Several years ago I attended a business conference.

We had a breakout session where there were eight people, including myself in the session. The purpose of the breakout session was to give each other feedback on what we saw in each other.

Paul was on the hot seat. Joel gave the following feedback to Paul:

“Sometimes you have to slow down in order to go fast.”

At the time, I didn’t get the whole meaning of Joel’s statement, but I knew then that the words Joel had uttered were profound.

A few weeks ago, I was in a mastermind meeting with some colleagues of mine.  Instantly, Joel’s words came roaring back into my head.

In my mastermind meeting, George was talking about some issues he had growing his business. George was in a situation that most of us business owners run into.

We want to grow our business. We are good at what we do. We don’t have the amount of revenue in our business that we want.

Sometimes in the situation, we just want to grow and are willing to take any business.

Being willing to take any work is one of the stupidest things a business owner can do.

I call this the anything for a buck plan for burnout.

We want to go fast. It’s a fool’s errand.

In our effort to grow, we take on anything. As long as someone is willing to pay us a dollar and we can reasonably do the work at sufficient quality, then we make the deal.

We sell our soul. We end up doing work that is not our best for a customer that will not truly appreciate the value of the work we do.

I’ve been there. Sometimes I still find myself there.

Over the past few months, I’ve spent a great deal of time refining my service offerings to the best and most valuable services I can provide.

I use the old Pareto Principle.

The Pareto Principle states that twenty percent of our actions create eighty percent of our results.

Think deep and hard on that.

Twenty percent of our work has a leveraged effect.

Twenty percent of our work gives us the best results.

Then I ask the following question.

If twenty percent of my work gives me the best result, why in the world would I do anything that is not in my twenty percent?

That is a question I ask myself regularly now.

Eighty Twenty rings in my ears daily.

I find now, every time I get caught up in the eighty percent work, I get mad at myself.

Twenty percent of the work that I do for my clients provides eighty percent of the value they receive from me.

Twenty percent of my clients provide me with eighty percent of my revenues.

To become more successful, I’m applying the Pareto Principle to everything in my business.

About a year ago, I decided to focus my marketing efforts on one niche industry.

In the last few weeks, I’ve spent a great deal of time honing in on my ideal customer. In the marketing world, they call this an Avatar.

The Avatar is a critical person to get to know. My avatar’s name is Ann Johnson. The better I get to know Ann, and what her felt needs, struggles, and pain points are, the better I get at providing her with solutions that will transform her business and her life.

Sure I could skip the step of getting to know Ann Johnson.

I could market my services to the masses of people who will never appreciate what I can do for them.

I could do all these things. However, that would be a shotgun approach to growing my business.

I’ve done that for more than ten years in business.

The shotgun approach worked for me.  I’ve grown a reasonably successful business.

The reality is I didn’t really grow a business.  I developed a freelancer job.

A freelancer job won’t cut it anymore.

I no longer want to be a freelancer.

I want to be an entrepreneur.

I don’t want to own a freelancer job.

I want to own a business.

Continuing with the shotgun approach is not the best way for me to grow a business.

As a freelancer, I could rely on word of mouth and referral business.

Word of mouth and referral business are still valuable, but in most instances, it will not get the job done.

A successful business has to have a strong marketing engine.

Being a successful freelancer is not enough for me anymore.

I’m a man on a mission. I’ve got a transformative message to share.

Reasonably successful will not cut it anymore.

I need to be wildly successful.

Again, I return to the fool’s errand. If I try to grow my business with the shotgun approach, I am on a fool’s errand.

I will get some results.

Any time action is taken, there are results.

If I continue to take the actions of a freelancer I will not get the results I need as an owner of a business.

I will not get the results of growing a business of my design.

I will be building a business that does anything for anyone.

While I live in abundance, there is one thing that is limited.

There is a limit of time that I have available.

Time is the only resource I have that once I spend time, time is gone.

I cannot earn more time.

I can’t manufacture more time.

I can only leverage time and make the best use of my time.

I don’t have time to build a business with a shotgun approach.

I have to build my business as a sniper would. I have to study my target. I have to follow my target. I have to respect my target.

I may only have one shot at making the right impression with my target.

I’m not willing to waste my time building a shotgun approach business.

And neither should you.

It’s time to slow down to go fast.

Get to know your Avatar intimately.

The reward for this challenging work will pay substantial dividends.

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