Are You Derailing Your Business with Details?

3 replies
Details can kill your web business. And I'm not talking about details killing your business from the standpoint of being careless about them. While it's true that being careless can hurt your business, everybody knows that (even if they don't always put it into practice).

The way I'm talking about that details can kill your business is if you focus too much on them.

Say what?

How on earth can focusing too much on details hurt your business?

Ever tried to walk on a railroad track?

When I was a kid, my aunt and uncle had a house right next to a railroad track. My uncle once challenged me to walk on the track without falling off.

Hey, it's not like walking a tightrope. That track was as wide as my feet. Should be no problem. So I started walking it, carefully watching my feet with each step to make sure I stayed on the track. But I couldn't get more than a couple of steps before I'd lose my balance and fall off.

My uncle taught me that the only way to walk that track successfully was to look at a point a ways down the track - not down at my feet. By setting a goal and focusing on it, I could walk on that track as easily as if I was walking right on the ground. It was only when I focused on my feet that I tripped up.

It works that way with business, too. Our natural reaction is to put all our attention into "watching our feet" as we deal with this short-term detail and that. But when we do that, we "fall off the track" of where we wanted to go.

Now, I'm not saying that we should ignore the details of our business as we gaze wistfully toward our vision of the knock-out business we dream of building. You never get anywhere without taking step after step after step to reach your goal. But you never get anywhere, either, if all you look at is the present step.

The point in the distance that you need to focus on is the need your audience has and the solution you have that will fill it. It requires you to understand your audience - who they are and what they need and what concerns stand in the way of them choosing your solution.

It's way too easy for us to focus on details, namely, on the latest traffic building tips or tools, the latest bells and whistles we can add to our site. Details are usually driven by facts, and facts are something we feel we can learn and control. Understanding the people who make up our pool of potential customers is a lot more scary. It requires us to step outside ourselves into the hearts and minds of other people.

Given the choice between dealing with predictable facts and details or dealing with unpredictable human nature, most of us will jump at dealing with facts any time.

But that just gets us stuck staring at our own feet as our feet inexplicably slip off the track. The only way to stay on track is by looking toward your ultimate goal: you helping people solve some problem in return for them repaying you fairly for the time and effort you put into it.

That's really the most simple definition of what business is. The details are not your business. The facts and the tips and the tools are not your business either. They're merely the steps you take to get to that point in the distance. And the more you take that to heart, the more easily you'll stay on the track toward your goal.

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#business #derailing #details
  • Profile picture of the author Wally Conger
    Nice post.

    For the past two years, I've advocated the "flying by the seat of your pants" approach to business. At least when you start.

    I spent 3-4 years studying internet marketing -- buying all the programs, reading all the Idiot guides -- and made not one step forward. Finally, on a lonely weekend while my wife was away, I got disgusted with myself...

    Still unsure of what my business would look like, I sucked it up, bought a domain name thru GoDaddy, got hosting services, and sent my first website out into the ether. It wasn't much too look at, but dammit, it was THERE.

    It took another 6-9 months to settle on what I wanted to do with my business, but it eventually got done. Only because I stopped studying and worrying about the details and just did SOMETHING.
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  • Profile picture of the author susiem
    Absolutely true, our focus point should be the needs of our audiences, their desires and wants. If all we do is look for the keeping of our details of our business , we are missing it big time.
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  • Profile picture of the author scortillion
    The same is true with the martial arts. In the beginning you have to concentrate to learn a form. After you learn it you practice the form over and over again. In time you must let go of thinking about the next step and just let the body go. If you try to think about it too much you forget the next move, or confuse yourself over which one is next. Letting go and just doing is the key.
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