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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

When Too Many Options Are None At All by Liz Strauss

In yesterday's post I talked about the importance of FOCUS and the use of your time. In today's post, I am going to let Liz Strauss talk to you about the importance of FOCUS in building your business. What a perfect analogy this is for all of us no matter what it is we do or want.   Janet
When I first started my business, I was ready to do anything for just about anyone. Sound familiar?
I was like a greedy, inexperienced fisher. Here’s what I did …
I would meet someone I thought might be great to work with. I’d rearrange my future plans. Invent a completely new offer just for that person or company. I’d put that fishing pole in the water hoping that the unique “fish” would bite and we could move forward.
And when I met the next person who represented something even remotely interesting. I would develop an entirely new offer and do that again.
and again.
and again.
What I never realized was that I was so busy baiting fishing poles with different bait for every different fish I met. That I hadn’t done many of the things that good fishers do:
  • Figure out what kind of fish I wanted to catch. What was I good at cooking?
  • Ask around to find out where those fish were biting. Who might teach me more?
  • Decide what size fish would fit my frying pan. What was I ready to take on?
One day, I woke up to see that I had about 18 fishing poles in the water. I wasn’t fishing. I was playing at being a fisherman. Greedy, inexperience fishers like I was focus too much on just catching a fish, rather than catching a fish that works for them.

The problem with 18 fishing poles in the water is that it’s a lot of unfocused work for little return. We spend all of our time running up and down the bank checking to see if something worked or whether we need to rebait the system. AND when a fish finally does tug at the line, it’s awfully tempting to wonder whether another fishing poles might bring in something slightly bigger or more exciting … it’s easy to get stuck waiting for the fish that might be next.

For this fisher, too many options were the same none at all.

Narrowing down the options first with a few decisions has its advantages. What I needed was specific concrete goal. With a goal, a destination …
  • We can figure out a plan for getting there.
  • We can talk to people who have achieved that goal in the past.
  • We can yes to things that help us get closer to the goal and no to things that pull us away from it.
Now I keep my focus and goal to “teaching fishers how to fish” — some are huge fishers, some are aspiring fishers, some are other people who teach fishers how to fish — that suits exactly who I am. I tell people about that whenever I can and when any one of those fishers show up, I know I can deliver value exactly as I promise. I’m not running up and down the bank of the river anymore.

And the fishers I work with tell their friends.

Janet's comment: And isn't that last line what we all want?


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