“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” – Winston Churchill
I recently attended a conference where I had the opportunity to interact with a number of high-performing people from across the country. By the end of the two days, my head was spinning with ideas for change. I came back to my office ready to take on 100 new things.
Except that, like you, I have a finite supply of time and energy. We can’t do 100 things. That doesn’t mean any of the 100 things wouldn’t be valuable or worth doing. It just means we don’t have the time and/or energy to do them. It’s just not going to happen.
So what do we do? The opposite of what you feel like doing. Stop. Think. Picture in your mind what you want your business to be. Draw it out if you want. Understand exactly what it is you’re trying to accomplish.
Now go back to your 100 things. Which ones would have the biggest impact on you getting what you want from your business? Which ones would be nice but wouldn’t push you as close to your vision? Which ones actually move you further from where you want to be? The goal of course is to narrow down the list to those few that will really have an impact. Which is just a fancy way of saying you have to get focused.
Focus is tough, because in the end we want to make people happy and provide them value. So we want to serve everybody and give them whatever they want. The problem is that not everyone is someone we can really help. Not everyone fits the profile of who we like doing business with. We aren’t experts at every single thing. By trying to be everything to everyone we end up being very mediocre and frustrated.
So think about what kind of customers you want to have. What do they look like? What do they need? Where are they? Think about yourself. What value do I really enjoy providing? What value am I passionate about providing? And stay focused on those things.
Some people are afraid to focus because they think they’re eliminating opportunities. They’re afraid of saying “no”, just in case there isn’t anything to say “yes” to. What they’re really doing is eliminating the opportunity to say “yes” to what they really want.