If you chase two rabbits, you probably won’t catch either of them.
That’s one of those “common sense” business lessons I’ve heard for a long time. Of course, I don’t follow it. My husband and I own a liquor store and a cattle ranch, I speak and write about small business, and I co-founded Tourism Currents to teach social media marketing for tourism. Apparently, I’m chasing a lot of rabbits.
|How many rabbits are you chasing?|
I think chasing lots of business “rabbits” is partially a small town trait: we develop multiple lines of income because one business may not be enough to support us in a small town. And we use it to even out risk, the way farmers use multiple crops to even out the ups and downs of commodity prices.
Theoretically, if you could find your one “most profitable” business, you ought to focus on that, and maximize your profits. Of course, that maximizes risk, too, if anything should happen to that business. One of the best posts I’ve read about focusing is Jonathan Fields, “Are you Building a Body of Work or a Cornucopia of Chaos?”
Here’s how I resolved this. I have a central mission. I help small town entrepreneurs prosper, so they can help their communities prosper. Every business I listed is part of that.
Every project that someone asks me to take on, I run through the filter of whether it helps me to support small town entrepreneurs. Yes or no. Very simple. That is the body of work I’m building.
- The rural contradiction: “There aren’t any good jobs!” vs. “We can’t find good people!” - June 19, 2017
- Can rural communities retain young people? Are rural Millennials different from urban Millennials? - June 12, 2017
- How do I attract good employees for low-level jobs? - June 5, 2017
- Retail’s big split: why big boxes are in trouble and what small town retailers can do - May 22, 2017
- Surprising results in the Survey of Rural Challenges 2017 - May 15, 2017
- Where to find local entrepreneurs online - May 8, 2017
- Where do you find potential entrepreneurs? - May 1, 2017
- How can a municipality support entrepreneurship? - April 24, 2017
- Small town retail trend: shared spaces - April 10, 2017
- A blue Brag Basket - March 24, 2017