Succeed by Knowing Where to Focus

by Ed Martin on January 28, 2010

Common sense says you can grow our business by looking for new markets and ideas. If you are struggling, then naturally you should look at the things that are going wrong or broken and fix them. Obvious, right?

Not so fast

Not necessarily so. Let’s look at the situation from the other side. What if instead of focusing on problem areas you put extra effort into the things that are working? Could that do more for you? Unfortunately it seems like we often overlook this option. How many times have you had a good idea or a project that worked out well and then you moved on to something else? Quite a few I bet. It’s the been there, done that syndrome.

Learn from the best

Successful football teams know that if you have a play that works you keep running it until the other side figures out how to stop it. Same for basketball or tennis. If your opponent can’t handle a pick and roll, are you going to say, “This is boring,” and move on to some other play? No way! You keep banging that that backhand to the far corner over and over because it works.

Think about doing the same thing with your business. If you run a successful promotion, try running it again. You’ve found a winning formula that worked. It doesn’t matter if it was by accident or brilliance– it worked. Why not try it again before you go off looking for something new. You get a better return on your time and financial investment when you leverage your winning ideas.

Sure eventually the other team figures out how to stop your favorite play so you need to get a new one or adapt it, but in the meantime you can score plenty. Take advantage of the situation.

Circle back to what you know

I know someone who has figured out how to find nice little markets, develop websites to sell to those markets and them put them on autopilot. He’s made a great business for himself. When he tries  to go beyond that model he runs into problems that take way more time and effort to fix than is worth it. He  keeps going down this path because he gets bored, and impatient and thinks he will find a better way to make his fortune. It’s only natural that he wants to try new ideas and take on new projects, but he has learned over time, with a lot of cost, that he does better focusing on his tried and true business model.


The takeaway from this is not to give up on your dreams or ignore problems. Those are still good ideas. No  the real takeaway is to keep things in proper perspective. If you’ve got an idea that works, then leverage it for all that it’s worth. It is a lot harder to come up with one good idea than ten bad ones, so work the ones you do find. By all means try new ideas and experiment, but don’t forget about all the good work you’ve done. Like a winning team, circle back and run through those same plays over and over again. Figure out what makes them work and build on them. It’s a winning plan.


You can always contact me at MicroBizMadeSimple.

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