Once upon a time I remember in college they would teach us that learning was a good thing – that the more you learn, the better off you’d be in the real world – or more specifically – the workforce. And while I whole-heartedly agree that knowledge is power, I think it creates a sort of misconception that we’d be expected to use ALL of this knowledge. It creates a false truth in our heads that being a jane-of-all-trades is highly useful for the future. After almost 6 years in business for myself, I strongly disagree that a jane-of-all-trades should be your goal in business. I actually think it’s in the narrowing of your field or expertise, where the sweet spot lies.
As I mentioned before, I do think multifaceted knowledge is a great thing – but not because you want to be OKAY at a lot of things. I think knowledge is power when you use it strategically – when you decide when, how and what to FOCUS on. I think the key to harnessing the power of knowledge is in elimination. It’s great to learn a lot, and in many areas, with the sole purpose of getting RID of the information or the directions that don’t fit.
So how do we go about cutting out which information/skills should stay and which ones should go?
1. First it comes in shifting this mindset that we’ve gotten into our heads – that it is a sign of success when we can do a lot of things well (enough), or that it’s a sign of strength that we have a LOT of offerings.
In fact, I truly believe it does the opposite. I believe when we spread out our offerings and offer too many things to our clients, that we actually get weaker, that the entirety of our work gets weaker. To illustrate my point – think of something pliable. Think about how when you stretch it and stretch it, the material becomes and thinner and weaker and soon may break. The key to start narrowing our focus is to truly BELIEVE it works. If we prune the bad branches/fruit – then the fruit that is flourishing in the plant THRIVES and gets stronger.
2. It’s easier to become successful when you are a big fish in a little pond, versus a small fish in a big pond.
Another thing to think about is how unique your offering is. It’s much easier to gain success and business when you are doing something that not many others do. This is another kind of narrowing. This could mean a narrowing of your clients. Maybe you only work with a certain type of business. You get KNOWN for working only in that niche, so your name grows like wildfire among that niche. It only takes a few people that are in love with your service to turn all their friends on to you.
3. It’s better to completely WOW a few, than to simply SATISFY many.
Go above and beyond with less clients. Instead of doing a few things for everyone, do amazing things for a just a few (click to tweet this). Charge more, lighten your load – but give those clients more added value and give them truly great “white glove” service. It is simply impossible to compete on price these days – you will NEVER win competing on price. Instead, you compete on value, on substance, on quality and on customer service. This is how you win hearts and minds, word-of-mouth, and how you truly become fulfilled in what you do and make a difference in other’s lives. This is what matters right?
Today, I’d love to encourage you to take stock of your offerings and perhaps make some changes. Do you have some things that you just aren’t in love with anymore, that are weakening your chain? Perhaps you have some NEW offerings that you think may take off like wildfire and will help you stand out?
Here’s how to get started:
Which areas do you have that:
- Are the most fun for you and your clients
- Garner the most acclaim
- Make the most money?
What areas do you have that:
- Are a drain on you or your clients
- You dread doing
- Take up too much of your time?
The areas that are your high-producing fruit, you keep, and you focus your energies on strengthening. The areas that are your weakest – you simply get rid of them. They aren’t working and they are a drain on what you’re doing well. You’ll be surprised at how quickly things will flourish with your prize fruit when you get rid of that dead weight.