All Things To All People

My children are like most children. I want to give them interests and develop their social skills so that when the time comes, I know they can go out into the world and stand on their own two feet. I want to know that they'll have confidence to interact with others, and will have learned skills through their various extra curricular activities.

You know the stuff. Swimming on a Monday, football on a Tuesday, Cubs on a Thursday, badminton on a Saturday. Recently I've been wondering if, in my desire to give them a broad range of interests and skills, what I am really doing is depriving them of the chance to be great at one thing. [MM_Member_Decision membershipId='1'] Upgrade to silver read more. Upgrade now. [/MM_Member_Decision] [MM_Member_Decision isMember='false'] Login to read more. [/MM_Member_Decision] [MM_Member_Decision membershipId='2|3|4']

This is a similar to the dilemma we have in our businesses. We try to be the jack of all trades, crippled by a fear that something good may pass us by if we're not open to all comers. Never do we really consider that specialising in one aspect of our service, or niching into a specific industry will actually give us the chance to be really great at one thing.

Similarly to my children, we also get easily distracted when the next 'new' thing comes along. Rather than steadfastly focusing on our real goal, we chase ever shiny opportunity that we see cross our path. Even if these so-called opportunities are no more than distractions from our real end game.

When we look at those who have been successful, whether in business or something else, the one thing they all have is focus. They know what they are. RyanAir is the no frills airline, it doesn't hedge it's bets by offering a frills service 'just in case'. Would Novak Djokovic be the number one tennis player if he has spent some time playing golf, and badminton 'just in case'?

Equally, we can see the risk of losing sight of what we are. Two businesses to do this over recently years have been Woolworths and BHS. No longer did they have a purpose or focus. They lost their way, and tried to be all things to all people. When you try to be all things to all people, you end up being unimportant to everyone.

How could your business grow if you could stop being afraid and start to focus on the one thing you want to be really great at?  Leave a comment below! [/MM_Member_Decision]

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3 comments

Hi Kris I think as regards your children, in the early years they need to experience as many different things as possible until they find that magic something that they want to specialise in. It's probably the same in business if you know what you are good at and love then you focus on that, but sometimes you have to try lots of new things first to decide what we are good at and really want to focus on. (Just my opinion for what it's worth)
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Nice article Kris. When I started out on my own, I didn't know what I didn't know and with so much out there, technology, qualifications, types of small businesses etc my head was spinning. It was very difficult (still is) to get to grips with it all and even more difficult to say no. I think if I'd had come from a background working in accountancy it might have been easier, as it was I just had to muddle through. Two years on I'm only really starting to think where my specialism/unique talents :-) might lie. Bookkeepers Alliance has been great support and provided lots of food for thought and I now feel like I'm on my way and the future is looking bright. I agree with your article in that you can't be all things to all people - I've tried and it was a complete merry-go-round without much fulfillment and one I don't want to get back on. It did though give me lots of experience and even if I'm still don't know my exact area of specialism, at least I now know the direction I don't want to go. If I could start again........
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And when you get older, if you get set in your ways you just carry on and don't try anything new. You know what you are good at but get scared of trying anything new. Like different courses that you think are easy but they are not, or you just cant get your head around the details. Do you just give up or keep trying???
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