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.
- Join me for the Rural Renewal Symposium online Oct 13 - September 26, 2020
- Cheap placemaking idea: instant murals - September 11, 2020
- Refilling the rural business pipeline - July 7, 2020
- Huge vacant buildings: grants to renovate? - June 9, 2020
- Economic self defense for small towns - June 7, 2020
- The best things you can do for local businesses in light of coronavirus - March 27, 2020
- How to get more parking downtown without adding any spaces - March 7, 2020
- Exact Yeti Blue mic volume and Windows settings to reduce background noise - February 17, 2020
- Getting local businesses to cooperate with you: Shop Hopping Around Brownsville - December 16, 2019
- Survey of Rural Challenges 2019 results - December 5, 2019