When we first start out in business, particularly consultancy, there is a tendency to say yes to every request and to be everything to everyone. This is partially driven by a need for cash flow, partly by a need to develop a profile in the market and partly due to a desperation to be successful, and we think busy equals successful.
When you have lost your message, it’s time to do less.
As time progresses what inevitably happens is that we end up doing so many different things that our message and purpose become so diluted that we don’t know what we stand for, where our value sits or what differentiates us from the crowd. When you start feeling like that it is time to do less.
This can be a difficult decision to make, especially if you aren’t at the point where you are making snow angels in $100 notes. However, if you speak to any business strategy expert these days, especially in thought leadership, they will often say that niching is the way to go. I can say from personal experience that it works.
We get smarter doing less
It also makes sense from the perspective of neuroscience. Whenever we are learning or refining a skillset, it requires us to build strongly embedded neural networks in our brain. We know that in order to create these strong neural networks we need to put focussed effort to a task and have high levels of repetition. The only way we can achieve this is if we concentrate on doing that individual task.
For example, swimmers who want to get to the Olympics don’t train for all distances, they pick one that they love and are good at and they give it everything they have got.
If you niche and focus on your core business in a deliberate way, your delivery will improve exponentially and your message will be defined. Authentic expertise is priceless in today’s market. Be known for that. So put away the scattergun and get obsessed with your unique expertise. Do less, but better.