Humans. We’re always getting in the way of our own success. Even after defining your unique and successful strategy, human variables frequently enter into the equation and can derail strategy in three major circumstances:
1) When you compete to be “the best.” Competing to be the best is not nearly as effective as aiming to be unique. “The best” is a difficult place to define and to attain. But “unique” is both concrete and achievable. Your goal should be to create unique value for your customers—to deliver something your competitors cannot. What differentiates you from your competitors is what will enable you to sustain success.
2) When you try to please everyone. Your objective in business is not to make every customer happy. Your objective is to decide which customers you want to make happy and how to do that most effectively. And then, wow them! Accept that some customers will be dissatisfied and learn to live with it. Otherwise, your customers—not your strategy—will determine how you deploy your resources.
3) When you can’t say ‘no.’ Opportunities abound in the business world. Some will complement your business strategy and others won’t. Some may fit your goals in theory, but would overstretch your resources. It’s easy to say, “That’s a great idea! Let’s do it!” But, no matter how great an idea is, if it dilutes your purpose, prevents you from accomplishing your growth goals, or inhibits you from taking on opportunities to achieve your goals, then put it aside. You have to be able to give a meaningful ‘no’ before you can offer a meaningful ‘yes.’
To stay on track, you must stick to your guns. You must know your strategy inside and out, and be prepared to be unique, stay true to your goals, and accept that you just can’t do it all.