A large part of my job is sitting down with entrepreneurs to hear about their dreams for their Startup. And often, their passion is palpable. It’s bubbling over. They can hardly sit still in their seat (which actually might just be the over-caffeination most entrepreneurs enjoy).
It’s inspiring to sit with someone that allows themselves to dream. It’s contagious. And that’s when I know they have a dream worth chasing.
Most times, which is the reason they called me, they’re experiencing some sort of disconnect between their fiery passion and their Startup’s performance.
Why doesn't passion directly transfer to producing great work?
After dozens of recent conversations, here’s my observation:
- If they own an investment firm, they want clients from Millennials to Baby Boomers to Gen-Xers.
- If they own a gym, they want to help people lose weight and train for marathons and recover from injury.
- If they own a creative agency, they want to design websites and do product design and do social marketing.
- If they own a software company, they want to have dozens of specific features for dozens of different audiences.
- If they own a recording studio, they want to record commercial jingles and garage bands and maybe Beyoncé’s next single.
It’s like throwing feathers at a dart board.
Like feathers, having multiple fibers stretching out in every direction might be tempting; as it might feel like your Startup is lighter and might allow you to fall more slowly. Things feel more safe. You have a parachute. But… No matter how much “oomph!" you put behind throwing a feather, it won’t get far. (And, in fact, the more energy you put behind throwing a feather, the more likely it is to flip away from your target and end up somewhere else entirely.)
With darts, there’s more at stake. You either hit the dart board or you sink into the wall beside it (or fall clattering to the ground). But you’re honed in. And all of your energy is focused on that sharpened point of the dart. You have one goal; one audience; one niche. You have one thing that differentiates you from your competition.
And the beautiful thing? The dart board has dozens of targets; not just the bulls eye. Maybe everyone in your industry is shooting for that tantalizing red dot while you’re targeting a tiny slice on the side. Genius.
My humble advice for you: Shave down your feathers and whittle them into sharpened darts.
Take a risk. Niche down.