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Guest Commentary: Stop Trying To Do Too Much

In this hyper-aware, hyper-competitive world in which we’ve found ourselves, I’d like everyone to do one huge thing: less.

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It’s in every American’s blood to achieve more, do better, strive. (Well, most Americans. Everyone has that one cousin who doesn’t do a whole lot.)

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But in this hyper-aware, hyper-competitive world in which we’ve found ourselves, I’d like everyone to do one huge thing: less. Of everything. What? Yes, that’s right, less.

You know that phrase you hear often when meeting new people and exchanging business cards, “I’m a jack of all trades, master of none”? That’s not a good thing, and I’m not sure why we hear it so much. I think it’s meant as a badge of honor. Or maybe it’s a sign of humility in the other person – however, that person needs to listen to his or her own words and act on them.

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I don’t care how big your business is; no matter the size, everyone is trying to do too much while being too many things to too many other people and businesses. The signs are everywhere: Too few employees trying to do more and more complex tasks; companies offering a myriad of services, many of which seem impossible to accomplish while doing all of them well; half-completed projects; people chasing their tails, going after the shiny new ball of aluminum foil. What’s the result? Are your sales down? Do you feel like you’ve thrown everything you can at the wall and nothing is sticking? If so, I’m pretty sure it’s not the market. It’s you. Stop it. Stop trying to be everything and watch your sales improve.

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Let’s get back to listening to our customers and giving them what they want and need. What’s the best way to do that? Listen to them. It’s not harder than that. The future is not in a webpage, an app or an algorithm. Success is rooted in connecting with people, discovering their needs and providing them the products and services they need to do their business.

It’s as simple as that.

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