The early years of a startup can be chaotic and desperate. Even a great idea needs capital to get off the ground. In the beginning you need cash, so you chase every opportunity. You say “yes” to anything and everything because you need clients; you need investment; you need to turn your idea into an actual business. You are excited and you want to grow, so everyone who offers you money is a potential client, a potential investor, someone you need.
Unfortunately, every thoughtless “yes” leads you further into a trap. Too quickly you’ll take on too many things. You’ll have differentiated into too many products, options, and services, in an effort to please anyone who shows even a hint of interest in your company. In a few years, your company is just okay at a whole bunch of things instead of great at a few.
Saying “yes” disrupts your focus.
When you started your business, you probably had one great idea. You knew what you wanted to do, what kind of business you wanted to have. There was a central product, a main service, a particular methodology. You had focus, and you were determined. In the rip tide of those early years, hold on to that focus. Keep it in front of you. To be successful and stay focused, you’ll need to do the following:
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