Why You Don’t Focus

If you had to be world class at one thing, what would you focus on? From jesscalive’s Flickr photostream.

Today’s reality invites us all to be easily distracted. There are overwhelming amounts of information, options and ultimately, noise, that we are pulled towards. There are many good things that are not the best things that we end up spending energy on.

Besides the consumer perspective, there is the flawed seller’s approach to the market; they diversify and try to appeal to too many audiences. Trying to be many things to many types of people reminds me of Bill Cosby’s comments on success:

“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”

If you don’t focus, you are a commodity. You are like everyone else and without depth of definition or uniqueness. You will be drowned out by your own position of mediocrity in different categories with people and brands that are the best.

A common reason why people don’t focus is the opportunity to avoid failure. When you focus, you are committing to becoming the best in a specific area or domain. It is what mastery of a subject area, philanthropic cause or market niche demands. The world rewards the very best in a category and commoditizes the rest. This is true whether we are talking about the top golfers in the world, best brand of syrup on a grocery store shelf or hit musical acts today.  The winners focused and received the lions’ share of attention, revenue and reward.

The benefits of focusing are also happening when it comes to talent. Talent can be accessed and found all over the world easily. You have to be world-class in a specific category. It becomes your brand and calling card around specific areas of demand. This is true whether you are seeking employment, employing others or are servicing customers.

It may be bold, but consider getting rid of the things that you don’t have a shot at becoming the best at or don’t have the passion for. Instead pick the very thing you will do and work relentlessly on to become the very best. Focus only on this and build your brand around what you do the very best at. It will take courage and commitment. But in today’s ultra-competitive environment, do you have any other choice?

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

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