Focus and how to choose between opportunities is a big topic for me, and I’m always interested t learn how successful entrepreneurs handle it. I was at a fantastic event on Friday on the subject of Influence, with profits going to Peace One Day, started by the amazing Jeremy Gilley (check it out, a brilliant idea that’s really making progress, with every member state of the UN ratifying September 21st each year as Peace Day). One of the speakers was the very entertaining Simon Woodroffe of Yo! Sushi and Yotels fame.
One of the questions he was asked by the audience was, how do you decide between business opportunities. As you can imagine, my ears pricked up, waiting to hear how this successful entrepreneur dealt with the issue of selection and focus. So imagine my dismay when he said “oh, I’d just do all of it” – the exact opposite of what I recommend to the people who go through Opportunity Matrix programmes and Art of Focus days. Erk!
Simon then went on to say that he would put each of them on a separate page of a notebook, and compartmentalise his thinking about each one. And he’d spend a couple of hundred pounds on each to do a bit of research, set up the website, or whatever. Then he’d run with them all for 3 months – 100 days – and then decide which one (or ones) was for him, or his team. So not so different from my advice after all – phew! (except maybe running them through my process might be a bit quicker) 😉
I think Simon’s advice would work well for an established entrepreneur, someone who’s already proved themselves in the business arena, and more importantly, in their network. For a newbie entrepreneur it would still, in my opinion, run the risk of confusing their network about what they actually do – what their niche really is. And for an unproven entrepreneur, the “jack of all trades” label can be difficult to shift.
I should know, I’ve been there, when I was playing the Busy Fool!