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.
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.