, if you aren’t up to date on all of these different things, then chances are, that’s how your personal life is too. A lot of people are like, “No, no, no. It doesn’t have to be that way. I can keep having my personal issues and be wealthy.” It’s like, “No, you can’t.” If you do ever get the chance to have wealth and success and you don’t fix yourself, you won’t have it for long. It will be gone. All right. Yeah. You see some artists who have had success and I think that’s why people point to it. They’re like, “Well, you know, Ernest Hemingway did it this way,” or whoever. He had a really destructive personality but he was still able to write these world famous novels but I think a lot of people don’t see behind the scenes is that’s just not sustainable for long. That can work for some people, maybe better than others but overall … You have to be like a chameleon kind of … I’m sure Ernest Hemingway probably had like a chaotic sort of lifestyle doing lots of different things. That’s where he got his insights from but then he would have to become a very focus drive person to write a book from start to finish. He wouldn’t have been a chaotic person if he finished an entire book, right? True. It’s impossible to do. I’m sure he wasn’t getting a ghostwritten … Yeah. This is where people get it wrong. They’re like, “No, no, no. The secret is to be all over the place and disorganized.” It’s like, sure, but that’s how that you might learn everything that way but you'll never get it down onto paper and never get it published unless you become the person who isn’t chaotic and everything. The trick is to be able to switch between the two. You asked me about my routine. That is my routine now but if I was trying to go into a period where I was like wanting to innovate … Right now, I’m just looking to take action and apply a lot of things and so right now, it serves me best to have a rigid routine. However, if I went into a mode where I was trying to be creative with innovations or coming up with out of the box solutions to problems and things like this, then I would go into a mode of disorder. I would stay up all night, then kind of sleep whenever I wanted. I’d eat all sorts of bloody ice cream for breakfast and things like that. I’m not even joking. I do this when I’m trying to break … when I’m trying to solve problems. Yeah, because you're trying to take yourself out of the environment that you couldn’t solve that problem in. Yeah. If I can’t solve the problem, I've got to change who I am. Right. That’s interesting but it all goes back to that same concept. Kind of how would you tie in … because that almost sounds contradictory if someone came in and heard how you do one thing is how you do everything [crosstalk 00:23:54]- For most of the time, remember? For most of the time. I guess that should be the caveat. Yeah, it is. It’s not … Like I said, you could find someone who wakes up at the same time every day but you could catch him on one day where he decided he just wanted to eat bad food and sleep in. It doesn’t matter. That’s healthy to do that every now and then. It’s over time. That’s why the 30 days is great. You just observe it over 30 days and that’s the only way you can learn because everyone can be great for one day. Everyone can wake up on time, dress well and be in the zone for one day. That’s easy. It’s a different thing to be in the zone for 31 days straight. Much different. Got it. Really, to wrap this up and to conclude it, I would say if you’re experiencing any problems like anywhere in your life, in your business or your finances, try to define what that is like what is this problem? Then, look for other areas in your life where this is showing up. If you're not committed, then are you committed to going to bed, are you committed to waking up, are you committed to the gym, are you committed to being healthy? If your business is unhealthy, is your body unhealthy? Just look where else these things are showing up and solve it here and it will solve here instead of just trying to solve it here and ignoring what’s here because that doesn’t work. It’s like this hand trying to hide what it’s doing from this hand. It doesn’t work very well. Right. Awesome. The real way to tie it up into one sentence is that the way you do one thing is the way you do everything when you observe it over a long enough period of time. If you want to solve something, solve it in your personal life first.