In the US military, there’s a simple mantra for self-control:
“It ain’t over until you’re in the shower.”
Former Navy SEAL Mack Machowicz explains:
After 24 hours in the field, he’d be dog-tired and tempted to blow off cleaning his M14. Except a trained professional doesn’t quit until every task is complete.
So when his discipline wavered he’d ask himself: “Are you in the shower?”
Then he’d look around.
If he wasn’t in the shower, then he wasn’t done yet.
With a simple binary question, he cut through temptation and finished the task.
You can do the same.
Because you know the key to success is staying focused on execution.
But too often, founders don’t stick to the plan because…
– They don’t trust the process.
– They’re anxious for results, proof that they’re going in the right direction.
– They get “shiny object” syndrome.
So here’s what you can do:
1. Create a rule with concrete boundaries.
2. Turn it into a yes/no question.
Rule: “We won’t change any product features until we’ve talked to 25 clients.”
Question: “Have we talked to 25 clients?”
Rule: “We’ll test this strategy for 30 days, until December.”
Question: “Is it December?”
Rule: “We won’t allocate more than $50,000 to jumpstart this failing project.”
Question: “Have we spent $50,000?”
If the answer is no, you stick to the plan.
And you cut out the mental energy wasted in second-guessing, FOMO and chasing distractions.