A fox boasted to a cat on day about how sly and wily he was. “I’ve got all kinds of tricks,” the fox said. “For example whenever I hear the dogs coming, I know a hundred different ways to escape.”
The cat was quite impressed and humbly said, “Your cleverness is amazing. As for me, I have only one way to escape, and that is to climb up a tree. I know it’s not exciting as all of your ways, but it works for me. Maybe someday you could show me some of your different escape routes.”
The fox smiled smugly. “Well, friend, perhaps I’ll have some free time one of these days, and I can show you a trick or two.”
Shortly afterward, the fox and the cat heard a pack of dogs barking nearby.
“They’re coming this way!” the cat shrieked.
In a flash, she scaled a nearby tree and hid herself in the leaves.
The fox stood there trying to decide which of his many tricks to use. Paralyzed with indecision, the fox waited too long to make his move, the dogs pounced on him and he became dinner that night.
One good plan that works is better than a hundred untested ones.
Most upstart entrepreneurs get tempted when starting their businesses. Some setup their companies to run like This & That Nig. Ltd. They do a little bit of everything and are remarkable or renowned for nothing in particular. I know this because back in 2007 when I started, I wandered a bit and drifted… I wanted to do recruitment, website design, advertising, business planning, event management, training, real estate and let’s not forget run a night club.
This strategy is great if you’re the Federal Government of Nigeria with a seemingly huge budget and endless amount of resources, or you’re running a huge supermarket that must stock a wide variety of products, or you have already have a nationwide distribution network like Dangote Group, it may also work if you’re running a website like www.jumia.com or amazon.com. But if you are a small business owner or self-employed professional, it would be much wiser to harness the power of focus and settle on a definite aim and discover a niche market or service which is best suited to your unique skill set, past experience and audience, then leverage on that.
Trying to be everything to everyone at anytime is a sure way to end up nowhere. You become like a ship left adrift with no compass and map. You’ll end up marooned. Don’t just take life as it comes, design a life for yourself and think long term. Not every opportunity is meant for you to explore.
Three years ago, I found out that training, teaching, coaching and mentoring works best for me. And so I dropped everything else, referred my clients to other professionals, did a website redesign and complete brand overhaul and channeled my energies in doing what I knew best. My business has been a lot more profitable since then.
Opportunities are everywhere. Whether in acting, coaching, boxing, singing, event management, real estate, oil & gas, catering, blogging and everything in between. We live in a world of abundance. But don’t be distracted from what you do best.