This post is serves as a mental note to myself. To concentrate and not to do too many things at the same time.
Yesterday I talked to a friend who tries to get an online shop up and running. They have done this for a year now and don’t seem to have much success with it. So we met to discuss what might be the problem and how to get this thing started.
The first thing that hit me when looking at the site was that I didn’t understand where I was and what shop was it. Different unrelated categories and not much choice in individual categories. You could buy a standard windshield wiper and a average decorative candle, but you couldn’t dig in and browse hundreds of candles or windshield wipers.
The rational behind selection was that if they come for windshield wipers and see a nice candle they might buy that, too. They other point the brought up was that their shop was for everybody. I does not work this way.
Most people shop for convenience, selection or price. That shop tries to offer selection but is too shallow. The prices are OK but not spectacular and the convenience is similar to most other e-commerce sites.
In the world of limited resources you have to make a choice. What is that you do? Block everything else. This way you can be the most convenient, have the best selection or price.
I have had my share of doing too many things at the same time. When you have a lot of ideas then there are always distractions. You feel that you should do this and that and a bit of third and fourth thing. You can’t sustain that. Select one thing and be the best at it.
Being the best is a good way to differentiate yourself but it is not required. You can be just different. Your clients should be able to say “I buy from them because they X”. If you make green balls and your competitor makes red balls then you are not better just different. If someone asks, your clients can say they bought from you because you make green balls.
The successful people around me have been initially concentrated on one thing. Yes, some of them do a lot of things but that’s because the first one thing is already paying dividends.
If you are good at something concentrate and give it you full focus. There’s always a new shiny object on the horizon that seems to demand your time and attention.
So, decide what is this one thing you might really shine in and do that. (I’ll try to remember that, too)
Image credits Sachin Ghodke
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