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.
- What is holding us back? Why does every project take so long in small towns? - December 3, 2018
- Control your business holiday lights with smart home tools - November 19, 2018
- Don’t bother to mention the benefits unless you tie them to this - November 12, 2018
- What business does every small town need? A store full of tiny retail spaces - November 5, 2018
- How any business can be part of downtown events by going mobile - October 29, 2018
- Support local entrepreneurship by giving Rising Stars business awards - October 22, 2018
- Why do people say there’s nothing to do here then not come to our concerts? - October 15, 2018
- Need more volunteers? Give everyone a tiny role - October 8, 2018
- Retailers: Fill all empty space, floor to ceiling - October 1, 2018
- Shipping container businesses downtown: don’t make this big mistake - September 24, 2018