Our recent trip to Italy included traveling for 2 weeks with just a carry-on. I panicked. I like options. I want to leave myself open to new possibilities that might come along. How could I anticipate and make exactly the right decisions necessary to enjoy my trip, with just one little suitcase?
Then it dawned on me, business owners face the same dilemma – many try to do (pack) too much, say “yes” to everything, and don’t want to limit themselves unnecessarily. Generally, it feels safer to go broad and cover your bases.
However, what I learned was that packing light does save time and give you focus. I didn’t have to make as many decisions along the way. My system of leggings and tunics dictated my shoes and my jewelry. It became my brand for the trip.
Similarly, focus in your business allows you to specialize and be known for something. When you try to be all things to all people, often you end up somewhere in no-man’s land, with too much in your suitcase and lots of distractions.
Shiny objects are all around us, luring us to lose our focus and chase another great idea. Take time to carefully assess your options and then make some decisions of who you are and where you’ll play. You’ll find clarity and simplicity when you reduce the noise and do what you do best.
This week, test your focus. Ask yourself:
- Why do we exist? (What’s our bigger purpose?)
- How can we stay true to what makes us special?
- What do our best customers have in common? (Look for opportunities to focus.)
- Where could we focus our efforts, and gain traction by going deeper in that direction?
This packing analogy struck me as I was enjoying the simplicity of less. I didn’t have to think about which jacket or shoes to wear; I had only one of each. I did have to plan ahead to minimize the risk, but once planned (and packed) my everyday decisions were much easier with my lighter load.
Excerpted from a longer article written for Independent Dealer Magazine, August edition.
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