Netflix missed the mark. It’s new original series “Marco Polo” debuted this month and it forgot one critical thing— character development. The cinematography was incredible, the original score was inspiring, and the costume design was on point. However, at the end of the series you feel like you’ve binge watched a PBS documentary about Marco Polo in Mongolia. Think about all of the great stories you’ve experienced over the years and how you fell in love with the characters. Whether it was Walter White in “Breaking Bad” or Holden Caulfield in “Catcher In The Rye” you felt something about these characters—they spoke to you, not at you. Those stories were successful because they focused on what truly matters. Narrowing your focus can allow you to achieve your own goals in life.
People tend to focus on the superfluous things and miss out on the objective that matters most. I know I’ve done this in both my professional and personal life. You have to take a step back to see what are the most important elements of a situation. This can be touching base with an old friend and asking how they’re doing. Or requesting feedback from your boss on your performance in a task your weak at.
It got me thinking about how I’m running my startup Office Prep, which is a social good company that delivers career enhancing skills to young professionals. I’ve spent months designing the first physical product, the Office Prep Journal which allows you to develop a professional networking routine and speed up your job hunt. While developing it I remained focused on the most critical element— this journal must make people better at networking. With that focus I was able to make something I’m proud of today.
Focus on the one thing that matters and don’t take your eyes off it for a second.
Perfecting everything around the most important element cannot fix your errors and it will all have been for nothing. The fact that Netflix failed to develop it’s characters will lead to a flawed show. No one is going to love the characters the way they do for “Game of Thrones” Tyrion Lannister or Daenerys Targaryen. It’s a shame too, because Netflix could have truly made another great series.
As 2015 approaches and everyone is gearing up to try out their New Years resolutions why don’t you focus on just one resolution? Seriously. We all want six pack abs by summer, to save money, and to wake up earlier. But is that what truly matters? Take 5 minutes today and write it down. And if your resolution happens to be that you want to become a more effective networker, I’d recommend the Office Prep Journal. You’ll get more out of it than the 10 hours of Marco Polo!