I call it the “Entrepreneur’s Addiction …” and it could be costing you a fortune.
Most entrepreneurs (me included) are blessed and cursed with a short attention span. We love new things, whether it is a new idea, a new gadget, some new technology, a new process or an allegedly “new” way of doing business.
Trouble is, by always “Chasing the New” … you can run yourself (and your team) ragged in a million different directions, when a single path or focused direction can lead you to massive success.
New is appealing for a number of reasons, mainly because it taps into an innate entrepreneurial drive to be first and to conquer unexplored territory before anyone else does.
Trouble is, in most cases, the first pioneers and explorers who actually discover new worlds, new methods and new technologies aren’t the people who ultimately benefit – or profit – from their efforts.
The cure for “EADD” (Entrepreneurial Attention Deficit Disorder) is a strong dose of “focus,” simply because a laser-like focus on your category or a critical component of your marketing can do more to turn your company around than a hundred new gadgets or campaigns could ever hope to accomplish.
But if you are having trouble trying to figure out what to focus on, here are four suggestions to help you step back, get clear on your vision and start to “hone in” on what will truly grow your business, instead of a dozen “new” things that may be shiny and tempting, but will simply scatter your attention and your efforts.
1) Focus first on leads, then on branding. In the marketing and entrepreneurial game, leads beat branding every time, so instead of wasting time “building a great brand,” start “building a great company” by focusing on leads and your branding will take care of itself.
I always like to challenge my “creatives” on this issue, and there is no better example than the restaurant that spent all of its marketing resources up-front on a great logo, fantastic signage, expensive menus and a huge grand opening … then had nothing left to even send post-card “thank you” notes to people who signed up for a data base mailing.
By keeping focused on leads, you start to develop a keen eye for “new” tactics and strategies that will drive more and more qualified leads to your business. You will also start to think like a marketer, which means involving your entire team in lead generation.
Think the person who answers your phone isn’t “selling” your company? Think again. Then start to develop rapport-building scripts for everyone in the organization. In the end, a strategically-oriented sales and marketing-focused company will outperform a branding-focused company every time.
2) Focus first on productivity, then on technology. One way to focus your fix on new technology or gadgetry is to consider how any new technology can improve productivity, and how it can be systematically integrated into your company to boost your bottom-line.
For example, think of how the meeting world has changed in the last 7 months with Zoom and other online meeting platforms!
3) Apply “tried, tested and true” to any “new.” While social media and digital marketing has changed the face of online relationships and communication, both media still rely on the “old” rules of building trust, relationships and sales.
Good communication skills are more important now than ever – even as the means for and sources of social media grow and expand. In the social media universe, authenticity, credibility, honesty and transparency rule the day, and drive referrals and networks.
The paradox of social media seems to be that the more “real” you and your company can be, the more “unreal” your results can be. The other paradox is that the more you “try” to be real, the more your network will key on the fact you’re not. So get grounded in “getting real” in your social media conversations.
After all, would you recommend a person or company to your own friends or “circles of influence” if they were anything less than the best, most honest or most credible in their category?
4) Realize confused minds default to “doing nothing.” While you may get an adrenaline charge from “Chasing the New,” know that your continued quest comes at a price for your company and your team in that it causes a fair amount of uncertainty and confusion for those around you.
While this isn’t always a bad thing, over time it leads to confused strategies and plans of action, and when plunged continually into this state, people default to taking no action at all.
Clarity, on the other hand, is created by focused strategies and plans of action, and focused minds and teams can create amazing results.
The reality is that the mind can only really focus on one thought at a time, and despite our continued insistence we can multi-task and do a number of things at once, more studies are showing the opposite.
In fact, there is increasing evidence that even something as seemingly innocuous as having multiple windows open on your computer can be a drag on your overall daily productivity.
So be mindful that the more scattered the leader, the more cluttered and confused the team. Narrow your own vision, and the rest of your team and company will follow.
We are fortunate to live in an incredible era of innovation and technology, one that will continue to amaze and inspire. However, as business leaders, sometimes we need to stop “Chasing the New” … and start working the “Old and Boring.”
Because regardless of the technology, there is still no short-cut to success, and in most cases, the tested “Old and Boring” has actually been proven to work.