Details can destroy an online business. And I’m not talking about details destroying your business because you’re careless with them. Everyone is aware that carelessness can be detrimental to their business, even if they don’t always follow this advice.
When I say that excessive focus on details can kill your business, I mean that excessive attention to them can be fatal to your enterprise.
How can an excessive focus on details harm your business?
Have you ever tried to walk on a train track?
When I was a child, my aunt and uncle lived adjacent to a train track. My uncle once challenged me to walk without falling off the track.
Hey, it’s not like walking a tightrope. This path was the width of my feet. There should be no issues. So I began walking it, watching my feet carefully with each step to ensure I remained on the path. But I could only take a few steps before losing my balance and falling off.
My uncle taught me that the only way to successfully walk this track was to look at a point a considerable distance down the track, and not at my feet. By setting a goal and concentrating on it, I was able to walk on that track as if I were walking on the ground. Only when I concentrated on my feet did I stumble.
It operates similarly in business. Our natural inclination is to focus on “watching our feet” as we deal with this and that short-term detail. However, when we do so, we “fall off the track” of our intended destination.
Now, I’m not suggesting that we should ignore the particulars of our business in favor of our idealized vision of a successful enterprise. Without taking one step after another to reach your objective, you will never succeed. But you will never progress if you only consider the current step.
The point in the distance that you must concentrate on is the need that your audience has and the solution that you offer to meet that need. It requires that you comprehend your audience – who they are, what they require, and what concerns prevent them from selecting your solution.
It’s far too easy for us to focus on specifics, such as the most recent traffic-building strategies or tools, or the most recent website bells and whistles. Details are typically determined by facts, which we believe we can learn and control. Understanding the individuals who comprise our pool of potential customers is much more frightening. It requires us to step outside of ourselves and into the minds and hearts of others.
If given the choice between dealing with predictable facts and details and dealing with unpredictable human nature, the majority of us would choose the former.
But that only keeps us fixated on our own feet as they inexplicably veer off course. The only way to stay on track is to focus on your ultimate objective: helping people solve a problem in exchange for fair compensation for the time and effort you invested.
This is the simplest definition of business possible. The particulars are none of your business. The facts, tips, and tools are also none of your business. They are merely the steps required to reach that distant point. And the more you internalize this, the easier it will be to stay on track toward your objective.