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.
- Are conferences and events worth your time and money? Here’s how to make sure - April 23, 2018
- Six big themes for small town entrepreneurship - April 16, 2018
- Check this list? Did I get your topic on there? - April 9, 2018
- If you help your customers to create a plan, don’t leave out this essential item - April 2, 2018
- Small town secrets to surviving lean times - March 26, 2018
- These small town neighbors bought vacant buildings, brought them up to code. Here’s what happened next - March 12, 2018
- The giant checklist of social media marketing basics for small town business - March 5, 2018
- Tourism idea: host a rural retreat after a big conference in the big city - February 26, 2018
- Rural business idea: Rent chicks for Easter - February 19, 2018
- What hours should a retail store be open in a small town? - February 12, 2018